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WantingToJoinBut wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a question. I was raised Church of God and baptized there. I recently started attending a Catholic Church after having left Christianity completely. During that in between time, I practiced non-Christian faiths.

I have since come back to God through several personal trials and am looking to join the Catholic Church. I am currently enrolled in RCIA classes.

  • How is this going to affect my joining?
  • Do I need to tell the priest now or just tell him in Confession?

WantingToJoinBut

  { Will my previous non-Christian practices effect my ability to join the Catholic Faith? }

Mike replied:

Dear WantingToJoinBut,

Your previous non-Christian practices will have absolutely no effect on your joining the faith, with two exceptions:

  1. Seeing your religious background centers on non-Christian faiths and beliefs, it may take awhile to ground yourself in basic Christian teachings and doctrines, like the Trinity, as well as other important Catholic Christian teachings.

    Your pastor and/or RCIA director, if they are good, should be able to help you here.

  2. If you held a public office in a non-Christian faith the local bishop or pastor may require that you make a public proclamation of faith . . . therefore recanting the tenets of your former non-Christian faiths.

Yes, it would be good to share your religious history to both the priests and your RCIA director. That way, they will be able to help form you into a good, faithful Catholic.

Don't worry about Confession until you have learned more about the faith.

I use to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore.

Seeing that you have started RCIA classes, I would encourage you to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as faithful Catholics.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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