Being a Catholic – or any kind of Christian – is a lifelong journey. Conversion is on-going. The Church does not make any statements about who is going to Hell or not. Even Judas, who betrayed Jesus – no one knows if he is in Hell. The Church prays that he is in Heaven. Only God knows if you are going to Hell. The Church specifically teaches the only way to go to Hell is to die with mortal sin on your soul. Incorrect beliefs don’t USUALLY fall under that heading. Being pro-choice? Wrong, mistaken belief, but not necessarily sinful. Actually helping someone get rid of their baby? Big problem.
I myself am not totally on board with everything the Church teaches – I struggle with the anti-death penalty stance – but the key is to make the commitment to keep praying, studying the Church’s teaching, really making an effort to understand and appreciate why the Church teaches what she does. It’s throwing in the towel and saying “well I know best – the Church is wrong and I’m right” that causes an issue. Because that’s shutting your brain down, closing your soul to the possibility of changing your mind through the Holy Spirit, and God doesn’t like that. He wants you to stay open.
In my personal experience a lot of the time when people don’t agree with the Church’s teaching on contracpetion, abortion, pre-marital sex etc. it’s because they didn’t get educated about it when they were younger OR when they were older. For instance, most people don’t know that John Paul II was actually a feminist. No kidding, he was! Maybe you are very educated about the Church, I don’t want to assume anything, but that’s my experience.
People think Oh it’s the patriarchy! Oh they’re just saying that because they are obsessed with sex! Blah blah. When really, no, actually there’s really deep theology behind it. A good text to read about the Church’s teaching about sex is Theology of the Body by Christopher West. It’s not a perfect book but it’s pretty good.
It’s important to live life with integrity so I can see the point about not staying Catholic if you really don’t agree with Catholicism. And I admit that as a more orthodox Catholic sometimes the lukewarm Catholics annoy me – sometimes I get really irritated when people go around saying “I’m Catholic and pro-choice” or “I’m pro-war and I’m Catholic” because those are violent things and Catholicism (and all of Christianity really) requires a commitment to non-violence.
I think the key is to work out your personal struggles with the Gospel. And that is what they are – personal. I do not think there is ANY “perfect” Catholic out there and there probably never will be. I bet the Pope has his own issues. The thing is he doesn’t make his issues public! He works them out between him, God, theologians, his spiritual director, other priests and nuns. He understands that the Church belongs to Jesus and that instead of trying to change the Church to fit his own image, he should let God change him to better reflect God’s own image!
Don’t give up. But be willing to put in the hard spiritual work! Be committed to on-going conversion and being open to the Holy Spirit. That’s all the Church asks of you.