This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.
Saint Augustine of Hippo is considered on of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and the Doctor of the Church.
Learn More: Saint Augustine
Someone I know very well just told me he stopped going to church two years ago and is now an atheist. He said he no longer believes in it. I'm shocked. He's 51 now, was an altar boy for many years, attended Catholic school, worked in the church rectory, is a Godfather, always attended weekly mass. He brought up the priest pedophile scandal quite a few times. When that big scandal broke years ago, he still attended mass. As an altar boy, he and other boys were friends with a priest who was accused of misconduct many years later. The priest wasn't allowed to administer the Sacraments and is retired now. This guy said if it's true, he feels sorry for the victim, not the priest, but he did say he didn't have a bad experience with this priest himself.
I don't think a person wakes up one day and says they are an atheist after being a practicing Catholic for so many years. Something must have happened. (No, he isn't in a relationship - it's not a Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes type of thing)....
He lost his faith.
This probably wasn't a hasty, overnight decision though. There were likely some lingering, unresolved issues festering in his mind for quite some time. He may have been taken in by something he read or heard that was being promulgated.
Perhaps people that know him can tactfully and diplomatically ask him. The rest of us can offer a prayer that he regains his Faith.
pray for him. in the meanwhile, don't browbeat or wheedle. he'll either come around or he won't.
when faith is centered in the head and focused on external things, this can happen. i lived that way until my late 40's/early 50's when i began to experience a deep interior conversion. at that point, my faith began the longest journey it can make - from my head to my heart. only then did i start, in a dim way, to see things in a supernatural rather than temporal light. God's hand is everywhere and in everything.
He brought up the priest pedophile scandal quite a few times.
It wasn't a pedophile scandal. It was a homosexual scandal. I mean, A LOT of alter servers are girls (more than half of them around here) but most of the victims were boys. Of couse the higher-ups will never admit to this because as soon as they do, all hell's going to break loose. Try telling that to your friend.
Someone I know very well just told me he stopped going to church two years ago and is now an atheist. He said he no longer believes in it. I'm shocked.
This is not at all uncommon. Many many people have left the church over this, and honestly, hasn't it deeply troubled us all? It may not have shaken our faith in God, but it has been profoundly discouraging and disturbing. It has certainly caused many people to be less generous in their financial support of the church.
Some people have just left the Catholic Church over this, but attend another Christian church. Others have turned away from faith altogether.
The only answer is to ask him.
Let him answer and respect him and his answer. I say this because he may still be on the fence and be wrestling with it. Responding may not be the best idea at the moment. Keeping lines of communication open is the best.
As an adult acolite I was devistated when the scandal broke, but I must say glad that the light was going to hopefully once and for all shine and get rid of all of the protection that was afforded these Bad Priests. Personally I do not think the church went far enough in removing the infrastructure that tolerated, and allowed it to continue. Many people lost faith in our heirarchy as a result. I think if our church went farther in removing all of these priests and Bishops and cardinals who knowingly gave passes I think the loss of revenue would have been much less and the perception that we cleaned house would have provided the needed incentive for people to stay in the pews. WE cannot blame those people for their responses...it is human. WE must be open and keep communication open.