Stay or Leave?

Basing this on another thread about whether to stay in the Catholic Church or leave I thought I would start this thread based on some specifics. I should point out that anything any Catholic says here to defend the Catholic Dogmas I cannot accept will more than likely not change my mind. I have read extensively from all points of view and have concluded that I simply cannot accept some Catholic Dogmas based on history and the Bible. Sorry, can’t do it. Lest anyone think that I don’t “understand” or “know” what the Catholic Church teaches about these Dogmas, I assure you, I do understand them and cannot accept them based on historical facts and the Bible, so without further delay here they are:

  1. I cannot accept either Papal Primacy (of absolute authority) or Papal Infallibility

  2. Purgatory and Indulgences

  3. I reject the Council of Trent and Vatican 1

I wholeheartedly affirm the following:

  1. Justification by Faith Alone

  2. The Penal Substitution view of the Atonement

  3. What the Westminster Confession of Faith says about Salvation, IE Soteriology. and the Anglican 39 Articles of Religion.

  4. The Bible as the only Infallible source of authority and that any Tradition to be valid must not contradict the Bible .

So given all this should I leave the Catholic Church or stay?

Well based on what you’ve accepted and what you’ve rejected, you are already outside of the confines of the Catholic church.

I think the question now is whether you are open to the possibility that you may be wrong about those points listed above. If you are open to this possibility, then by all means, stay. But if you are conclusive in your judgement on the church’s teachings, then you must follow your conscience. Staying would be hypocritical, and, from a Catholic perspective, potentially sinful.

I hope this answer helps. I wish you all the best, and will pray for you.

If you are willing to discuss any of these points, I’d be glad to help. :slight_smile:

God bless,

Since you’ve already decided that you understand the bible better than the Church does, what do you want us to say to you?


Dittos. X3

Any answer you get is sort of moot, no? Someone tells you to stay, you’ll question why. Someone tells you to go, but you’re already there. :shrug:

My only advice is to base your decision on what is the truth, not on what you believe the truth to be. The truth is the truth whether you agree with it or believe in it or not.
Search for the truth and go with it! God Bless

First off, I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters. Arguing is moot since you “know” the “truth” now. I am interested in hearing what research you did to come to these conclusions.

The question I have is what history are you reading? Are you agreeing with some point of the historical persons theology but not all? I have found many people think Augustine believed in faith alone, but when they actually read what Augustine wrote, not just a single line of a document, they realize their historical “fact” becomes non-existant. Are you going back this far into history or are you considering Martin Luther and John Calvin historical references?

Did you consider things like why would Jesus come in a time where the vast majority of people could not read if the Bible was meant to be the source of faith? Or why was the Bible, which was organized less than 400 years after Christ, was not able to be mass produced and still the vast majority could not read it even if it could have been? Or why the Bible that was organized over 1000 years before the WCoF was the Catholic Bible and not the protestant bible? Or why if the Bible is meant to be our sole source of faith, when it could be mass produced 1500 years after Christ, the majority of people still could not read? What happened to these countless billions of souls? Or why the Gutenburgh Bible was the Catholic Bible and not a protestant variant? Did God make a mistake in not coming in the 21st century when most everyone can read since He “obviously” wanted people to discern truth from the Bible alone?

What church did you decided is the one built by Christ? You do not mention a belief in any organization of religion so I ask. Are you starting your own church or following someone elses? Is it their interpretation of the Bible that creates the baseline for defending a tradition or is it yours? It sounds like you are leaning toward presbyterianism, so is it RPNA, RPUSA, Orthodox PC, Bible PC, RPC Evangelical Synod, PC in America, or ARPCA? Which Westminster Confession of Faith? There are literally hundreds of variants that have been ammended and altered throughout its 360 year history. I assume the first of 1646 which is why I assumed presbyterian even though many of them have variant WCoF also.

To add to lynnareyno’s comment, does 2 + 2 = 4 depend on your acceptance of it, or is it true independent of your take on the subject? Obviously, truth is truth regardless of our understanding of it.

God Bless.

Others have pretty well covered it.

You have rejected clear and affirmed Church Doctrine as recieved By the Church from the Holy Spirit.
You Claim to already know all you need to know about these teachings with which you disagree. S owe should not try to enlighten you.

So I guess the only Question one can ask is this. Since you reject The Church and Her teachings, why do you want to stay? What is the attraction that keeps you interested in memaining Catholic??


Wow! You are even less Catholic than I am.

I hope you find a church that you will feel comfortable in.

Other questions to ponder…

–Where would you go?

–Another church?

–What is their authority? The Bible…

–Then what interpretations are they making in the Bible? Their own?

Relying on an individuals interpretation of God’s Word seems like you will be shopping around for a church or religion until you find one that suits you.

Another example of man changing religion for his own means and conveyance.

Why not be like the other 35,000 cafeteria goers and pick what you want and start another church… that way it’s “Just Right”… easy too… because you make the rules… you are the authority… and make all the interpretations from the Bible to suit your religion…

Like a PP… regardless of what anyone says it seems that you have made up your mind.
No matter what… there can be only one Truth… although it may be hard to accept or hard to follow… anything else is less then the Truth… with that, there can be no argument…
Truth is Truth and anything else is a half Truth.

I pray for your heart to be open to the Truth, if not now in this testing time of yours then at some point in the future.


Embracing the teachings you embrace, and rejecting the teachings you reject make you a Catholic in an objective state of heresy.

If one begins to publically promulgate such teachings one would have canonical penalties imposed-- such that one would be barred from reception of the Sacraments until such time as there is assent to the teachings.

You should talk to your priest in Confession or under Spiritual Direction.

The things you list does not make you “not Catholic.” You can cease practicing the faith and cease receiving the Sacraments, but you cannot cease being Catholic.

The remedy the Church provides is Reconciliation for those who desire to return to the practice of the Sacraments. I hope you will find your way back to the Sacraments.

My husband and I were in your position about 12 years ago. We chose to leave the Catholic Church. One of my Catholic relatives actually suggested that we “believe what you want, but remain Catholic”. I don’t know about you, but that was not an option for us. I could not profess to be a Catholic when I believed so many of its teachings to be in error, and my husband felt the same way. Whatever you decide, please know that there are others who have experienced what you are going through. It’s not easy, is it?

I fail to see why you have posed this as a question when you state that you don’t believe certain core Catholic tenets and are not going to change your mind.

Yet. . .you put this out to Catholics, 'should I stay or leave?" Like we’re supposed to take the responsibility for ?

IF you are not going to change your mind, you have already rejected the Church. It hasn’t left you (and it won’t) but you have left it. Big difference.

And IF you are not going to change your mind, why ‘question?’ I can think of only two possible reasons. .

Reason 1 (I hope this is your reason): While you may be ‘sure’ you reject Catholicism, something (the Holy Spirit?) is keeping you from that final ‘leap away.’ You’re secretly hoping somebody will give you the blinding insight that will enable you to somehow ‘come back’.

Reason 1 (subset): You secretly hope that somebody who really knows, like the Pope or somebody you can quote as an authority, will tell you that even though you reject the church it’s all right. Believe what you want, the church has changed, it just does so slowly. it will ‘catch up with you’ sooner or later.

Reason 2: Not only have you rejected the Church but you want to tell off as many people as possible. You hope for two things:

  1. People will beg you to reconsider and you can have the pleasure of telling them over and over how wrong the church is.
  2. People will say something vaguely hurtful or offensive, or their remarks can be construed as such, in which case you can take great pleasure in showing how ‘unChristian’ Catholics are because they treated you so badly.

I HOPE this wasn’t a reason 2 thread but time will tell.

You are being disrespectful of “Kotek” and his openness and honesty in sharing his doubts and issues. I would suggest you read some of his much earlier posts on this subject to get an understanding of his history and his sincere desire to come to terms with his issues regarding the Catholic church.

And he is just expressing openly what many others also feel and think. They may not have exactly the same issues with Church doctrine and practices, but there are many other Catholics in situations similar to 'Kotek". They are not as honest and open about their feelings, and they may still go to Mass very Sunday and participate in the Sacraments, but still do not accept one or more of the doctrines that you may say are necessary to be considered “Catholic”. And as “Kotek” related in a post on another thread, people who discuss such matters with their parish Priests are often told that most Catholics don’t accept 100% of the Church’s teachings anyway and to just keep coming to church.

The issue of “non-conforming” Catholics is the “elephant in the room” of the Church, that we know is there but no one really wants to address. Except by those who are unsympathetic to the dilemma and unable to understand what is really being said.

Um, did you happen to read kotek’s first post (the one to which I am responding, not the however number he/she has done on other threads, but the ‘question’ here).

Furthermore, I fail to see how am being disrespectful. I said I saw two reasons; I did not say that other reasons might not exist, nor did I assign either of the reasons I gave to Kotek. I am letting kotek speak for himself or herself.

Yes I have posted about these things before and I kept reading and studying hoping to have some “breakthrough” where I could accept certain Dogmas . I prayed a lot about this, asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. The more I prayed and the more I studied the more I saw that the Catholic Church was just flat out wrong on those things in my OP for this thread. It seems the more I did this the more I was led to just “stumble across” things that led me away from Catholic Dogmas rather than to them. I did not “plan it”, it just happened.

There are MANY Catholics who are in the same situation as me IE they simply do not and cannot accept some Catholic Dogmas. I am not talking about people who are “Sunday-Only” catholics but people who are VERY involved in the parish and Parish Ministries. This is “the Elephant in the room” that many Catholics, especially the “gung-ho” ones who try to be “more Catholic than the Pope” so to speak can’t see or admit it seems.

I for one can see it and admit it. But what does it prove? Just as Catholics may decide that some form of Protestantism is correct, they may also decide that Mormonism or Seventh Day Adventism or Islam or Judaism or atheism is correct. But surely that doesn’t prove that Catholicism is wrong. What lesson would you have us draw from the fact that people leave Catholicism?

I will say that if you believe the Catholic Church to be in error then you cannot, logically, accept the New Testament as scripture.

What makes you think that it was the Holy Spirit’s guidance and not someone else’s intelligent influence that caused you to “stumble across” things that would lead you away from the Church? - especially if your “cannot accept” is actually a “will not accept”.

You absolutely should stay or leave. Feel free to PM me if you have any additional questions.

The Westminster Confession and the 39 Articles? Hmmmm.

Not even many protestants believe in those any more.

I wonder how Kotek “came across” those?

Of course the Westminster Confession states that God decreed at the beginning of time that billions of people, through no fault of their own, are going to be tossed into endless torment in hell, with no hope of redemption - and there’s nothing whatsoever they can do about it.

I wonder what makes that doctrine so attractive? What makes it more attractive than the Catholic teaching of repentance and free forgiveness?