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Dear Father Angelo,

Firstly I want to apologize for the length of this letter but I feel the need to tell you my situation in its entirety. I’m currently 22. I had a strong faith up until I was 20 years old, basically for almost my whole life. I grew up in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses and they taught me sound principles. I always felt special because I thought I knew the “truth”. But at the age of 20, for no particular reason, I began to feel lonely in that creed. I still felt attracted to God, yet I couldn’t feel him close to me. I started to have many doubts about my faith and wondered whether what I had believed for so many years did make any sense at all. I even started to search for more information about the Bible on the Internet but that made me only more skeptical because I found several parts where the woman seems to be considered inferior, especially in Saint Paul’s words. So I stopped going to the meetings but, as you might already know, they are a very closed community that teaches its members to only make friends within the group of witnesses, so I ended up being left alone and isolated. In the past two years I tried to find peace in a relationship with a married man. Of course it was totally wrong but I did not understand that for a long time, and I was also determined to prove to myself that God’s laws are useless and that my happiness did not depend on their observance. Today I am glad that relationship ended. He was using me and didn’t actually love me and, on my part, I should have never got in the way of a marriage. I then tried to find some peace of mind in friendships with people of my age but I could only feel the deep void in the conversations we had. They loved to go to pubs and have fun by cursing, drinking beer, smoking pot and driving recklessly through the streets. I was also bothered by the behavior of the girls in the group because they went with the first guy who showed a little interest in them, even if they were not in love with them. So I walked away from those people as well. However, over the past two years I have kept alive my curiosity towards religions and the supernatural, because I’ve always known there is something bigger than us, despite the fact that I stopped believing in what had been instilled into my mind since I was little. I read up on Buddhism, the Hare Krishna movement, Wicca and other religions/philosophies, though they didn’t convince me and I didn’t get myself involved in them. In the past two years I have realized that we cannot find happiness if we think selfishly. Sex, drugs and alcohol are nothing more than a short-term comfort. Some friends invited me to go see the Pope and the archbishop of Bologna. When I saw the Pope at the stadium in Bologna in October, I was surprised by his kindness. Unfortunately I could not understand the meaning behind some rites since it was the very first mass I was attending. Still the experience had a strong impact on me. Listening again to the words of Jesus made me realize that I totally agree with his teaching!  After the mass, I felt dazed. I could understand the importance of believing in something big in life and I could see the peacefulness in which believers lived, yet, as much as I agreed with Jesus’s teachings, I was still in contact with that group of friends and I couldn’t bring myself to put them behind my back for some more months. Around March of this year I finally decided I wanted to reconcile with God and so I started going to Church. I didn’t go back to Jehovah’s Witnesses because, even if they’re good people, they are just not open to the outside world and I don’t agree with some of their doctrines anymore. At first I went to mass mechanically, without giving it too much thought. But, as I said above, first the Pope and then the Archbishop of Bologna, Matteo Zuppi, pushed me to stay on this path. Since I’ve been attending mass for the past few months, I feel like I have regained the old faith I had. I feel like the Prodigal Son, I’m full of sins but I long for Jesus’s love and to reconcile with him. Yet sometimes some of my old doubts come back and I cannot find an answer to them. This is the reason why I’m writing to you. I really don’t wanna take any steps back.


Before I set out on the journey of catechumenate, I would like to have answers to the many questions I have concerning the difference between the two doctrines. By doing so, I could finally get baptized without having any doubts left and with an open heart, since I know that once you begin this journey you must already be quite clear-headed. Do you know someone I could speak to or if there’s a book that gives a detailed explanation about this issue?

I thank you for your patience and your help. Best regards.


Dear friend

Firstly, let me apologize for replying to your letter with such delay.

I really hope your encounter with Christ hasn’t been delayed too.

1. One of the first things you wrote is a good representation of the faith of Jehovah’s witnesses: “But at the age of 20 and for no particular reason, I began to feel lonely in this creed. I still felt attracted to God, yet I couldn’t feel him close to me”.

Jehovah’s witnesses’ beliefs are not communion with God.

And they aren’t either the experience of God’s presence in our heart.

2. According to Jehovah’s witnesses’ beliefs, what really matters is the awareness of being among the saved ones.

Obviously I don’t question their moral integrity, like that of your family.

3. But here’s the flaw: you said you felt attracted to God yet you couldn’t feel him close to you.

It was only natural and that was because Jehovah’s witnesses didn’t give you the sanctifying grace, which is a supernatural reality that pours into us the Holy Spirit and along with it the presence of the Most Holy and Adorable Trinity.

4. Their main mistake originates from Protestantism, which claims to read the Holy Scriptures on the basis of free examination, that is free will.

The Holy Scripture instead is not subject to any personal interpretation, as Saint Peter says in his second letter: “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God” (2 Pet 1:20-21).

5. Faced with a statement that openly went against their principle, protestants just removed Saint Peter’s second letter from their Holy Scriptures, forgetting about the fact that the Tradition they reject is the same one that gave them the Holy Scriptures.

More precisely, it is the Tradition authenticated by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, which established a clear difference between the canonical books of divine inspiration and the apocryphal ones from the beginning.

6. Since God is the author of the Holy Scriptures (“human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God”), he’s the only one that can give an explanation of their exact meaning.

Jesus Christ, who showed clear evidence of his divine nature (which Jehovah’s witnesses deny), explained the Holy Scriptures as well.

He did that himself and through the Apostles.

And from what we read in Luke “then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures” (Lk 24:45), we understand that the Apostles received from God the gift to interpret the Scriptures in the right way.

Then God entrusted the Church with the task to pass on, untouched, the meaning of the Scriptures.

For this task, which is fundamental for the salvation of all people, Jesus Christ gifted the Spirit of truth to the Church: “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming” (Jn, 16:13).

7. Saint Peter’s words clearly condemn the mistake made by protestants, who state that it is totally right for each person, no matter how confused and educated they are, to interpret the Word of God at their own whims, creating, in so doing, a self-tailored religion.

This is the original sin of Protestants.

However, they keep their faith in the Holy Trinity and in the divine nature of Christ, whereas Jehovah’s witnesses went as far as to deny both of them. Therefore, they’re not Christians.

8. Moreover, Jehovah’s witnesses should recognize that our soul received an anointing, or grace, that allows us to relish the presence of God in our hearts.

Both Saint Paul and Saint John write about this anointing.

Saint Paul: “But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God” (2 Cor 1:21). 

Saint John: “But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one” (1 Jn 2:20) e “as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you” (1 Jn 2:27).

This anointing, that is a participation of the anointing received by Jesus (Acts 4:27), is a reality called “grace” in the Holy Scripture. 

It’s the sanctifying grace.

9. The grace executes this in the believers: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (Jn 14:23).

God lives within us through the observance of the commandments, without which we cannot be anointed by the Holy Spirit, that gives us grace: “we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (Gv 14,23).

10. This gives rise to the sensation of fullness that is felt by the souls in grace and that allows us to relish the presence of God within us.

11. Those who don’t experience grace, will keep believing in God but they will always feel him far away.

Just like what happened to you at 20 years old.

And since you didn’t know that this presence is linked to grace, you tried to find God in other religions and still didn’t succeed.

Eventually you came to Christ.

You went to the stadium in Bologna and seeing the Pope made you feel as if there were something else, something deeper, but you couldn’t figure it out.

12. You’re only at the beginning of a very special journey.

May you continue with the same feelings as those of the court official of the queen Candace, who, after receiving the baptism and being enlightened by Philip, “continued on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39).

13. If you want to know more about your next steps, speak to your local parish. They will be able to help you.

I had to shorten your email, since in the final part you asked me more questions that I will gladly answer to one at a time in the future. I didn’t want to have too many irons in the fire and make it difficult for me to give you proper answers.

May you always have a heart full of the Holy Spirit.

I remember you to the Lord and I bless you.

Father Angelo

Translated by Chiara Midea