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Larisa wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a Protestant who is considering marrying a Catholic. Everything between us is wonderful except our faiths.

We have had serious discussions about our faiths and their differences. I have no intention of trying to convert him away from Catholicism. Rather I am concerned that I will not be able to be happy with or supportive of raising children Catholic. I am also concerned that, while it doesn't bother me now, I will eventually become unhappy with the fact that we do not share the same faith.

I guess I am just looking for advice on what to do. I want to stay with him and know that my only two options are:

  1. Converting myself or
  2. Being OK with being Protestant in a family of Catholics.

I've tried to read things about conversion but a lot of it is very dismissive and condescending to Protestantism and I find the attitude upsetting. Even if I became a Catholic:

  • I would never consider Protestants to be less Christian than Catholics or
  • unable to obtain salvation.

I think my remaining Protestant would only lead to heartache and frustration in the marriage.

  • Do you have any recommendations for me?

I'm at a loss.

Thank you for reading my question.

Larisa

  { Do you have any recommendation for a Protestant who feels uncomfortable raising Catholic kids? }

Bob replied:

Larisa,

I'm very sorry that your experience of some conversation stories has been condescending. While there may be some like that, I assure you, most are not. Try reading Rome Sweet Home by the Hahns or any of Scott Hahn's books on issues that are difficult from a Protestant perspective. He is a convert and is certainly not looking down at our separated brethren.

Ironically, ex-Catholics are often the worst critics of Catholicism and ex-Protestants are the best proponents of it, without being bitter of their former home. That is because they were always following the Lord in both places, while Catholics have not done so as much.

I wouldn't give up on exploring the Catholic faith. Your marriage would be a lot better for it, as you intuit. Pray that the Lord leads you to the fullness of truth, keep an open mind, ask lots of questions, and go to authentic sources like this one to find answers.

God bless you,

Bob Kirby

Larisa replied:

Thank you for your response Bob!

I very much appreciate it! I tracked down a copy of Rome Sweet Home and look forward to using it as a starting point in my explorations. It's very nice to talk to someone who — while disagreeing strongly — doesn't devalue Protestant denominations.

Thank you again.

Best,

Larisa

Bob replied:

Larisa,

Scott Hahn is a gift to all Christians and it was his Protestant formation that gave him such an incredible love of Scripture. Reading his books will really elevate you. He has so enhanced the lives of countless Catholics around the world.

Enjoy,

Bob Kirby

Larisa replied:

Hey Bob,

I just finished the book by Scott Hahn and it was very helpful. I might actually ask my Catholic boyfriend to look at parts of it because Hahn does a lovely job of explaining fundamental Protestant beliefs and I want my boyfriend to understand where I'm coming from.

I'm not trying to convert him, I just want him to understand why some Catholic dogmas are difficult for me.

I really liked how Hahn discussed the Scripture behind Catholic practices and I was blown away by his Scripture-supported! assertion that Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide are not supported by the Bible in the ways I have grown up believing them to be supported.

This book gave me a great starting point for my research into Catholicism and I've decided that my next step is to really investigate those two assertions, both of which I never have really critically examined.

Thank you for encouraging me in my exploration!

Larisa

Bob replied:

Larisa,

Those two issues are addressed in a fairly lengthy manner in two books by Robert Sungenis:

They are thorough and written in a way Protestants would relate to.

God bless,

Bob

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