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  #1  
Old Jan 24, '10, 12:40 pm
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
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Question Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

I can't find much about this online, so thought I'd ask here. My husband has a brother who converted to becoming a Lutheran about 20 years ago. He is now an 'elder' of his church, and asked us if we would come to one of the services some time. No pressure of course, he just asked rather casually.

I have been to Lutheran services before, but it's been a while. This particular brother's wife comes from a Lutheran family, and her dad used to be a pastor. I used to love his speeches, he died last year--very sad.

Is there anything ''wrong'' with attending a Lutheran church service on Sunday? (not skipping mass but in addition to...) I didn't give much thought to it years ago when we did so...

I'm not keen on going really...but if we visit for the weekend, would it be ''wrong'' of us to attend? Thank you for your advice/insights, in advance.
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Old Jan 24, '10, 12:51 pm
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

Something that just occured to me...we saw them last weekend, and he said that he gives Communion (this is a responsibility of an elder?)... He has to know being brought up Catholic, that we as Catholics cannot receive communion outside of the Church.

Is it okay to attend since we wont be going up for Communion, maybe that is the better question.
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Old Jan 24, '10, 1:04 pm
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

Your BIL committed an act of formal heresy. Ask your Confessor if it is okay for you and your family to paticipate in his services. The concern here is scandal, especially for your impressionable teens.

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2089.htm

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."
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Old Jan 24, '10, 1:08 pm
NewEnglandPriest NewEnglandPriest is offline
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

Well, as long as its in addition to Catholic Mass then I don't see a huge problem with it. I won't advise making a habit out of it but an occasional visit wouldn't be sinful in my opinion.
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Old Jan 24, '10, 1:10 pm
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

kage, really? wow, I kind of felt ...not sure of the word...but strange when he was telling us about communion. And the experience of giving communion to his wife and girls. He HAS to know that as a Catholic, my family can't participate in receiving communion there.

When we all attended a mother's day mass together...when my dh and I lived in Pgh-- he and his wife were visiting, and he AND his wife and his daughters went up for Communion at mass. I said to my husband...so he makes up his own rules? I said nothing of course, but thought to myself, he has to know being raised Catholic that he and his family who are not Catholic, cannot receive Communion at a Catholic mass. I dunno, I love my BIL and his wife to pieces...I see no divide between us...I believe we are to work on unity with our non Catholic brothers and sisters. But...it just makes me feel awkward when we have these random conversations. Thanks for your reply, it was helpful.
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Old Jan 24, '10, 2:14 pm
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

In and of itself there is nothing really wrong with attending a Lutheran service as long as you also go to Mass. You are not to partake of Lutheran Communion because for Catholics, receiving Communion is an act of affirmation of the teachings of the community offering Communion. (This is true for Catholics at non-Catholic services or for non-Catholics at a Catholic liturgy. --We'll leave the Orthodox out for the time being because they are a special case.)

The sticky issue here is that your BIL is Catholic unless he made the unusual decision to formally renounce his Catholic faith.

You will ultimately have to decide if this is a case where you need to make a stand for your own faith or preserve the family peace. If you do decide to attend it might be a good idea not to take your children.
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Old Jan 24, '10, 2:27 pm
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

We went over the summer to my sister's Lutheran church--she also left the Catholic church about 15 years ago. It was a very weird experience. First of all it wasn't a regular Lutheran service even though the did give communion (which we didn't participate in), but more of an evangelical style non-liturgical service. This was a Wednesday night thing they do every summer. We were all a little weirded out by the whole thing and won't be going back.

I could see attending a funeral or family wedding, but there is absolutely no cause to go to a random service, even if you are visitng. Find out the local Mass schedule ahead of time and then say, "we can't. We'll be attending Mass at St. John's, but let's all met at resturant X for brunch after." Or something similar depending on when his service is and when Mass is.
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Old Jan 24, '10, 2:56 pm
GreenWhiteBlue GreenWhiteBlue is offline
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatevergirl View Post
I can't find much about this online, so thought I'd ask here. My husband has a brother who converted to becoming a Lutheran about 20 years ago. He is now an 'elder' of his church, and asked us if we would come to one of the services some time. No pressure of course, he just asked rather casually.

. . .

Is there anything ''wrong'' with attending a Lutheran church service on Sunday? (not skipping mass but in addition to...) I didn't give much thought to it years ago when we did so...

I'm not keen on going really...but if we visit for the weekend, would it be ''wrong'' of us to attend? Thank you for your advice/insights, in advance.
What would be the point of going?

Now, I will admit up front that I come out of an Irish Catholic background where one grew up with the idea that everything Protestant was to be avoided like the plague, to the point that one should not even set foot in a Protestant church (and that the roof would be likely to fall on one's head if one did ) So will anything I say on this matter be colored more than a bit by ancestral prejudices? Almost certainly -- but that being said, to return to my original question, what would be the point of going? Just to "visit" with your brother-in-law? You can do that at lunch afterwards. To indicate that you think what he is doing nowadays is perfectly hunky-dory? It isn't; he has thrown a gift given him by God Almighty (namely, full communion with the one true Body of Christ) into the trash to run after a heretical cult. To give your kids the idea that Lutheranism is just as valid as Catholicism? I don't see how such an erroneous "lesson" could be avoided.

In short, I would not go. On the other hand, you could answer any future invitation to attend with "No, I don't think that would be best. However, you are always welcome to come with me to the local Catholic church. Would you like to?" I strongly suspect the issue will never rear its awakward head again...
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Old Jan 24, '10, 4:39 pm
whatevergirl whatevergirl is offline
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Default Re: Is it ''wrong'' for a Catholic to attend a Lutheran church service?

I thank you for all of your thoughtful replies...I agree, not sure what the ''point'' would be, except to be polite in responding to his request, that's all, really. My kids fully know that the fullness of faith can be found in the Church only, but that other Christian denominations, have some truths that we do share...they just don't have the fullness of Truth. I don't think my kids would be swayed, but again...what would the point be? My husband and I have always tried to teach our kids about not leaving the faith for a person, and their uncle did just that. (don't leave the faith for ANY reason, but many often leave it when it comes to time for marrying someone who is not Catholic.) His wife is Lutheran, was brought up that way, and she urged him to convert...so...I don't judge my husband's brother, but I will never leave the Catholic faith.

For the record--it hardly is ever brought up...but when we get together for bbq's...every now and again, he will ask us to come.

Thank you for your thoughts, all.
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