Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like your father's direct criticism of you has brought up some unresolved feelings you have had all your life about your relationship with your father.
When children are not loved in the way they need by parents, they develop a longing for the love they missed. When you have a father who withholds his love and approval, you will have needs that are not fulfilled. You also were criticized, which causes anger. You may have not dealt with the anger or felt that by changing your lifestyle you were able to cope with it. But you may also have decided to go against your father's wishes with your beliefs and lifestyle because in a way you can rebel against what he believes and as a way to express your anger without saying it directly.
Your father uses his opinions and points of view as a way to hurt you. He is pushing his view of the Catholic Church on you and trying to bully you into listening to him. He does not present his views as a possibility, but instead as a condition of his approval. At the same time, he withholds his love and approval unless you agree. It is a good way to cause you to feel anger and rage. There is no way to win with him unless you agree with him.
I suspect that the amount of anger you have with your father is overwhelming. You have tried to cope with it by peaceful means all your life, but with your father's stepping up of his attacks, it is making it hard for you to hold back. After all, he is attacking every aspect of your life- your beliefs, your marriage, and your lifestyle in general. Your anger is coming out all over the place because it needs addressed. And you are also becoming angry about the symbols that represent what your father believes, such as the Catholic church.
In order to deal with your anger, you need to first accept that you feel angry. Yes, it is hard to do this against your own father. But is acceptable to be angry at what your father does and still love him. Wanting him to love you and being angry at what he does seems contradictory, but all children want to be loved by their parents and love them back and have that love accepted. Many kids who are abused still want to be loved by their parents and love them back. It is normal behavior.
But loving your father also does not mean you need to accept his behavior. When he starts giving his opinion, tell him that while you respect his right to an opinion, you need to leave. Keep doing this every time he confronts you. This sets up a boundary and helps keep you protected from his tirades.
You may also want to consider therapy. The verbal abuse you suffered with your father has caused a deep seated anger that needs to be dealt with in therapy. To find a therapist, ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.
You can also work on your feelings through self help. Here are some resources to help you:
The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life by Albert Ellis and Marcia Grad Powers
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft - about your father, not you
Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused by Steven Farmer
You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.
I hope this has helped you,Kate
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