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Seeking Answers wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm a confused Atheist drawn towards Catholicism. I was brought up in a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, left to become an atheist, and am now surrounded by:

  • atheists
  • liberals, and
  • gay friends (all great people)

but I can't find peace in my life. I can't shake the feeling I have about being drawn to Catholicism and think if I learn to pray the Rosary I will find peace. Although I'm being drawn to Catholicism, so many of their core beliefs are abhorrent to me:

  • no women priests
  • anti — :
    • gay marriage, and
    • contraception

and to top that, I'm not even sure if I even believe in God.

  • Can anyone help or advise me?

Seeking Answers

  { What should I do if I feel drawn to Catholicism but deplore its core beliefs? }

Paul replied:

Dear Seeking,

Perhaps you could begin by telling us what it is that seems to draw you to Catholicism.

Paul

Seeking replied:

Hi, Paul —

If I'm going to re-explore Christianity then Catholic Christianity is the only authentic Church.

It is not at odds with science and evolution, and the ritual, tradition, and history seems to be inviting the opportunity to hopefully have a spiritual relationship, though the rational side of my brain keeps fighting that desire.

In fact, I'm not sure if I want a spiritual relationship or whether I just miss the daily reflection on what it is to be a good person in this world by thoughts and deed — something which is incredibly hard to focus on without some kind of formalized structure or ritual.

Essentially, I have a strong fascination with and feel drawn to the Church. I want to believe in God, but I know I'm not there ... yet. I know there is no other [church/religion] I feel right about exploring this journey with but I do not feel that Jesus was anti-women having a higher role in decision making and leadership in the faith than they do at present and unfortunately that situation may not ever change in the Catholic Church. Women also had a much stronger role in the early Church than is granted to them now, which troubles me greatly. It was a great stumbling block to my spiritual relationship with the Church as a child.

Also, I can't believe that God has any issue with people being gay and in them responding to that urge in a loving committed relationship. I'm not trying to argue the point. I know the Catholic viewpoint on this is not flexible but my conscience disagrees.

I suppose I'm just unsure what to do. I feel this strong calling to explore, maybe even join, the Catholic Church but my conscience is stumbling on these two issues. I don't want to lie to myself or the Church.

Despite this calling, I feel I would be wasting the Church's time exploring the faith further,
yet I can't let go of the feeling that this is where I should be.

Add that to the fact that I will lose all my family and friends, thus I am feeling very confused.

  • What should I do if I feel drawn to Catholicism but deplore its core beliefs?

Seeking Answers

Paul replied:

Dear Seeking,

Let's respond to your comments in the order they're written:

  1. There is no reason why one can't be rational and spiritual at the same time. In fact, that's how we're made, with a mind and heart, intellect and will, able to reason and to love.
    It's a [both/and] proposition in being human.

  2. It makes no sense to divorce God from the notion of being good. God clarifies what it means to be good and gives us the grace to actually be good.

  3. You are correct. Jesus is not anti-women. Seeing that He is God incarnate He can't possibly be. Being anti-woman would have included ordaining women as priests.

    Such an act is below the dignity of women, as it would be for men to enter the convent. It's apparent that one reason Jesus chose only men to be His Apostles is because, unlike the contemporary western world, He understands that males and females are different but equal. The modern world falsely equates equality with sameness.

  4. As mentioned, the modern world is in a state of denial that God created male and female as different but complementary sexes, as masculine and feminine principals, to unite and procreate. Abuse of the sexual reproductive system, no matter how strong the disorder to do so, is obviously wrong. You don't have to be religious to see this.

My take is that you are drawn to the Church because you are drawn to God. It's like a flower being drawn to the sun and its light. God is the only way to human happiness. Pray that He may heal any malformation of conscience that may have occurred in your formative years so you may feel more comfortable in fully embracing the fullness of His Truth and Life in His extended Body, the Church.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Dear Seeking Answers,

Thanks for the question.

If you wish to get answers to many questions you have, try our searchable knowledge base:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/SiteSearch

Just type in keywords on topics that confuse you like:

  • Mary
  • Pope
  • Purgatory
  • gay people
  • Mass
  • sacraments
  • women priests
  • etc.

There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I would encourage you and your close friends to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics rather than learning our so-called beliefs from those who are not even Catholic or, who are Catholic but, who dissent from the Church.

Mike

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