(Closed) Confused….

posted 9 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
235 posts
Helper bee

Have you thought about looking into the Anglican church?  It’s supposedly similar.

Here’s the thing – all religion has flaws just like all people have flaws.  Because when it comes down to it, the Church is made to glorify God, but is made by man.  And I only know of one perfect Man who has graced the Earth.

Would you regret not having your marriage blessed?  5 years from now would you think back and wish you had?  5 years from now if you do have the marriage blessed, will you regret that?  Will your Fiance regret going through the confirmation process?  I always think there’s no harm in working with the Big Guy on this – pray about it if that’s your thing, or talk to your priest about those things that bother you about the Catholic church and see what he has to say.

And good luck!

Post # 4
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

There’s a WONDERFUL Dan Savage piece on This American Life (sometime this year, I think in May?) where he describes his mom’s faith. She was a strong Catholic, but slapped a rainbow sticker on her car in support of her son, looked forward to the day when women would be ordained priests, etc. She was also very devoutly Catholilc. VERY DEVOUT. Why do I bring this up? Because, according to Dan Savage, she said “it’s my religion too!” Just because you disagree with some things conservative Catholics uphold, doesn’t mean it’s any less your faith. The Church is never going to evolve if those who disagree with small issues but agree on the big stuff keep leaving the faith.

I kind of view your situation as a child being baptized when their parents aren’t believers. Better to do it when you can; if you change your mind later, fine. But if you don’t, then at least you’re covered.  My suggestion is to what you can to have it be a marriage recognized by the church, because later it isn’t quite so simple to do.

Post # 5
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m sorry that you feel confused about all this.  I would like to express my point of view of marriage within the Catholic church so that perhaps it can help you with your decision.  Please keep in mind that I’m being open to your opinions and respect your views and would kindly ask the same in return.  It is not my intent to offend you in anyway.

Ok, here we go. Being Catholic, I know that marriage is a sacrament (along with baptism, eucharist, confirmation, etc.).  Just like in baptism, when I receive any sacrament I know that I am receiving graces from God.  

Just the way, I really want my dad and all my loved ones to be at my wedding.  I want to invite God to be at my wedding because I want His blessing.  So I will go to His house (the church) on my wedding day just the way I went to get baptized, to receive communion, and to be confirmed. (The Catholic Church won’t budge on this because the church is it’s place of worship and where it celebrates the Sacraments.) It is a beautiful, happy time in which my fiance and I really look forward to sharing our love with God and having Him be the center of our lives.


Ok, my opinion ends here.  The following is what I know about the Catholic stance on marriage.  I would recommend you speak to your parish priest about the following if you wish to continue receiving communion.

Here are some things to consider: 

If you are Catholic and are not going to be married in a Catholic church, you need a letter of dispensation.  A letter of dispensation gives you permission to marry outside of the church and your marriage will still considered valid by the church. It can be given, for example, if you are getting married in another Christian church.  (They usually aren’t granted if you want to marry in a garden,a park,a backyard,a boat, etc.)

If you are Catholic and do not get married in a Catholic Church your marriage is not considered valid.  Therefore, when you have sexual relations with your spouse it is considered fornication and a sin, therefore you can’t receive communion.


Again, Juliet, I am sorry that you struggling with this.  I hope that my information helps. I feel like the bearer of bad news.  Talk to your mom and talk to your parish priest.  (And might I add, pray.)


Post # 6
2641 posts
Sugar bee

Well, lots of stuff here. I’m sorry you’re struggling with this.  So what’s the real beef, that you question some teachings, or sour grapes about not getting married outside?

In regards to the questions regarding Church teaching, a couple of thoughts.  I think it’s important that priests don’t married.  I don’t think many people understand the time commitment priests have to their parishoners.  It[‘s much greater than other pastors.  Think of the sacraments.  Not just the one time baptism or marriage.  How about the constant reconciliation, annointing of the sick, and the miscellaneous blessings people seek -homes, rosaries, whatever you can think of.  How could a priest keep up those hours and be married?  A priest understands the huge undertaking he accepts hen he becomes a priest.  Which nothing short of full devotin to the Church.  If he married, duties to the Church would have to come second.  His wife and kids would come first.  “Sorry, about your wedding, Jenny, the Mrs. was giving birth to our third child.”  “I’d love to cover your dad’s funeral, but Jimmy has a soccer game.”……Moving on to papal authority, or the order of authority in the Church, in general.  THe fact that someone else is in charge gives me great peace.  It’s really not a difficult to stomach that someone else might have more knowledge than us on things.  I’m not saying that God doesn’t speak to each one of us, but really we accept that there is authority in other aspect of life.  If your doctor tells you you have lung cancer, are you really going to say, “Well but in my heart I feel I have bronchitis, so I will go with what’s in my heart.” ?  Why is it that hard to believe that people who have a particular religious calling, and have studied this for years, might have a better understanding of God’s teachings, and provide you with better guidance?  Specifically dealing with papl authority, well, Jesus left Peter the keys to the kingdom.  (Not all of the apostles, just Peter.  That tells me while they were all valuable, Peter was in charge.  Since Jesus didn’t come right back, it doesn’t make sense that someone being in charge would end with Peter.  He had to pass that on to someone.  Maybe if you spoke to a priest about your concerns, someone who has studied much longer than me, you’d get some answers to put your mind at ease.

As for getting married outdoors.  I know it feels like a bit of a bummer.  I can’t say that I haven’t experienced any of that.  But really you have to decide what’s important to you.  If getting married among the flowers is more important than getting marreid in God’s house,  you have to figure that out.  But sure you could have your marriage blessed.  As Charm bracelt touched upn, I would recommend having a Catholic ceremony before the outdoor wedding, unless you plan on not having intercourse until after the Catholic blessing.

@ red seattle.  Why does the Church have to evolve?  God doesn’t change his teaching.  It’s the world that changes, wanting God to fit into what they think is right.  (Not trying to fit into what God has taught is right.)  That seems backwards to me.

Post # 7
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I have to agree with Miss Charm Bracelet.  I’m Catholic myself, and it is important to my Fiance and I to be married by our church and to have the sacrament of marriage.  We are having a destination wedding in Aruba, but 2 weeks before that we are having a small catholic wedding with our families in our church’s day chapel!  So if your having an outdoor wedding…do as I did (if the the church is imporatant to you and Fiance as well)!  Hope it works out!

Post # 8
4466 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m struggling with something similar.  I was raised Catholic — baptized, communion, confirmation, the whole thing.  My FH is a Protestant, but definitely not devoted to that religion.  We made the decision early on that we were going to raise our children Catholic and we even began attending Catholic church together (although he cannot take communion in our church)

When it came time to plan our wedding, I wanted to get married in a church.  However, I haven’t lived in my hometown (where we’re getting married) for over 8 years now.  The church I grew up in is now closed, and the church my parents attend is too small for my wedding.  We called pretty much every church in the Albany Roman Catholic diocese.  They all have 4pm masses and won’t do our wedding any later than 2pm.  We found a chapel that would do it at 4 and they are having construction.  We found another that was too small.  We literally exhausted all of our options and decided to have our wedding in a park.

We have a priest who wants to do our wedding (the chaplain from my fiance’s alma mater) who encouraged us to appeal to the bishop’s office.  We did so and call them every week to check in.  Nothing so far.

I too am frustrated with the Catholic church and their policies.  I have never agreed with priests not being able to get married.  It bothers me that I am technically a “sinner” because I take birth control pills.  And now, I am trying my best to have a Catholic ceremony and raise my children in a Catholic tradition and am hitting brick walls left and right.  I don’t understand how it would be okay for us to get married in a non-denominational chapel, but not in a park.

/end rant. 

Post # 9
50 posts
Worker bee

“Why does the Church have to evolve?  God doesn’t change his teaching.  It’s the world that changes, wanting God to fit into what they think is right.  (Not trying to fit into what God has taught is right.)  That seems backwards to me.”- Tanya123

actually what you said sounds backwards to me.

How can such an ancient institution (the church) NOT evolve? MANY of its rules and traditions were created by MAN way back in the day. NOT God. Why do you think some things changed after Vatican II? Because it was realized mass doesn’t have to be in Latin. Just like priests don’t have to be male! just like a bunch of other rules don’t have to be the way they are just because that’s the way it’s been for a long time.

Post # 10
3576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Just like you, I don’t agree with everything the Catholic Church preaches. I went through all of the sacraments, last one being my confirmation.  We’re not getting married in a church only because it’s just not who we are.  I don’t attend mass regularly but I must admit, when I go, I feel great.

My brother, raised Catholic, all sacraments – married a Hindu.  They did not get married in the church rather outside and I know for a fact she did NOT get confirmed or go through classes.  And they had a priest bless them at the ceremony and have them do their vows.  This was in Virginia.

Religion can be a very personal battle.  I think you should do what makes you happy and what you can morally live with.


Post # 11
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Hi bees. I see some of you have been busy.  I wanted to reply to maybe help clarify some ideas that were posted.  Again, it is not my intent to offend anyone.  Just wanting to be informative and helpful.

Our church was created by a man – Jesus. (As Catholics, we believe He was 100% divine but also 100% human.) It is his human nature that was with us on Earth while He established His teachings.  Once He left earth, his disciples continued the traditions He established, which is what we practice today.

Now, let me clarify the word tradition.  In the Catholic Church there are traditions with a capital “T” and traditions with a small “t”.

 Traditions with a capital T are the non-negotiables of our faith. No one, not even the Pope, a Council, or the Magesterium have the authority to change  these Traditions. These Traditions were established by Jesus and will never change. Some examples are The Trinity, consecration of the Eucharist, marriage between a man and a women, or priests being male. Vatican II did not change anything of Traditions with a capital “T”.

Then there are traditions, with a small “t”, that are transitory or changeable elements. The Church must constantly look at her small “t” traditions and see if they are helping or hindering people in their faith. Some small “t” traditions are holy days, celebrating mass in Latin or in the local language,  certain forms of prayer (example the Luminous Mysteries were added to the rosary), or priests getting married (it could change in the future). 

I know that this can be difficult to accept. I, too, had a lot of questions and concerns about the Catholic faith. It took me a long time of questioning and studying to find the answers I needed to practice my faith.  Please don’t think of the Church as being strict for the sake of being strict.  The norms we follow in our faith are to help us become as holy as possible, so that when we leave this earth we may enter heaven.  

I hope this helps.

Post # 12
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@ Tanya – I believe the Church has to evolve because sometimes, as hard as it can be to admit, is wrong.  (I’m not talking about little disagreements in doctrine I’m thinking more like the Inquisition, the Crusades, slavery, etc.)

Post # 13
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think that this is a very personal decision, Juliet.  Only you and your Fi can decide if Catholicism makes sense for you.  I don’t have any new words of wisdom on how to figure out this dilemma; I think you’ll find a lot of variance in beliefs from one Catholic to another, though.  🙂 

My only advice is to not rush into your Fi being confirmed or having a marriage consecrated by the Catholic church until you are 100% sure that’s what you want.  You can always go back and do those things later, if you decide that’s the right thing for you to do.  There’s no pressue to get confirmed or have a Catholic marriage immediately; lots of people don’t get confirmed until later in their lives or don’t have their marriage consecrated until years afterward.  I think, for me at least, going through with those sacraments without being 100% sure that was the right thing for me to do would feel dishonest.  I wouldn’t regret pushing off the sacraments until I was ready, but I would regret participating in such sacred ceremonies when I still had doubts.

Hopefully, you and your Fi will be able to discuss your thoughts on the matter and come to a consensus on what makes sense for you as individuals and as a family.  In the mean time, it probably wouldn’t hurt to research the issues you have with Catholic beliefs.  Talk to other Catholics, talk to priests, and read up on how other religions deal with these issues.  You might be surprised to find that many have the same concerns you do, and that those concerns have affected their decision to stay in the church or find something else that fits better.  Good luck!

Post # 14
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Hello Juliet0310. Hopefully this helps you better understand our Catholic Faith.

“…i do not agree with….(i.e. priests not being allowed to marry, the authority of the Pope, and the fact that you cannot have a ceremony outdoors even though you can have a ceremony is the church without having a full mass…)”

In our faith, there are many reasons for the teaching and Traditions to be the way they are.  I will try to help clarify some of your confusion and or disagreements with the Church, as I feel that once you fully understand the why(s), then you can learn to appreciate the Tradition.

Please note that by no way am I trying to offend you, so please excuse me if I seem a bit blunt at times. My finace would agree that I am too blunt, but again, by no means is my intent to offend anyone.


1) Priests are not married, because most of the time, they take a vow of chastity, poverty, and obedience.  So marriage would really interfere with the Chastity part.  Also, the Priests not being married falls more under the practices, and is not considered Tradition (with a capital ‘T’).


2) The Authority of the Pope was established by Jesus Christ himself, and can be found in the Bible in which Jesus specifically states tells Peter —

“I also say to you, that you are Peter and upon this rock, I will build my Church…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.

As such, we clearly see that GOD gave the authority to St. Peter (the 1st Pope of our Church). So the office of the Papacy is not man-made, rather, it is GOD instituted.


3) Location of the ceremony is important.  When we have the ceremony in Church, we are doing this in the physical presence of GOD, as HE is physically in the tabernacle.  When we have outdoor weddings, GOD is not physically there as there are no outdoor tabernacles, and no alter on which the host is turned into the body of Christ.  So to have a ceremony outdoors, and not having GOD there, is like having a wedding and not inviting your father.


Sorry for the long response, I tried to not make this a Bible study session.  But really, there is much to our faith and I’m sure that it is important for you to have GOD be a witness to your union/wedding as well.


GOD BLESS… Best wishes to you on your wedding.

Post # 15
2641 posts
Sugar bee

@ caitlanc, I agree apologies definitely have been necessary, at times.  From what I’ve seen, that has happened. But I’m not sure if that involves “evolving” from Church teahing.  Sometimes the Church itself is seperate from those in authority.  For example, in something like the Inquisition, some in authority abused their powers.  (And unfortuantely, yes, even religious leaders are human and make mistakes and sin, right?  Not even popes are perfect.  JPII went to confession every week.)  

And papal infallacy doesn’t mean that the pope doesn’t sin.  It means he won’t lead the church astray.  Which brings to mind something that I heard JPII say.  I wish  I could remember where, b/c I’d link it.)   Anyway, it regarded the discussion of women priests.  He basically he coudln’t say for certain that women can’t be priests.  But based on the what he knew, there was no “evidence” (if you will) that they should.  But he did know, based on how Jesus set up the Church that He did want men to be priests.  So knowing that men could be priests, let’s stick with that b/c that doesn’t lead us astray.  Also, keep in mind that Jesus chose all men to be the apostles.  I know people can use “it was the times” as an argument. But really Jesus was pretty cutting edge with women, as it was, back then.  What would have stopped him from having a female apostle if He wanted?

@ Bennie  Well, I think the Church is ancient, because it was started by God.  That’s how it’s survived so long.  I think Charm Bracelet answered your comment better than I could.  But I appreciate that you read my long winded post.

Well, I’ve gone on long enough…again.  But if you’re interested in more info on the Crusades and the Inquisitions, you can check these out.



Post # 16
4466 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

RumbleBee: I do have a question re: getting married in the church. (maybe you can help)  I’m confused about why it would be okay to get married at a non-denominational chapel (chapel in question was at a private girls’ school)  I guess I don’t understand how God could be in a place that’s “non denominational” but not outdoors.

I’m not trying to be snarky, just wondering, because I’m disappointed that I’m most likely not going to be able to have a Catholic ceremony due to time/location/tradition constraints.

The topic ‘Confused….’ is closed to new replies.

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