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A young Catholic woman I know recently told me that she is thinking of becoming Presbyterian. She likes the children's programs offered by the Presbyterian church in her town.  She thinks it is probably close enough to Catholic.  The Catholic parish doesn't have a room for taking babies and she is frustrated by how hard it is too deal with her children at church.

Obviously there are lots of things wrong with the way she is thinking, but what I am interested in is what to say to someone like this that would persuade her to remain in the Church and perhaps even move her toward tradition.  (She does not seem interested in tradition at all.)
(02-25-2012, 07:31 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]A young Catholic woman I know recently told me that she is thinking of becoming Presbyterian. She likes the children's programs offered by the Presbyterian church in her town.  She thinks it is probably close enough to Catholic.  The Catholic parish doesn't have a room for taking babies and she is frustrated by how hard it is too deal with her children at church.

Obviously there are lots of things wrong with the way she is thinking, but what I am interested in is what to say to someone like this that would persuade her to remain in the Church and perhaps even move her toward tradition.  (She does not seem interested in tradition at all.)

You can lead a horse to water....

If one cannot have fraternal correction justified (which is possible, as that is only proper in very narrowly defined circumstances), and one is setting a good example, then there is probably nothing that can be done.

Viewing the Church socially, rather than as a means to personally know God, is a major error.

One could meet her on her terms, try to use her reasoning to change her mind, but that would not really be proper I think. Or one could point out the nature of the Church, but that may not be well received (and probably won't, from your description) and may even be counter productive.

As I often write, prayer is probably the best and only good thing to do now.

As it stands, she probably is not accepting of the Faith, so the physical act is probably just a formality in terms of the moral position.

EDIT: Depending on the situation, the person, oneself, etc, I would possibly be able to justly state the facts simply at the time of the encounter, such as "But the Church is not a social group, but the gathering of the faithful who are following the one true God who established this Church and guides it until the end. Leaving it for some heterodox sect which branched from it is not logical. If it takes a minor inconvenience for you to leave the Church, what does that make of the martyrs who died for the faith?".

Obviously, those words would not be used, that would be the idea expressed in as many or few words as appropriate for the situation. But, the sort of person who would do this would probably not find that useful, so that really depends on the exact circumstances.
Fraternal correction is tough. On the one hand, we do't want to remain silent in the face of something like this, but sometimes attempts at correction can cause more harm than good.

Hmmm...I am gonna give input, but please take it with a grain of old salt, and don't feel obliged to follow it (since I tend not to follow advice people give me, and sometimes say things in a completely wrong way rather than in a charitable way).

Say to her "___, I just want to tell you that I think you should not become a presbyterian, even though your parish has its share of problems. Please reconsider this and do not leave the Church."

Walk a fine line. If you're like me, and if telling her this verbally might cause problems (because I tend to not say things in a nice way), perhaps write this to her. Leave her a note, send an email, maybe even text her this.
My reaction when she first told me this was to start explaining why sola scriptura is wrong so she wouldn't be able to expect correct teaching from them.  This made no impression on her at all and, in hindsight, I don't think it was a useful comment.  I might do better writing than talking, as CP suggests.  And I definitely need to follow what su said about praying.
(02-25-2012, 08:04 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]My reaction when she first told me this was to start explaining why sola scriptura is wrong so she wouldn't be able to expect correct teaching from them.  This made no impression on her at all and, in hindsight, I don't think it was a useful comment.  I might do better writing than talking, as CP suggests.  And I definitely need to follow what su said about praying.

That was probably the right response. Do not judge correctness by the results in the choices of others, but your intent and knowledge.

I think pleas which reinforce errors should be avoided. One should not, internally or externally, think that another person leaving is a problem for oneself. I may be having trouble expressing this thought, but in essence, it should be treated as a person jumping off a ship, while there may be a personal connection, the end result is that the people who remain on the ship are safe and the people who jump drown (or return to the ship).

In some ways, I think people who are close to us leaving the Church are a test of our perseverance. Will we think the Church is scandalous for teaching it is the one Church? Will we weaken our faith to mentally save those who we know are in peril? Will we be discouraged? We don't know until it is tested. 
Explain to her that the Catholic Church alone is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself.  It is today the same body that is was when Christ preached to His 12 Apostles.

No other body can claim access to the well of God's grace that springs from it.  No other body can claim to teach on matters of morals and dogma, on an infallible basis.  You can also introduce her to the history of Presbyterianism, that is comes from John Calvin's seriously warped views and John Knox's rebellious violence and frankly downright insane rhetoric.

Oh, I've been there and done that. There's no Eucharist, no Mary, no mystery of the holy Mass. Just a preacher and an American flag and a bible study sort of sermon with some signing at their service.... If she's like me, she'll realize there's something major missing, she made a big mistake--baby sitting or not--and she'll be back.
Lately it seems only prayer can work.

tim
(02-25-2012, 07:31 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]A young Catholic woman I know recently told me that she is thinking of becoming Presbyterian......She thinks it is probably close enough to Catholic......... 

She's right -  Presbyterian is close enough to the NO . . . . . . .  Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church dedicates new home

........But on Sunday, church leaders were elated simply to have their own home again. After the old building burned, they worshipped at two nearby Catholic sanctuaries — the historic Our Lady and St. Cecilia — and the office of Portland Avenue Presbyterian was in a trailer.

Church leaders thanked their Catholic neighbors for sharing the worship spaces, and among those joining in the celebration was the Rev. John Burke, pastor of Good Shepherd Church (which was formed in a recent merger of Our Lady, St. Cecilia and St. Anthony parishes).

The ecumenical venture had its lighter moments.

The Rev. Deborah Uchtman, who until recently was Portland Avenue Presbyterian’s co-pastor, recalled teaching a children’s Bible class at one of the Catholic churches, where crucifixes that include Christ’s body are a fixture.
Presbyterian churches typically display crosses without Christ’s body.........


 
Sounds like she needs Catechisis 1 o 1 and hasn't a clue what it means to be Catholic. You have a hard job there.
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