Anyone Born and Raised Catholic and Are No Longer ?

Updated on September 17, 2011
C.C. asks from Crown Point, IN
24 answers

I was born and raised in the Catholic church. My husband was raised Methodist. Got married in Catholic church, got daughter baptised in catholic church and are now seeking to have our baby boy baptised too. The parish has a different pastor then when my 4 yo was baptised. I do not go to church very often - only occasionally and the times I have gone I have not bothered putting in an envelope.. Apparently the priest refuses to baptise our now 10 month old cause he needs to see proof that we are indeed attending church - ie he wants us to from now on to submit our envelopes (with or without money - he says) consistently for 3 months. My husband is irked by this as well as I. Its causing strife amongst me and my parents as well as me and my husband. He is not much into catholicism and even more so after this (only solidifying his theory that all the church wants is money) and I dont want to force him to get our son baptised in the catholic church. This whole thing has caused me to question the catholic religion and seek other churches.
Looking for why you left the catholic church and where you ended up going.

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So What Happened?

Just to clarify a few things - the church we wanted to have our son baptised in is my parents church in which both are very active members of. In fact the father knows them by name personally which is why I was so surprised by his response. And yes, I was told that I diidnt necessarily have to put money in the envelopes but I question if that is really true or that if I turn in my envelope with no money in it will I be gettting a call telling me they havent seen any monetary donations from us or not enough. Really, do you think the priest would actually have the gumption to tell me that I need to include money in those envelopes??? I doubt it.

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answers from Philadelphia on

i love how they think it will save an innocent baby but are ok to not do it if the parents don't show up and put envelopes in, I went to catholic k-college, got my daughter baptized, believe in a greater being but not the catolic religion, its too money hungry and when you look into the history people changed a lot of the rules and beliefs on their own, ex. priests getting married, woman being in power....

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answers from Albany on

Grrr, can't IMAGINE why American Catholics are leaving the church in hoards!

Find another Catholic church you like, they're not ALL like this.

Or go with another denomination. I don't think God agrees that Catholicism is the only REAL Christian Church.



(Yeah, I'm a Catholic.)

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answers from Los Angeles on

Born and raised a Catholic, went to church every Sunday no matter what until 18 years old. No longer Catholic and I left because of the hypocrisy, recycled and uninspired homilies, lack of truly studying the bible and God's word during mass, and the disgusting handling of priest pedophilia. I truly don't mean to offend practicing Catholics, but these are my personal reasons.

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answers from Miami on

I am Catholic. This is what gives our religion a bad name. Tell the priest that you know that he is required to baptize your baby regardless. IF he refuses than you can either contact your bishop or just go to another church. Please tell your husband that it is this priest (and he is a human, just like any other minister in any other religion) that wants the money and not "the church".

If you want a vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, then just contact Fr. O'Reilly at St. David's Catholic church. He'll baptise your baby - you just have to attend the parents' class in advance. It might seem like an inconvenience but honestly - you should know what you are doing and you could attend class on Tuesday and baptize on Sunday - a one week vacation. There is no fee involved.

St. Sebastian's Church, also in Ft. Lauderdale, actually will not take any money for the performing of sacraments. Weddings, funerals, are free - and you don't pay to have a mass offered for someone - free, but no mass card is given. Oh, and you do have to pay to rent the hall if you want your reception there.

Good luck! C.

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answers from Chicago on

I'm sorry, I'm confused. Didn't you just say the pastor said the envelopes don't have to have money in them? If all they wanted was money, why would the pastor explicitly point out "with or without money?" Seems like your husband is seeking justification to pull your family away from the Catholic Church.

ETA: By the way, when I was in college I attended Mass for 4 years at a parish and NEVER put a dime in my envelopes. I didn't have any money left after covering my tuition and housing/food needs. When I graduated and we went to my parish to get married, they didn't ask me to donate. They had seen me there every Sunday for 4 years and we sat down and planned our ceremony. The envelope is just proof of attendance/participation in the life of the parish, which is centered around the Sacrifice of the Mass.

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answers from Dallas on

I denounced Catholicism when I was 11. The hypocrisy in the Catholic church is rampant. I also remember when I was forced to go into confession at 10 and I had nothing to confess, so I lied in confession. How screwed up is that? I never went back. Their teachings that all will go to hell except the Catholics was the final nail in the coffin for me. My grandmother was a cafeteria catholic - in other words, she would pick and choose what she liked and disregard the rest. I can't do that with my faith.

I would say have your son baptized Methodist. My husband is Methodist and that is what we did.

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answers from Dallas on

I was raised Catholic, am still Catholic, and I LOVE being Catholic. :-) I agree with what a couple of the other ladies wrote... Since the priest said your envelopes could be handed in with or without money, he is obviously not trying to get your money. He wants you to attend and to raise your child in the faith. So many people have their kids baptized but never bring them to church. There is a great lack of understanding among Christians of all faiths regarding what baptism is and what it does. The fact that many Catholic churches offer a class for parents prior to having their children baptized is a good thing. The fact that the pastor at your church wants you to be consistently attending church before having your baby baptized is a good thing also. It makes sense that he (the pastor) would want that. In my experience with folks who are disheartened by their experience as Catholics, so much of it stems from a lack of knowledge about what the Church teaches as opposed to what other people (especially non-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics) believe the Church teaches. Take some time to learn more about the Church before deciding that it is money-hungry, etc, etc. Personally, I would never leave the Church for another one because of what I do know and understand. Sure there are many issues of concern, but that is because of the human factor! :-) Any time you have people involved, there are going to be sins, mistakes, etc. Good luck to you and your family! God bless you.

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answers from New York on

If you don't believe in the religion, then why would you want to have your child Baptised? I'm being completely serious here. Either you are someone who believes in the practice or you don't. If you do- go to Church and practice the religion so that the Sacrament has some meaning. If you don't attend Church and do not live in that manner, then don't bother with the Baptism.

Are you looking to pick another church just to have your child Christened? In which case if you want it to look and feel like a Catholic Church, try an Episcopal Parish. Don't be surprised, though, if they would like you to be a practicing member as well before they welcome your child into their community.

If you are doing this more for your parents, then have them make the request in their Parish and have your child Baptized there. If they are long-term members there (especially if they are active) then the Pastor may be willing to Baptise their grandchild as a favor to them.

PS- the priest said with or without money, so your husband's argument is pretty flimsy. We attend Church weekly and still had to submit our "envelop number" on the Baptism Request form. They checked how often we were attending. We also had to submit that information when we were asked to be Godparents.

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answers from Washington DC on

Yup, I am surprised and not suprised at the same time. They want your parish "membership" but I am shocked they wouldn't be more worried about your child's mortal soul.

My husband and I are Catholic - I went to Catholic school for 13 years - and we have baptized our children Catholic. We plan to have them recieve their First Eucharist in the Catholic Church and are doing religious ed as part of this. We are not rigorous church attenders. We plan to go more now that our daughter is going to make her first communion. After that, we plan to attend the Unitarian Meetings near us and have our kids do Sunday school there, unless they express a preference to attend the Catholic mass.

I do feel the part of a hypocrit here, but my husband and I are so NOT in sync with the Church for a variety of reasons. I feel like we owe it to our daughters to share their heritage with them and give them the background and experiences to practice Catholocism. At the same time, there are many things we just can't identify with or justify, and I feel the need to share that with them too.

So, the sort answer to your post is to look at Unitarian congregarions. All my research suggests they focus more on spirituality and religion as different ways of addressing faith and take a global world appreciation of religion rather than adhereing to any one dogma. Lots of "mixed" religion couples do this.

I also have a friend who attends an Episcopal Church. They are very simlar to Catholic, and that might work for you to feel comfortable in a more traditional but open church setting.

All Catholic Churches are not created equal either - our very conservative diosese is very difficult to take. But we attend a more open and friendly Selesian-run church (non-diosocean) and I grew up with Jesulits and Sisters of Mercy who were wonderful.


Added: My SIL had her child baptized in her mother's church, since she doesn't really attend church, so that's another idea - go to a parent's parish.

By no means do I mean to discourage you from practicing your faith, and I also understand the church's desire to have parishoners take priority over people who don't attend (they do the envelope thing for prioritizing students for a Catholic school near us too.) Just sharing some options :)

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answers from Seattle on

Born and raised. And we weren't allowed to be C&E mass attendees only (Christmas and Easter). We went to mass every week and on holy days. Oddly, even with all that, we seemed to have gotten off schedule in my house. I didn't get confirmed until I was a senior in high school, and it was all my idea. I think I was trying to really find out if I believed. I completed the course, got confirmed, and promptly figured out that I didn't and don't believe in any of it. I'm an atheist. But, at least I gave it a try.

For your issue, I agree with two rather contradictory posts below.

First, since the envelopes can be empty, it seems like the priest is only wanting you to be participating members of his parish before he performs the ceremony. There are soooo many folks who only want to get married, get baptized, have the kids attend a school, etc. who really have no interest in the church.

On the other hand, he is a priest and should feel some compulsion to save the infant's soul. It does seem odd that he won't. And 3 months is a long time. I'd want (if I believed) to get it done asap.

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answers from Columbus on

Just a thought--check to see if there is a Newman center near you; I think in your state, it's They are much more open & less judgemental and are usually based at a university, to serve the college students.

I was raised Catholic, and was married in the Catholic church, per my preference (DH is at best agnostic, though he was "sort of" raised Catholic). However, even in middle school & high school I questioned the church's teachings.

I have come to believe that there are many paths to the Truth, and they should all be respected, and I finally got brave enough, 8 years after we got married, to explore more. I now attend the Unitarian Universalist church, which does not preach a creed, but instead strive to follow the 7 principles (There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:
* The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
* Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
* Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
* A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
* The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
* The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
* Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.)
UU draws from many religious and non-religious traditions, and I would urge you to check them out. I finally found the place I belong at my local UU church.

All churches have to be "money grubbers" to some extent or another, but the Catholic Church itself (think, Vatican, or think of it as a nation) is actually the wealthiest organized religion in the world. A congregatioal church generally relies entirely on the donations and fundraising of it's members and gets no income from outside their individual church. I think, however, he is using the money as a means to show that you are an active Catholic. It is not uncommon for the priests to want to see their parishioners are actually attending service. What is the point of baptizing if you're not going to follow up with going to church regularly (is there thoughts).

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I was raised Catholic. Now attend a non denominational Christian church more focused on grace than law.

It really shouldn't be a big deal to you where or by whom you get your child christened--you can actually do it yourself. A priest is simply a man, not a magical being with superhuman baptizing powers!

Walk into any other church in your area & I'll bet you $20 they will christen your baby boy THAT very day, if you'd like!

ETA* The reason they want to see the weekly envelopes is to "prove" to them that you ARE attending on a regular basis. And while I "get" that, I don't get why anyone would jump through hoops to have a ceremony performed by an institution that they don't attend, support or involve in their lives. (Not YOU, per se...just people in general.)

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answers from Chicago on

My husband and I were both raised Catholic. He attended Catholic schools, including a degree from a Catholic University. When we adopted our daughter neither one of us attended church and I just didn't see raising her as a Catholic when I felt that I couldn't support basic elements of the religion. I started doing some research and found an Episcopal church near us that I felt comfortable with. We are now raising her in the Episcopal faith and attending and teaching Sunday School. I have no regrets about my decision and felt it was right for us. While many at our church were raised in the Episcopal faith, it seems that almost an equal number were raised as Catholics.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm Catholic and still am Catholic, so I'm not able to answer your question as to why one leaves the Catholic Church.
It's too bad the priest is requiring this of you because it has turned you and your husband off, and I can't blame you for that. But since you've begun to question the Catholic religion and seek other churches, it sounds like Baptizing your child in the Catholic Church isn't that important to you and your husband. You should seek other churches, as you're doing. Hopefully, you will find one that you really like.

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answers from San Francisco on

Couples with children come to our church all the time to get their children baptised. Many have never attended mass with us. I do know that the family at our church is required to attend a baptism class. I cannot imagine that money is required. The priest always performs a beautiful baptism. Our parish always has hospitality after and we welcome the new family and gush over the children. I love the baptisms. It is especially nice to watch those children grow up and to become friends with the parents as the years go by. Sometimes, however, it can be disappointing when it is clear that that vast majority of these families never come back to mass. It is like a ticket punch moment for them, when we really do try to welcome them to the community. I will admit, not too proudly, that there are days when I notice people I have never seen before dressed to the nines and I groan because I realize it is another baptism and that means another 30 minutes added to mass and yes, sometimes I have appointments scheduled and things to get done. Can you see this issue your are trying to deal with from the other side? Baptism does not seem to mean the same thing to you as it does to the community that will be participating with you. That seems to be the isse here, not money.

If you do not attend mass at this church, then perhaps you need to find another Catholic church that you feel connected to so that you will perhaps be inspired to attend mass. Or perhaps you should leave the Catholic faith and find another place that you feel more connected to. Perhpas your husband would be more comfortable at a Methodist church?

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answers from Chicago on

Sounds like you need to attend a different church for the baptism.

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answers from Phoenix on

Once baptized, your son would become a member of the church, so if you baptize your child in the Catholic Church, you are saying as the parent you are going to raise them in the Catholic Church.
How can you honestly say that you will raise your son as a Catholoic during your son's baptism if you don't even attend mass now?
I think the priest did a poor job of explaining to this to you. He is not trying to just take your money or force a religion on you. He is trying to help you realize what baptism is and what it means by encouraging your own attendance in church.
When my first son was born 3 years ago, we asked our church (which we attended pretty much every Sunday for 5 years) how to get him baptized. They also told us we needed to prove attendance with full or empty envelopes. We always just throw cash in the collection never realizing we should properly register and put the cash in an envelope. We had to wait til our son was 4 mos old. It doesn't annoy me really because I see the reasoning behind it.
Do research into the faith, speak with the priest in a meeting (bring your husband too) to show your concerns and bring your thoughts into the light. God is the most important part of life (IMO) and deserves that. If the other mama's question about "why don't you want to save my son's soul?" bothers you, ask!
Whatever faith you choose to baptise your son in, please do it with purpose and reason. :)

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answers from Columbus on

If a catholic church tries to exclude you based on lack of donations, find another catholic church. Complain to your bishop. They should not be doing that in the first place.

People leave the catholic church usually because they don't have a clear understanding of the catechism and don't understand the significance of the sacraments. Even if our priests give terrible homilies, use the homily to ask for donations, or sing sappy songs at mass, I would still not want to leave the church.

Why? Because I believe that the catholic church is the church founded by Christ and his apostles. I know that the practices of the catholic church are the same as those of the early church, based on the writings of the early church fathers, many of whom were taught the faith by the apostles. Practices such as infant baptism and the eucharist have not changed.

I also don't believe in moral relativism. There is an absolute truth, and it has been passed down through the teachings of the church. The church's teachings have not changed based on social pressures because you can't change the truth.

I believe in the real presence. I believe the sacraments of reconciliation and eucharist confer grace, which assist you greatly in leading a more holy life.

I would encourage anyone who doesn't understand catholicism to read the catechism, which you can find online. You can also read writings of the early church fathers online at

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answers from Detroit on

When I was a freshman in high school, even though I went to a Catholic HS, I was not attending the feeder HS in the area. My brother was attending a Catholic prep school that required board there. He was referred to the school by the deacon who was at the parish at the time. My parents had attended the church's elementary school, got married there, baptized us there. We attended the elementary school as well. My mom baked pies and cookies for bake sales, volunteered to run bingos, ran the women's group, etc. We attended mass weekly, and participated in many of the seasonal rituals, from set up, the function itself, and clean up. The church, school and the neighborhood was our social life.

Also the year I went to HS, my parents bought a business and had no extra money. These were difficult times for us.

That same year the parish got a new pastor. His new rule was that everyone had to pay a certain amount, or the family would be thrown out of the church.

I found out when I came home from school one day and found my mom staring at a letter in her hands. My mom was crying like I have never heard and seen before. Deep-throated sobs.

All those years. All that service. All that money. It was the very moment that our family needed the parish's help.

I stopped attending church, and I haven't looked back.

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answers from Sioux City on

The Priest really does JUST want to know if you are attending and the envelope is the easiest way to verify that you have been there. The Priest is taking his job very seriously. To have your child baptized in the Catholic Church is to say that you are going to raise your child Catholic. You can't possibly raise your child Catholic if you are only attending Mass every once in awhile. Three months really is a very short amount of time. I left the Catholic Church for a time and then I began to wonder why the Catholic Church taught what it did. I read and study about the early Church fathers and found that the Catholic Church was indeed the place for me. Instead of getting angry about what the Priest has asked you to do, go talk to him. Ask him why. You may be surprised at what you have found.

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answers from New York on

My sister in law was raised catholic. When she met my BIL she would still go to church every sunday. One day we were at her house and she got the mail and went off. They sent her a letter telling her that she had to give more and even told her the amount that she should give. She was upset cause she couldn't afford the amount that they wanted her to give. I think that it is sad when you can't afford to go to church. When they were planning their wedding she converted to presbyterian like my BIL. She couldn't take the catholic church telling her what to do. Both of her kids are now baptized presbyterian. I am a firm believer that you should be able to give what you want. Not to be told what to give. I am presbyterian and when we do go to church I give what I can. They are no envelopes with names. If I were you I would search for another church that will do it for you or have your child baptized Methodist.
My husbands uncle and my Grandfather also converted to presbyterian because of these same issues and that was 40 years ago. So these issues didn't just start recently. It has been happening for years.
Also a friend of ours just recently had their son baptized. The mother is catholic and the father is presbyterian. He was baptized presbyterian with no questions asked. They do not go to church on a regular basis atleast she doesn't and he goes rarely. We are not members of a church and we had no problems getting our daughter baptized.
I wish you luck in your quest for a church and hope everything turns out ok for you.

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answers from Spartanburg on

Ok, so I am Italian, born and raised, actually from Rome, capital of Catholicism, so I just had to pitch in. First of all let me tell you that Religion, ANY religion, is a culturally influenced phenomenon. That means that geography, history and even economy shape the way people perceive religion and interpret its basic beliefs. While living in the US I came accross other kinds of catholic people. Irish catholic, for example, are way more conservative than we Italians are (you are probably dropping your jaw now) and it can be explained by the fact that Ireland is an island and the isolation provided by this simple geographical feature - as opposed to Italy being in the center of the Mediterranean baisin, therefore more exposed to a great variety of dominations and cultures- made possible for more "extreme" views to radicate in the territory. So, you see, same religion, slightly different ways to perceive/practice/interpret it. Also, many of the Italian immigrants who moved to the new world between 1800 and 1900 came from the south of Italy, where the masses were poorer and found comfort in religion; they were (still are) more religious or, I should say, more "praticant" (not sure it's a word), they not only believed, they incorporated religious practice to their everyday life. So Catholicism in America differs from what we have in Italy (particularly from Rome going upward towards the North of the country) because of the heavy presence of Irish-southern Italian people who first spread their religion in the country, marrying each other and therefore affecting each other 's way to be a "Catholic".I experienced first hand American Catholics are often more "observant" (ot try to be) than we are, especially in relation to religious practices. My son was born in the US, I too went to the parish (I never attended because obviously I was new to the country) to ask for baptism and I too was asked to attend mass and provide money with the named envelope. I was SHOCKED. I flat out told the priest that it was immoral to link money to religious service, that IN ROME, excuse me, NOBODY EVER asks for money except the little basket that goes around during mass where people drop money IF THEY WANT/CAN and there's no envelope wit their name on so the priest can tell who is more generous than who is not. I WAS FURIOUS. The priest was embarassed but I could tell he was just doing what it is considered (sadly) the norm. Needless to say, i baptized my son in my church in Rome and never stepped in an american catholic church anymore. But, see, this does not make me any less than a catholic, infact the ugly that there is in ANY religion, it is brought about by the people, not by the religion itself. So it's sad that a minister of the Church is forcing you to question your beliefs and i advice you to reflect on what is Catholicism all about without letting this obscene practice of asking for money ruin your celebration. I hope you can find a different parish or priest, i too would not (and did not) give in to this request. As I stated above, not all Catholics are the same. Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

If you wish at all to remain Catholic, I would look for another Catholic church to attend in your area. I don't think I would exclude my lifelong religion because of one jerk of a priest. I've heard of such great experiences in the past 10 yrs with many wonderful liberal priests willing to go above and beyond for just about any situation, including some of my own. Good luck in your decision.

If the envelopes don't need to contain money why does your husband think all they want is money--just curious?


answers from Tampa on

I was born to 2 Catholic parents, baptized Catholic and raised - and after 12 y/o was forced to continue with the Catholic farce and sacraments. My parents then used my daughter as a bartering chip for a promise they made to me while I was pregnant with her - that I HAD to have her baptized in order for them to fulfill their major promise (which took over 5 years to come to fruition). Now that I was pregnant with #2, they let me know that no grandchildren of theirs that are un-baptized will be eligible to get ANYTHING from their wills and estate unless they are baptized Catholic.

I am simply going to baptize my children (if husband agrees - he is also against major religions) and not plan to raise them in any faith - I'd rather them seek and learn on their own and make their own choice. I do this under duress from a strict, money hungry and anti-woman religion...

Yes - I'd be pissed at the Priest for what he said too. I'd ask my parents to talk to him and make it clear THEIR money is to be expected for the sacrament of baptism for their grandchildren.

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