Faith Focused Dating. Create your Free Profile and meet your Match! Sign Up for Free
A place to learn, mingle, and share

This room is for general discussion that doesn't specifically fit into one of the other CatholicMatch rooms. Topics should not be overly serious as this is to be more of a "cafe setting."

Saint Peter's Square was created so that more people could be in the presence of the Pope and was named after Saint Peter, one of Jesus's apostles.
Learn More: Saint Peter

Bad Church Experiences

11/20/2012 new

I recently attended a lecture back in Atlanta where a friend discussed the Year of Faith. During her reference of the catechism, she talked about how some Catholic groups take the teachings in different directions. I once attended an event by one of these groups, and was so put off by what they said that I considered leaving the Church. She and I discussed this afterward, and she said "The number one reason Catholics leave the Church is other Catholics."


Add to that, I've had experiences in a few ministries with different personalities (scrupulous, legalistic, self-righteous/judgmental) that prompted me to leave them. Now, when I consider volunteering any time at church, I hesitate because of these experiences. I keep my faith private and limit my contributions to strictly monetary. The whole thing has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Has anyone else ever gone through similar experiences? How did you deal with them? Has it limited further involvement?

11/20/2012 new
Good question Carl. First let me preface by saying, I love the Catholic Church. That being said I've had times when myself and those I love felt put upon by some in the Church, some who made me feel like running for the door. Some close to me have been hurt by others in the Church. How to deal with it? We certainly don't need to go back to that same situation or group for more aggravation. But I do think forgiveness is important. Being able to see that I've done wrong too and need to be forgiven by people is important. It's a tall order by I need to do it, and continue to forgive as well as be forgiven. Thanks and God bless.
11/20/2012 new

(Quote) John-746882 said: Good question Carl. First let me preface by saying, I love the Catholic Church. That being said I've ...
(Quote) John-746882 said: Good question Carl. First let me preface by saying, I love the Catholic Church. That being said I've had times when myself and those I love felt put upon by some in the Church, some who made me feel like running for the door. Some close to me have been hurt by others in the Church. How to deal with it? We certainly don't need to go back to that same situation or group for more aggravation. But I do think forgiveness is important. Being able to see that I've done wrong too and need to be forgiven by people is important. It's a tall order by I need to do it, and continue to forgive as well as be forgiven. Thanks and God bless.
--hide--

Been there, done that and almost got the T-shirt as they say until I realized it was me who needed to change. I can empathize with Carl's comments and have spent some time reflecting on my reactions at times and finallly came to the conclusion that it is my relationship with God that really matters.. We know that Church is a great deal more than a social venue but sometimes that seems to be the level we operate at times. We are by definition imperfect so we can't go expecting it from our mortal brothers and sisters or ourselves for that matter, but we can forgive and keep trying. For me, I believe the best course is to take is to get to know, love and adore the Lord our God and focus on how I can better reflect his teachings as I deal with the others in my life.. that way, it doesn't matter what others do. And it makes sense to hang out with those who are at a similar level of spiritual practice and ability to love... it's just more fun that way.

11/21/2012 new

Jesus sought out the sinners and losers. He included all. The binding was love. Forgiveness. All Christian churches have the same crazy experiences as you described. Losers are attracted to churches and this is good. There is an unfulfilled need, healing, help needed. Our Catholic faith can meet these needs. Jesus was brilliant.

We are all losers and continue to grow in our faith and have to deal with the earthly flawed mundane craziness of other members who try to impose their own doodle-bug ideas on us.

Never let another human draw you away from your Catholic faith. It needs to be above this and stronger than any disordered human behavior. It has survived this throughout time. It will continue to do so. If one stops due to others sin than it was based on just the human experience.

I have experienced many doodle-bugs. Sometimes the Church is the only place some can feel any positon of importance and power for the first time in their lives. Some are so rigid that you would think they were God's personal assistant and mouthpiece sent to set you straight. Keep a sense of humor and keep trying to get involved with all of the above in mind. Life is crazy and all of us are one big crazy loving and not so loving community. Jesus must be laughing because our life's work is to love each one in spite of this craziness. He didn't say we had to like them but to love them.

11/21/2012 new

Oh, boy, do I have a story...

When I was in college, I did not know much about Roman Catholicism (I am Byzantine Catholic) so I went on a retreat with the Catholic Student Center hoping to make some Catholic friends and maybe discuss Latin ecclesiology. I was so shunned, I was turned off by RCs very quickly. I had people make fun of me for not having a "saint name" and pointedly ask me to join in a rosary circle after I'd already told some I didn't know the Rosary (we don't practice the Rosary, we pray the Chotki). The vast majority concluded I was Eastern Orthodox pretending to be Catholic, and I felt very hurt at this, and when even the priest, after explaining I was a "uniate" (which I was brought up to find offensive) suggested I take my confession to the Deacon instead of him.

Now, I have since educated myself on RC theology and philosophies. It is all very different (we, for example, have married priests, we don't have the same notion of mortal/venial sin, we have first communion as infants, and do not follow the Chatechism- we follow the Eastern Code of Canon Law) So, I can see how some may have been confused, but I found in my experience that many Western Catholics still just do not accept that one can be Catholic and practice the faith differently than they do. Our liturgy has not changed in 1600 years, many people do not even understand the notion of Patriarchs. I attribute it only in some circumstances to closed-mindedness, and in most to ill-educated/ignorance. It has turned what was curiosity toward accepting the entire Catholic church into an almost embitterment for me, in regards to the Latin culture...

11/21/2012 new

Oh, and as for how I dealt with it and further involvement....I dealt with it by fervently researching my own church tradition and contrasting it to others of the Catholic church, as well as even to all sorts of religions (Animism, Bhuddhism, Islam, Baptist, etc) and fundamental social foundations (such as Calvinism, Marxism, Libertarianism etc)

In this way, I felt empowered.

Further, I have not distanced myself from involvement. I actually have a Roman Catholic Godson now, and I do my best to teach him in his faith- this means going to Roman Catholic mass every week, even though I do not have an obligation to go myself. I want to teach him about the universal church and be able to answer all his questions (in this manner, I also educate his parents, who are not Catholic but wanted him to have a good moral upbringing). But, as he is RC, I want to be able to impress upon him the beautiful mysteries of the Latin church, as it is my duty. I feel a loss sometimes, that maybe I am Latinizing myself (which Pope Benedict has said we are not to do) but when I do make it to an Eastern Liturgy, I all the more feel at home and comforted that I still know the songs :-)

I would advise: educate yourself, use your common sense and try to challenge yourself, and let not the opinions or discernments of your surrounding company influence what you feel in your heart is the truth.

11/21/2012 new

I had more rough experiences when I was younger than I do now. Different priests and their ideas left a very bad taste in my mouth. I did leave the church for a while over one of these. I've also found that regional differences cloud perceptions, too. I know that I need the entire picture - a congregation that is unified and a priest that speaks common sense.


Someone said that church is more than social aspects. That is true, but my social outings involve church members almost exclusively. That's a choice. I went on retreat a few weeks ago. I know I was supposed to go, but it was difficult with some odd personalities. I'm meeting with my priest later this morning to discuss some of it. I choose to continue to try.


No one church or group is ever going to fulfill all of our needs. God first, and ask Him to guide you to where you will find your comfort zone so that you may worship and serve in comfort. Good luck heart

11/21/2012 new

(Quote) Carl-98335 said: I recently attended a lecture back in Atlanta where a friend discussed the Year of Faith. During he...
(Quote) Carl-98335 said:

I recently attended a lecture back in Atlanta where a friend discussed the Year of Faith. During her reference of the catechism, she talked about how some Catholic groups take the teachings in different directions. I once attended an event by one of these groups, and was so put off by what they said that I considered leaving the Church. She and I discussed this afterward, and she said "The number one reason Catholics leave the Church is other Catholics."


Add to that, I've had experiences in a few ministries with different personalities (scrupulous, legalistic, self-righteous/judgmental) that prompted me to leave them. Now, when I consider volunteering any time at church, I hesitate because of these experiences. I keep my faith private and limit my contributions to strictly monetary. The whole thing has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Has anyone else ever gone through similar experiences? How did you deal with them? Has it limited further involvement?

--hide--


Many years ago when I was speaking with a wise priest, he turned to me and said "You will be successful as establishing a Christian Community as Christ was and He was crucified, do you expect to do better?" It brought me up short and to this day gives me a lot to think about.

Catholic, Christians are broken people and in their own mind they think they are doing good and spreading the faith.

When one is truly dissatisfied, they must seek the truth of the church and then begin to light one candle and be that light in the darkness.

Also, I have found through the years, I am not here for the other Catholic/Christians, I am here for my relationship with God through the Church, most especially the Eucharist and the Sacraments. Seek the truth to know that it is the truth, God will not disappoint you in feeding you this. People disappoint you and these are feelings - feelings come and go but God never changes. The act of the will Soldier is what makes you strong and a strong solider brings strong leadership and that is what the Army of God needs today.

11/21/2012 new

The straw that broke the camel's back for me was when two "friends" from the parish found out I had a bad day and actually told me that I deserved it because I wasn't practicing my faith THEIR way. Although I was practicing (Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, the Sacraments, Extraordinary Ministry, Young Adults activities), they insisted that they knew that I was supposed to switch over to their group, separate from the mainstream (Latin Mass only - that's where the REAL Jesus is; no television, belief in all Marian apparitions - Medjugorje in particular, all First Friday Masses, etc.). Apparently denying myself any sort of pleasure is most pleasing to God. Doing something I enjoy for pleasure would be considered selfish. This completely put me off from the Church community. I never lost my faith, but I began seeing my church community as those who would decide that they had a God-given right and duty to tell me what God's will is for me, because THEY know this better than I do.


Years ago, I had returned for a funeral Mass to a parish that I had left for similar reasons. One of the deacons asked me why I stopped coming to Mass there, because, in his words "We had plans for you". I don't know that I care to be part of a parish where others decide and become insistent that they are the messengers of God's will.

11/21/2012 new

(Quote) Carl-98335 said: where others decide and become insistent that they are the messengers of God's will.
(Quote) Carl-98335 said:

where others decide and become insistent that they are the messengers of God's will.

--hide--


And this is where that line always seems to be crossed. God intended for us all to me messengers of His word, not His will. Far too many fail to make that distinction and end-up alienating otherwise faithfully practicing Catholics from our Faith.


theheart

Posts 1 - 10 of 47