I’ve long since given up reading advice columnists; in fact I now have some strong views as to why you should skip that part of the newspaper, or its vast online equivalent. (It’s a serious “gateway drug” to other online diversions.) But each week, listeners to the Drew Marshall show get at least one shot at poking into the personal details of someone else’s life, and even get to write in or call in live to offer their two-cents’ worth of advice. This one got debated on Saturday — the audio will be posted on Friday at this page* — and I sympathize with the young man who wrote in because I know this drama plays out on a regular basis…
“My fiancée and I are getting married soon and we’ve run into a bit of a problem. She’s from a Catholic family and her parents want her to be married in the Catholic Church. I am not a Catholic. As a matter of fact, I have a pretty hard time with a number of things the Catholic Church teaches, never mind the amount of respect I’ve lost for the way that church has handled the sex abuse scandals. I have no problem with her family, and my wife doesn’t want to make this a big deal for fear of hurting her parent’s feelings.
So we’ve decided to just go along with what they want in order to keep the peace, which means that I have to become Catholic. So I’m taking the courses with the family priest.
However, the further into this course I go, the more uncomfortable I am with basically “faking” becoming a Catholic. I’ve talked to my fiancée about my apprehension and she keeps telling me it’s no big deal and just to stick with it. She knows how much it would really mess up things with her family, let alone the wedding plans.
I feel unbelievably trapped. I’m basically pretending to believe something I don’t just to make my wife happy and it’s really messing with my head. Am making too big a deal out of this? I mean it’s not as though I’m changing religions, right? But knowing what I know about the Catholic Church, it sure feels like it!
Oh and here’s the other thing – even though my parents haven’t really said anything, I know they aren’t too impressed with me becoming Catholic either. My father is an elder in a Baptist church and this is putting him in a tough spot with his church. Any advice?”
So what advice would you offer him??
*You can listen to previous segments without waiting until Friday, the feature to look for is called “The Counsel of Many” and you’ll also find interviews with a number of well known Christian figures including authors, music artists and actors. Here’s that link again! And here’s an article I did about Drew.