(Closed) I just did something really stupid

posted 9 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

*hug*

It sounds like he would allow you to go through with the sacraments as long as you agree to stop having sexual relations.  That’s how I read it.  Talk to him, don’t lie that will just get you in more trouble.

Post # 4
Member
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Ugh . . . . such a tricky subject, this is exactly one of the reasons why I’m no longer a practicing catholic. I thought the catholic stance was like the military these days about premarital sex . . . don’t ask don’t tell? You didn’t bring up sex, you brought up birth control and your confusion with the issue and even suggested that Catholicism would bring you down a “new path”.

If you don’t receive these sacraments can you then not get married in the church? (I thought you couldn’t if you hadn’t received all sacraments yet). Talk to all parties involved and see whats up, if it’s important to you see what can be done. Especially talk to your Fiance about it.  Keep the lines of communication open!

Post # 5
Member
83 posts
Worker bee

That’s a bummer. Our priest knows we live together and all that, but is less judgemental. But we already had our other sacraments. I would just bring it up with him again, and if you are serious about it, explain that you would be willing to do what was necessary to recieve your sacraments. Since you mentioned that you were willing to go down another path, could you suggest to him that you would take an NFP class or something (for the birth control issue)? And see if sleeping in seperate rooms would be acceptable until the wedding? (Our priest suggested we do that and not have sex for a month before the wedding). I know the Catholic church can be hard to handle at times, and it really does depend on the particular parish/priest, but I hope it works out for you!

I know that if you have them after and your marriage ceremony is between a non-catholic and catholic it technically will not be recognized by the church, which would stink if that’s important to you.

Post # 7
Member
83 posts
Worker bee

Sorry it’s causing so much stress for you. Hopefully by clarifying he is more understanding. Of course, I wouldn’t lie, but if he is misunderstanding you, of course you should clarify! I don’t think that the teacher can say for sure if you are able to get your sacraments, but I think he can probably recommend, or not recommened, to your priest if you are a good candidate.

 

Post # 8
Member
2006 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m not Catholic, but from my understanding only your Fiance has to be Catholic in order for you to have your ceremony in the Church. Isn’t the only difference that if you decide to have a full mass during your ceremony you can’t recieve communion? Forgive me if I’m wrong, just wanted to throw that out there!

Post # 9
Member
646 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

What church are you getting married in?  I grew up in a fairly liberal parish in Manhattan, and they may be willing to marry you if things don’t get straightened out with your current parish.  (The former monsignor of our parish let girls alter serve before the diocese/Church in general allowed it!)  

Sending good vibes and hugs your way!  I’m sorry this came up for you!

Post # 10
Member
83 posts
Worker bee

babyboo – yes, you can have a ceremony in the church, but it is not recognized as a marriage in the church if both parties aren’t catholic. you will be legally married, but it won’t be a sacrament, and the church won’t recognize your marriage if you aren’t both Catholic.

Post # 11
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I’m so sorry to hear how upset you are feeling. It is going to be okay! I do not think the teacher of your class has any power to stop you from receiving the sacraments at Easter. It sounds like he was just trying to tell you in a nice way that you should be joining the church for the right reasons and under the right conditions. It’s a really awkward situation for both of you. And besides, unless you came right out and said that you were having sex and taking the pill he really has nothing but his own suspicions to go on. And even if you did say those things, every day is a new day—there is no reason why you couldn’t say that you had had a change of heart after your email exchange, without necessarily elaborating on the specifics of that change of heart. 

Because I do see, if not a change of heart, then an openness of heart in what you wrote. I really liked your statement where you said you would be open to what the church’s teaching had to say about some issues you don’t necessarily agree with and that you would do the best you can.

I converted to Catholicism too, before my marriage, and I had my opinions on things like sex and birth control swayed by the teaching of the church. All I did was listen to what they had to say with an open mind—I don’t think that they can ask any more from us than that. I was on the pill and having sex, and my then-fiance and I decided to get off the pill in favor of using nfp (which I use successfully and have posted about pretty extensively on Weddingbee, do a search and you should find some posts!) and abstain until marriage. At first we did it just to quell our guilty consciences about “living in sin” but then we decided as long as we were at it we may as well see if there were any benefits. We figured an institution as large and as old as the Catholic church couldn’t have been expounding those opinions for nothing—maybe there was something to them. And lo, there was. I found that in trying them out we really grew closer as a couple, and I am grateful for that.

This is not to say that there aren’t benefits or positive aspects to having sex before marriage, or to taking the pill. Just that the positions that the church takes also have benefits, or at least they did for me when I gave them a shot. I am not trying to guilt-trip you or tell you to change your ways or whether you should take the sacraments at Easter—you have to decide what you’re ready for. I just wanted to add my voice of support to your journey in understanding all of this, and to say that I hope you don’t give up.

Post # 12
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I would think he took more issue with the “having a fiance at home” statement than the bc. That to me implies more because lots of people have opinions on bc even if they’re not on it. And I agree with pp who say that it doesn’t sound like he’s stopping you… but he’s telling you that you need to not just be going through the motions. it seems like if you don’t REALLY buy into what they’re selling you maybe shouldn’t be converting. 

Post # 13
Member
406 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I am sorry to hear about your situation and I think you are sincere about your joining the Catholic church, with which I am very familiar.  Pastors and spiritual leaders have a responsibility to impress the importance of the religion’s morality on those who wish to undertake a spiritual discipline- in essence, that is their job.  To achieve credibility, sometime in the past, priests and nuns were asked to maintain a life of celibacy.  Many do.  Many cannot maintain this goal.  I personally do not believe that marriage and serving God have to be separate-  I think it is innate in human beings to find the one that completes them… and that we are driven to it.  If we do not confront our emotional needs honestly, we may suffer later.  So, you seek to join a truly noble ideal.  It may serve well to “fast” for a time while you take the sacraments.  Or rethink becoming Catholic.  Seriously, to be any kind of real Christian demands this kind of self questioning.  There are those who will say, “I will just lie about what I do and it doesn’t matter”.There are those who will say, “It’s nobody business but my own.”  There are those who will say, “Well, he wants me to be this way, so I will be this way for him.”  And I have to say to that, that there will be a time in life when these things matter deeply.  Spiritual things will shape your life in one way or another, even if you do not perceive it.  Spiritual things will save you from a divorce in your 40’s and let your children have a Grammy and PawPaw who still kiss each other in the kitchen. Spiritual things will see you through breast cancer, affairs, teenagers and getting old and grey.  Spiritual things matter.  Probably more later than now for you… but wow, great dividends.

Post # 14
Member
2195 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Take a look at this:

http://www.usccb.org/laity/marriage/marriagefaqs.shtml

 

Just as I remembered from my high school religion class, the Catholic church DOES recognize a marriage between a Catholic and non-Catholic.  No, it is not considered a sacrament, but it is still recognized as a marriage by the Catholic church.  Is it really so important that you receive the sacrament of marriage?  There are many Catholics who do not receive the sacrament of Marriage, and most don’t receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.  You are still considered a Catholic in good standing if you do not receive the sacrament of marriage.

 

I agree with the above poster that you should truly evaluate whether you ACTUALLY want to convert to Catholicism.  If you believe in your deepest of hearts that some of its teachings are incorrect, then why convert?  You’re just leading yourself into a life of internal struggle, guilt, and frustration.  Perhaps you should hold off your baptism and spend several years diving into the Catholic teachings, and talking with your husband about all of this should help too.  Being baptized into a religion with such complicated doctrines isn’t something to be taken lightly.  And remember that if you ultimately do decide to be Catholic, you won’t be any “less” of one because you waited a few years or never received the sacrament of marriage (and I’m not sure that there is no way to receive the sacrament after you’ve married anyway, perhaps ask a knowledgeable priest about this).

Post # 15
Member
2867 posts
Sugar bee

Do you actually want to wholeheartedly convert?  If yes, then go to Confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation) and talk to your RCIA leader about it.  For me, I live with my Fiance, seperate beds and rooms, we live chastely.  However, in order to receive the Holy Communion you cannot be in a state of mortal sin.  I’m sure your class has covered that, premarital relations and even birth control is considered a mortal sin. 

Like you, I went through RCIA.  My instructors were amazing, helpful, and weren’t judging but they were also matter of fact about these things b/c they are Church doctrine.

If no, you don’t want to be Catholic, you can get married in the Church, they actually encourage you to do so (they won’t recognize a marriage if done elsewhere unless you’ve been married so long and some other requirements).  You probably won’t be able to have a full Mass wedding b/c I think both of you have to receive and be members of the Church, the nonMass ceremony part leaves out the Holy Communion.

 

Good luck!

Post # 16
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

When reading your letter, I def. got that you were OPEN to learning more and following the churches teaching, but that you were (reading between the lines here) essentially nervous about taking that step.

Converting to Catholicism is something you need to do for you, not for your fiance or the sake of a “ceremony.” Now, like chelseamorning, perhaps as you’ve gone through class you HAVE fallen in love with the church, and her teachings, and do indeed strive to be more holy and learn deeper into the church. And in that case, I do rec. learning more and looking deeper into why the church teaches what she does, and like chelseamorning, perhaps you’ll see the beauty in it. If not, if your unsure of things, you probably SHOULD step back, learn more and decide if you do believe in the Catholic church. It could be small (but grave) things, like morality issues of pre-marital sex, birth control, and abortion/corporal punishment… or they could be huge, like believing that Jesus is fully present in the Eucharist.

If you have issues with core beliefs, like communion, then I suggest stepping back for a bit, re-examine those things, and go from there. If they are more of a matter of “personally seeing the good” like moral issues… I suggest moving forward towards your sacraments and learning more. IF come easter you don’t want to make a confession of your practice of these moral components, then don’t receive the sacraments.

I can rec. a LOT of good books to you on any of the above matters. They will help you recognize the reasons behind those beliefs… Or, feel free to PM me any questions on why we believe what we do, I hope, like chelseamorning, you’ll actually find that these beliefs are freeing and not “old,” “judgmental,” or “restrictive.”

I also highly rec. the book, “Taking charge of your fertility” and taking an NFP/FAM class, since BC is one of your admitingly hard positions. There’s a lot of NFP info on here, but it is so amazingly freeing and not hard or scary at all. On the contrary, the benefits of it are huge! Benefits towards your health, relationship, and the earth.

Thank you for your honesty, I know the church is a lot to take in, which is why there’s such a long process… but I pray you’ll find the answers you seek and be open to the reasons behind them.

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