Radio Show

Fatherly Advice: Facing Pressure to Convert


A teenager calls into the Busted Halo Show in need of some advice from Father Dave about a peculiar (and increasingly awkward) family situation. The caller explains that, though she is a cradle Catholic, her mother converted to Catholicism as an adult, and her mother’s parents are still Episcopalian.

Unfortunately, the caller’s grandparents still harbor resentment over their daughter’s decision to convert. Moreover, her grandparents are pressuring her to become Episcopalian. Some of her grandmother’s tactics include inviting her granddaughter to lunch and then surprising her by having an Episcopal priest join them, and asking, “Don’t you want to go to heaven with your grandmother?” The caller loves her grandmother, but also loves her Catholic faith, and wants to know how to politely but firmly tell her grandmother that she’s not interested in converting.

RELATED: How Are Roman Catholics and Episcopalians Different in Their Beliefs? 

Father Dave understands how troubling this must be for the young caller, because her grandmother is being emotionally manipulative and inappropriate in trying to get her to convert. Since the caller is in her late teens, Father Dave suggests that it’s the right time to have an adult conversation with her grandmother about this issue.

He suggests that she approach it by articulating to her grandmother that the frustration over her mother’s conversion is “not between you and me — you’re angry at my mom and you’re taking it out on me.”

He also encourages her to reiterate, “Grandma, I’m sorry this is disappointing, but I’m happy in my church, and I’m happy with my mom and with my family, and this is what we have chosen to do together and how I’ve been raised. I don’t want to convert, and I’d appreciate it if you’d stop asking me.” (Original Air 02-02-17)