Did any of you grow up Protestant and became Catholic later in life? Or even joined a Protestant church as an adult, then switched to Catholic church - without having previously been Catholic?
The background to this question:
My mother grew up Catholic but when she had us kids she decided to raise us Lutheran. I think the decision was based on some issues she had with the Catholic church and her divorced mother, and/or her divorced best friend and the way they’d been treated by the Catholic church. Plus, her father had been Lutheran and there was a nice Lutheran church nearby so there we went.
I had a lovely time growing up Lutheran. Lovely Sunday school, lovely confirmation classes, lovely time as an alter girl. As soon as I got old and lazy enough I stopped going, mainly due to the hours. But it was like 18 years of solid loveliness from the Lutherans. I never lost my faith I just realized I didn’t get anything from the physical presence of the church. I also figured out I preferred the ELCA versus LCMS which is what my church was.
My mom was involved with our Lutheran church for a bit after I stopped going but she lost interest. The church was failing anyway. On its last legs. It officially closed in June of this year.
Since my nieces have been born and are being raised Catholic by their Catholic mom and other grandparents, my mom got new interest in Catholicism. I think she has a lot of lovely memories of her childhood in Catholic church, just like I have my lovely Lutheran memories. She likes the art and the prayers and the pomp and circumstance you just don’t see at the Lutheran church (not that there’s none…).
So now she’s all into being Catholic again, which is cool. I do Catholic stuff with her when she wants. I’ve taken her to Latin mass and helped her get her Easter meal blessed and stuff. I do it cuz I love her, and because it’s a part of my heritage in that it’s a part of her family’s heritage.
In an interesting twist, my brother - the one who has the Catholic wife and daughters - decided to convert to Catholicism. He wasn’t doing anything religion-wise for 20 years and found something in his wife’s church that worked for him, and he’s taken the classes and became a Catholic. Didn’t see that coming but I think it works well for him.
Anyway, my mom has been bugging me gently to Catholicism and I just don’t see the appeal, as a Lutheran. We learned about the Reformation in confirmation class, and since it was a Major Thing In History, I learned about it in public school too. In my opinion, the Reformation and the sects that grew from it - particularly Lutheranism - was an “upgrade” to Catholicism and the changes imposed suit me better as a Christian than what Catholicism represents.
Of course I’m no scholar in Catholicism or Protestantism so I can’t make a solid case for or against either. But as a private decision based on how I understand things, I can never see myself as a Catholic.
I told mom today I just don’t see myself switching, and she should be glad she chose a religion for me that I still want to stick with as an adult.
With regards to my brother switching from Lutheranism to Catholicism I think it was mostly a matter of marrying a Catholic girl and having two Catholic kids. He would have converted to whatever religion they were part of. And he found a Catholic congregation that he admired and did not find anything contrary to his beliefs when going through classes.
So I’m interested to know if there are any Dopers who were playing on team Protestant and felt a draw to become Catholic. Was it a matter of location and opportunity or was there some deeper study into the Catholic dogma that made you think “Yeah, this suits me better”?
I am definitely not trying to judge. For me religion is a totally personal experience. I am trying to understand something that I currently cannot see myself understanding. I’m looking for others’ thought processes on the subject.
And, please - let’s not try to bash religion, Christianity, Protestantism or Catholicism. Let’s all be cool!