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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.

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Oct 17th 2012 new

(Quote) Julie-42315 said: Someone I know very well just told me he stopped going to church two years ago and is now an athei...
(Quote) Julie-42315 said:

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)....


Any explanation?

--hide--

Hi Julie! Wow, well, nobody can speak for your friend except for him. I grew up Protestant and believed in God as a child. I was a very good child and tried really, really hard to be the very best person I could. As a teenager, there was church corruption in my church and in some others. I started to question churches. In college, when I was 18 I took a religious studies class. I learned about all the large religions of the world, Hindu, Buddhism etc. I guess I felt like how could so many millions of people be wrong? These are huge religions around the world...if Christianity was the only way to heaven...why would God do that to so many millions of people? I immediately stopped believing and did not look back for over 20 years. I admit, I was completely at peace with this decision...and I never had any change of heart until about two years ago. I still don't exactly know why I like the Catholic religion. I am not afraid of heaven, hell etc. More than anything I guess I find beauty in the goodness of it. There is a lot of scandal and corruption...and believe me two years ago...I would bet a BILLION dollars you would NEVER ever see me as a Catholic! I found the religion, weird, sexist and a disgusting use of peoples money. I have since learned of all the good things...and I do think they over weigh the bad...and that may be where your friend is. There are a lot of scandal is this Church...just yesterday the sentenced the Pope's (I think secretary) to 18 months prison for the whole VatiLeaks scandal...and a few months ago one of the top people (2 or 3 down from the pope) stepped down due to corruption in the Vatican. Again, it is for each individual to weigh the good vs bad and try to keep their belief. I do think these things turn people from the Church, and turn people from faith. It happened to me. I am still not Catholic, do to the RCIA program. I missed it the first year...then I had a very serious injury was bed bound and on disability for most of this year. I have decided to take my time...and I enjoy being in the discernment phase:o) That is simplifying things a big...but hope that this gives some insight!

Oct 18th 2012 new

(Quote) Laura-695247 said: Hi Julie! Wow, well, nobody can speak for your friend except for him. I grew up Protestant an...
(Quote) Laura-695247 said:


Hi Julie! Wow, well, nobody can speak for your friend except for him. I grew up Protestant and believed in God as a child. I was a very good child and tried really, really hard to be the very best person I could. As a teenager, there was church corruption in my church and in some others. I started to question churches. In college, when I was 18 I took a religious studies class. I learned about all the large religions of the world, Hindu, Buddhism etc. I guess I felt like how could so many millions of people be wrong? These are huge religions around the world...if Christianity was the only way to heaven...why would God do that to so many millions of people? I immediately stopped believing and did not look back for over 20 years. I admit, I was completely at peace with this decision...and I never had any change of heart until about two years ago. I still don't exactly know why I like the Catholic religion. I am not afraid of heaven, hell etc. More than anything I guess I find beauty in the goodness of it. There is a lot of scandal and corruption...and believe me two years ago...I would bet a BILLION dollars you would NEVER ever see me as a Catholic! I found the religion, weird, sexist and a disgusting use of peoples money. I have since learned of all the good things...and I do think they over weigh the bad...and that may be where your friend is. There are a lot of scandal is this Church...just yesterday the sentenced the Pope's (I think secretary) to 18 months prison for the whole VatiLeaks scandal...and a few months ago one of the top people (2 or 3 down from the pope) stepped down due to corruption in the Vatican. Again, it is for each individual to weigh the good vs bad and try to keep their belief. I do think these things turn people from the Church, and turn people from faith. It happened to me. I am still not Catholic, do to the RCIA program. I missed it the first year...then I had a very serious injury was bed bound and on disability for most of this year. I have decided to take my time...and I enjoy being in the discernment phase:o) That is simplifying things a big...but hope that this gives some insight!

--hide--


Thanks for the responses. I can see people becoming discouraged and upset over church scandals and maybe, turning away from the church but still keeping some faith in God. To hear him come right out and declare he's an atheist was startling to me. Something must have triggered it. He's always been a big baseball fan and there have been scandals linked to that sport throughout the years. Yet, he still remains a very big fan of baseball. Maybe I should bring that up. But, I agree, I can't badger him.

Oct 19th 2012 new

It's a problem that many people in our day and age are suffering from. There are literally hundreds of reasons for his loss of faith. Fear is most common. People in that age group tend to start seeing signs of their own mortality and begin to let their mind take over. Some people get religion, some people lose it.

The issue is now this, if his issue is with the priest, then he never quite understood what the faith is about. Nowhere in the world does the priest make the church. The church chooses men to carry the will of Christ, but as said a million times over, we are human. I never understood how someone could turn their back on the church because a man, when God Himself started the faith...literally.

We never lose faith in people like him however, because we know that through Christ, anything is possible. I assume the reason you're posting this question is because something like that is hard to understand, and in some ways scary. But I assure you, the Lord is not done working through him, and God always does whats best. So no matter what happens, It was meant to happen exactly as it did. :) Just keep sayin those prayers for him.

Oct 19th 2012 new

Interesting story. My ex-husband was somewhat that way, but not life long. Raised Catholic, confirmed, etc., then decided over time he was an atheist. I was not Catholic and I converted on my own, and he is now a very "militant" atheist and very outspoken for atheist rights, etc. Really only that person and God know what happened. I watched him change over time while we were married, and he made several friends in the field of science (he was an engineer) who were non-believers. I think that influenced him a lot. Maybe your friend made new friends who were held atheist or other views and they had some influence....

Oct 19th 2012 new

I believe if it was presented as you just shared, then he is open to converse with you. Certainly he may be willing to share what is on his mind if you express interest in his choice. In choosing to claim atheism, he is saying that he no longer believes that there is any God. I have lived those times in my life and left the church because I was convinced that I wouldn't find any real life if I stayed devoted to God in a world and church that seemed to be talking but not walking in Gods love, so He must not exist. Then much later separate from church I came desparate for help from God and it came when I called. Perhaps your friend will need and find Gods presence again. Some time people get mad at God and turn their back because they do not believe that God would allow certain things continue if he was real. Both my father and my cousin had spoken about a lack of belief in God to me during their life. But later I have known them both to be better devoted to prayer then before. I do believe that there are trials that cause men to become angry with God. Because of the condition of the world, they judge God as unable or unloving or unconnected. All of those positions rationally suppose and conclude then that there is no all loving God. Therefore, no God. It is difficult to try to figure God out and even impossible, yet we still somehow attempt it. It is more difficult to sit in quiet and wait for God to reveal truth to us.. We want it in our time and out terms....just like human beings aren't we.

Oct 19th 2012 new

(Quote) Christian-906961 said: It's a problem that many people in our day and age are suffering from. There are literall...
(Quote) Christian-906961 said:

It's a problem that many people in our day and age are suffering from. There are literally hundreds of reasons for his loss of faith. Fear is most common. People in that age group tend to start seeing signs of their own mortality and begin to let their mind take over. Some people get religion, some people lose it.

The issue is now this, if his issue is with the priest, then he never quite understood what the faith is about. The church chooses men to carry the will of Christ, but as said a million times over, we are human. I never understood how someone could turn their back on the church because a man, when God Himself started the faith...literally.

We never lose faith in people like him however, because we know that through Christ, anything is possible. I assume the reason you're posting this question is because something like that is hard to understand, and in some ways scary. But I assure you, the Lord is not done working through him, and God always does whats best. So no matter what happens, It was meant to happen exactly as it did. :) Just keep sayin those prayers for him.

--hide--

On a basic level, you are right when you say, "Nowhere in the world does the priest make the church." Unfortunately, the priest is always the face of the Church that people see. And people being human, they will react in a human way to the presence of a bad priest. And since in these days, the media as a whole are very anti Church, that wholly human reaction is exacerbated.

Oct 19th 2012 new
(Quote) Paul-866591 said: On a basic level, you are right when you say, "Nowhere in the world does the priest make th...
(Quote) Paul-866591 said:



On a basic level, you are right when you say, "Nowhere in the world does the priest make the church." Unfortunately, the priest is always the face of the Church that people see. And people being human, they will react in a human way to the presence of a bad priest. And since in these days, the media as a whole are very anti Church, that wholly human reaction is exacerbated.

--hide--


I know my younger brother left the chuch years ago. One reason he gave had less to do with the scandles mentioned, and a bit more with some answers he was getting. I am not sure of the questions, but the priests he spoke with all seemed to spout the "party" line from the Vatican. and didn't really try to explain things in a way that helped. It is hard to say how the priests your friend knew affecte dyour friends decision
Oct 20th 2012 new

The only one who truly knows is your friend. If he is open then perhaps if you ask him he might tell you. I think the best thing you could do for your friend is to pray for him.

Oct 20th 2012 new

(Quote) Corinna-623958 said: It wasn't a pedophile scandal. It was a homosexual scandal. I mean, A LOT of alter servers...
(Quote) Corinna-623958 said:

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.
--hide--



Shees, Corinna, I never thought of it that way....when you put it that way it makes having the gay priest very scary. I know there is one that someone started a thread on that is activitely promoting gay marriage in his state. Scary.

Oct 20th 2012 new

(Quote) Julie-42315 said: Someone I know very well just told me he stopped going to church two years ago and is now an athei...
(Quote) Julie-42315 said:

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)....


Any explanation?

--hide--
Usually, atheist witness a lot of bad things and/or have a lot of bad things happen to them. He might not be telling the truth as that wouldn't be something easy to admit. Perhaps it really is just that like so many others he can't see God in a world where so many bad things happen....who knows.

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