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Family has a problem with my conversion watch

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    Hi,

    Basically, I'm really looking into and considering becoming a member of the Roman Catholic faith. I was baptised into the C of E, but my parents have never actively practised (only going to weddings, christenings, funerals and Midnight Mass). I've been a member of my local Anglican church choir for almost four years and have since been confirmed, and lately, since reading into Catholicism, I've found it impossible to be part of a church formed from one man's greed and bullying. I can't accept that the Queen has authority over men's consciences. There are also other reasons - my current Anglican church is really cold and the people are unfriendly. It's not a good worship atmosphere.

    Lately I've been speaking to Catholic friends, the Father of the local RC church and have done a lot of thinking and reading. I'm convinced that this is the right faith for me, on so many levels. However, my parents have found my books and learnt of my visits to Mass. My mother is being really awful; she's started using the beliefs of my dead grandfather against me. He was an alcoholic and an atheist. When she sees me with a book on Catholicism she shouts "Your grandfather would be turning in his grave - you'd absolutely disgust him!". Purely because he had a catholic first wife, and as an atheist couldn't deal with it. It's really upsetting me. I've tried arguing, that because my grandfather was so racist, he wouldn't like my Anglicanism either (a true point, he despised all organised religion). I saw him die without faith, and this pushed me into growing into faith of my own. Am I right in thinking this is emotional blackmail?

    She also shouts at me that it's a fad and I'm supporting child abuse. My dads accused me of being racist and ignorant, when I know I'm none of these things. She's also blaming a woman at my current church (who doesn't even know I'm contemplating conversion), and I'm worried she'll go and verbally or physically attack this person, thinking that they've pushed me into it (not true in the slightest!). I'm 18, I believe I have the right to decide for myself where my faith should be. I know if I continue to go to the Anglican church my conscience will be torn to pieces and I genuinely fear for my soul (please don't laugh!). At the same time, I don't want all of this conflict with my parents. They aren't staunchly Anglican, so I don't see why they should have a problem. I'm really worried I'll be disowned. They're focused on the rumours that they've heard about Catholicism and don't seem to acknowledge it is the largest christian denomination in the world.

    I'm off to Uni in September, and if I convert I think I'll do so there. I'm really not wanting to cause a family argument, or sacrifice my spiritual well being for them. Clearly, I care about my family but I think this conversion is what God wants me to do and I'm torn between following my marked path or becoming really unhappy due to my parents.
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    I thought you were going to convert to another religion altogether judging by your thread title. I'll never understand why people complain about others "converting" to a different branch of the same one. Seems quite ridiculous to me as surely the fundamentals are the same.

    Just do it anyway , if you believe in God then you should believe that god sees your intention , and yours seems , to use religious terminology , "pure".
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    (Original post by Choccielatte)
    Hi,

    Basically, I'm really looking into and considering becoming a member of the Roman Catholic faith. I was baptised into the C of E, but my parents have never actively practised (only going to weddings, christenings, funerals and Midnight Mass). I've been a member of my local Anglican church choir for almost four years and have since been confirmed, and lately, since reading into Catholicism, I've found it impossible to be part of a church formed from one man's greed and bullying. I can't accept that the Queen has authority over men's consciences. There are also other reasons - my current Anglican church is really cold and the people are unfriendly. It's not a good worship atmosphere.

    Lately I've been speaking to Catholic friends, the Father of the local RC church and have done a lot of thinking and reading. I'm convinced that this is the right faith for me, on so many levels. However, my parents have found my books and learnt of my visits to Mass. My mother is being really awful; she's started using the beliefs of my dead grandfather against me. He was an alcoholic and an atheist. When she sees me with a book on Catholicism she shouts "Your grandfather would be turning in his grave - you'd absolutely disgust him!". Purely because he had a catholic first wife, and as an atheist couldn't deal with it. It's really upsetting me. I've tried arguing, that because my grandfather was so racist, he wouldn't like my Anglicanism either (a true point, he despised all organised religion). I saw him die without faith, and this pushed me into growing into faith of my own. Am I right in thinking this is emotional blackmail?

    She also shouts at me that it's a fad and I'm supporting child abuse. My dads accused me of being racist and ignorant, when I know I'm none of these things. She's also blaming a woman at my current church (who doesn't even know I'm contemplating conversion), and I'm worried she'll go and verbally or physically attack this person, thinking that they've pushed me into it (not true in the slightest!). I'm 18, I believe I have the right to decide for myself where my faith should be. I know if I continue to go to the Anglican church my conscience will be torn to pieces and I genuinely fear for my soul (please don't laugh!). At the same time, I don't want all of this conflict with my parents. They aren't staunchly Anglican, so I don't see why they should have a problem. I'm really worried I'll be disowned. They're focused on the rumours that they've heard about Catholicism and don't seem to acknowledge it is the largest christian denomination in the world.

    I'm off to Uni in September, and if I convert I think I'll do so there. I'm really not wanting to cause a family argument, or sacrifice my spiritual well being for them. Clearly, I care about my family but I think this conversion is what God wants me to do and I'm torn between following my marked path or becoming really unhappy due to my parents.
    This is must be very difficult for you.

    I can understand your family's doubts but I think they will come around eventually.

    Are they actually capable of physical violence? Do they have a history of attacking people. I feel they are making idle threats and I wouldn't worry about them attacking your friends.

    I can understand how hurt you must feel by their hateful comments.

    It might be best not to speak to them about it at the moment and I'd continue to seek counsel from the people you trust.

    You are absolutely correct in that you have the right, as everyone does, to find their own faith.

    I'm RC, born, raised and practicing and from this perspective I think it might also help if you pray for peace within your family.
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    (Original post by Rafawozzy)
    I thought you were going to convert to another religion altogether judging by your thread title. I'll never understand why people complain about others "converting" to a different branch of the same one. Seems quite ridiculous to me as surely the fundamentals are the same.

    Just do it anyway , if you believe in God then you should believe that god sees your intention , and yours seems , to use religious terminology , "pure".
    They seem to think that all Catholic priests are paedophiles. In reality, paedophiles are more likely to be teachers....

    Precisely, it's not like I'm renouncing Christ and becoming a Scientologist.

    It's all fuelled by ignorance and rumour, and considering they aren't religious, I can't see why they should have a problem.
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    Initially, you're going to have to weigh up the benefits of becoming a Catholic vs the extent of your parents disdain.

    Secondly, I think you're going to have to appeal to their fundamental Christian values (even though they're not practising you say) and show them that whilst the Catholic Church has some alternate traditions, the two faiths are grounded upon the same principle - supposedly that Jesus Christ was the son of God, and sacrificed himself in lieu of the whole Earth's sins.

    However, and I feel really awful for you, it sounds like your rational appeals are falling upon deaf ears. Your third alternative is to give things some time to settle down, and try again. It is wholly unfair for your mother to give voice to your late grandfather - you need to realise it is your mother ventriloquising the dead, and not your grandfather speaking. No religion is without stain. So although you do not like how the Church of England was founded, the Catholic Church has had its fair share of blackened history - I don't think that your reasoning for disliking the Church of England's controversial past is really all that valid when your conversion to Catholicism has equitable issues. Stick with how it's strengthened your faith and given you joy. Your parents may re-evaluate their (oddly) violent response to your conversion, and learn to be happy for your personal spiritual development.

    Hope things get better soon
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    (Original post by CTVicky)
    This is must be very difficult for you.

    I can understand your family's doubts but I think they will come around eventually.

    Are they actually capable of physical violence? Do they have a history of attacking people. I feel they are making idle threats and I wouldn't worry about them attacking your friends.

    I can understand how hurt you must feel by their hateful comments.

    It might be best not to speak to them about it at the moment and I'd continue to seek counsel from the people you trust.

    You are absolutely correct in that you have the right, as everyone does, to find their own faith.

    I'm RC, born, raised and practicing and from this perspective I think it might also help if you pray for peace within your family.

    Thanks, my friends and I are praying they see my path is the right one for me.
    My mother will, if provoked, verbally assault my friend (this is an older woman, who has on many occasions, been there for me emotionally when my mother hasn't). This woman is completely innocent and doesn't know a thing about this.
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    (Original post by Choccielatte)
    Thanks, my friends and I are praying they see my path is the right one for me.
    My mother will, if provoked, verbally assault my friend (this is an older woman, who has on many occasions, been there for me emotionally when my mother hasn't). This woman is completely innocent and doesn't know a thing about this.
    Maybe you should diplomatically tell your friend about this? It'll give her a chance to defend herself should the need arise.

    By the way, strangely enough, I know what it's like to be friends with an older woman who's more helpful than one's own mother!
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    (Original post by CTVicky)
    Maybe you should diplomatically tell your friend about this? It'll give her a chance to defend herself should the need arise.

    By the way, strangely enough, I know what it's like to be friends with an older woman who's more helpful than one's own mother!
    I'll tell her on the quiet tomorrow. I've got the feeling she'd support me 100% in this unlike Mum.

    I just want to do this for my own wellbeing and not to cause an argument.
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    (Original post by Choccielatte)
    I just want to do this for my own wellbeing and not to cause an argument.
    There's a common saying in my hometown of Yate, near Bristol:

    "You can't say fairer than that!"

    I hope and I am sure your friend will be very supportive x
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    (Original post by Choccielatte)
    I'll tell her on the quiet tomorrow. I've got the feeling she'd support me 100% in this unlike Mum.

    I just want to do this for my own wellbeing and not to cause an argument.

    Your intentions are indisputable - I think anyone reading these posts would agree. However, what we want, and the outcome of that are often very disparate things. Your conversion is going to cause inevitable argumants and tension - based on what you've said. I don't mean to upset you in any way, but you have to be equipped with the knowledge of what's to come. It seems like you subscribe to your faith very strongly - I advise you do what any Catholic would suggest - a) Pray and b) learn about your new faith in detail, so you can wisely and competetently inform your parents about why you've made this decision and hope they will listen to you.

    If you believe this is where God is taking you, then keep in mind that God probably doesn't want us to be happy - but to love and show love to others. Sounds like your friend at Church can help you in that department :yep:
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    (Original post by Choccielatte)
    Hi,

    Basically, I'm really looking into and considering becoming a member of the Roman Catholic faith.
    I'm off to Uni in September, and if I convert I think I'll do so there. I'm really not wanting to cause a family argument, or sacrifice my spiritual well being for them. Clearly, I care about my family but I think this conversion is what God wants me to do and I'm torn between following my marked path or becoming really unhappy due to my parents.
    So don't trouble and join Ortodox Church.
    Just come to your parents and say:"Today I met one charming bear at TSR,so he opened me eyes and now I can't think about anything else.God bless the Bear and Saint Ortodox Church."
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    (Original post by Ayla Phoenix)

    If you believe this is where God is taking you, then keep in mind that God probably doesn't want us to be happy
    Er...lol is that a typo?
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    And then also say:"I'm going to go like pilgrim to Holy Third Rome-Bearlandia and meet my new friend there:yes: ."
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    (Original post by CTVicky)
    Er...lol is that a typo?

    No. Whilst my religious beliefs are are fairly liberal Christian, I don't believe that God's prime intent in creating humans was for us to be happy. That doesn't obviate from him loving us - I just don't think that's our purpose. Rather, it is in self sacrificial love towards others, even those who hate us, that we can realise our being.

    Yeah. I know. It's so Oprah. Whatever.
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    (Original post by Ayla Phoenix)
    No. Whilst my religious beliefs are are fairly liberal Christian, I don't believe that God's prime intent in creating humans was for us to be happy. That doesn't obviate from him loving us - I just don't think that's our purpose. Rather, it is in self sacrificial love towards others, even those who hate us, that we can realise our being.

    Yeah. I know. It's so Oprah. Whatever.
    Interesting points.

    It might not be His prime intent but I think any good parent would want their children to be happy. Also, if He doesn't want us to be happy, why is there a Heaven?

    And isn't it in realising our being that we become happy?

    Sorry for veering off topic OP! x
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    (Original post by CTVicky)
    Interesting points.

    It might not be His prime intent but I think any good parent would want their children to be happy. Also, if He doesn't want us to be happy, why is there a Heaven?

    And isn't it in realising our being that we become happy?

    Sorry for veering off topic OP! x
    You said it. Realising our purpose and promoting compassion and love for others in the same manner He loves us is how [I believe :rolleyes:] we become happy. Heaven is supposedly the embodiment of everything pure, good, joyful and loving. It is a distant realm from Earth.

    But, our interpretations all skew different directions. Hence so many branches of Christianity alone.

    Yes - apologies OP. We're still here primarily to support you
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    (Original post by Choccielatte)
    I'm off to Uni in September, and if I convert I think I'll do so there. I'm really not wanting to cause a family argument, or sacrifice my spiritual well being for them. Clearly, I care about my family but I think this conversion is what God wants me to do and I'm torn between following my marked path or becoming really unhappy due to my parents.
    Make sure you do some study - it's essential, I think you may have to do the RCIA or similar. Here are some resources (blogs, mostly) which may give some answers and lots of pictures of Catholic tat

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/

    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/

    http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/
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    (Original post by Spacecam)
    Make sure you do some study - it's essential, I think you may have to do the RCIA or similar. Here are some resources (blogs, mostly) which may give some answers and lots of pictures of Catholic tat

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/

    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/

    http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/
    I'm doing a lot of reading

    I've got books pre-Vatican II, and post-Vatican II as well as "Catholicism for Dummies", welcome packs from church and a Bible!
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    Well as I remember a priest saying at an RCIA thing I was at - do not commit unless you can commit fully - I felt unsure on teachings about contraception as one example and so didn't... but can understand why you feel as you do.
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    (Original post by Philosoraptor)
    Well as I remember a priest saying at an RCIA thing I was at - do not commit unless you can commit fully - I felt unsure on teachings about contraception as one example and so didn't... but can understand why you feel as you do.
    Having experienced the downsides of contraception and guilt stemming from it, I can agree with the contraception thing. I can't fully trust any method of contraception. Abortion, I couldn't go through - it's murder in my eyes.

    I can align myself with the main teachings, that's not going to be a problem. RCIA takes about 6 months according my local priest. Hence why I'd need to go through it at Uni for convenience' sake.
 
 
 
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