Banned from Mass?


#1

I’ve heard several persons, including I believe some guests and apologists on CA, suggest that if one cannot make a confession in time to go to Mass, that it is ok to participate as long as one does not receive communion (e.g. remain seated or cross your arms and receive a blessing from the priest instead). But Canon 916 from the Code of Canon Law states that:

“A person who is conscious of grave sin **is not to celebrate Mass **or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.”

This seemes to exclude any participation in the Mass whatsoever, for the same reason as it excludes any form or receiving communion. Which I interpret as meaning we should not be in the Church during the celebration without going to confession first (at least for those of us not spiritually advanced enough to make a perfect act of contrition on our own). Is that what I should tell fellow Catholics when it comes up?

On a related note, I’ve heard similar advice given to people who have legally divorced and remarried, but continue to have a conjugal relationship with the person who has replaced their actual spouse (i.e. yes you can participate, as long as you don’t receive communion). My understanding is that, based on God’s teaching about remarriage, these persons are excluded from communion because they are committing adultery. If it has been determined that they cannot receive communion, wouldn’t they also need to cease participation in the Mass until they’ve corrected their situation in light of Canon 916?

What are your thoughts?


#2

The priests are the ones that celebrate Mass not the laity. The laity has an obligation to attend Sunday Mass even when in a state of mortal sin. The problem with the priests being in a state of mortal sin is that they should not communicate; however, if they do not communicate after consecration then the Mass is not valid. Canon 916 refers to bishops and priests.


#3

Yes, the laity assist at Holy Mass, while priests celebrate Holy Mass.


#4

That makes sense. Canon 916 is wedged in between alot of other canons that contain prescriptions for the laity, but all the other instances in canon law where terms like “person celebrating” is used also seem to refer to strictly to priests/deacons.

Thanks Cristiano.


#5

Now, please understand, I am just throwing this out for discussion, and not suggesting anyone should do it...but, here goes:

Canon Law its seems prohibits receiving the Eucharist if a mortal sin has not been reconciled through the sacrament of reconciliation. But, what if someone does so even with full knowledge that it is against Church policy, law, regulation, etc.

It breaking the laws of the Church itself a mortal sin, or have the violator only alienated himself from the Church, and not necessarily from God?

If we say Church law has as much legitimacy as the Law of God, have are we not proclaiming that all non-Catholics, because they are not living within the Canon Law of the Catholic Church are doomed to hell? I thought that mindset was abolished by the Church years ago.

The catch 22 is that if a non-Catholic commits mortal sin by not subscribing to canon law (with full knowlege), they have to be doomed to hell, because they cannot be absolved of the sin except through the sacrament of reconciliation, which they cannot receive unless they convert and receive the sacraments of initiation.

Or are Catholics held to a different standard, and since they are church members if they violate canon law they have comitted mortal sin.

Either way, some might argue this situation is not much of a deal closer to convince someone to become a Catholic.

Sort of reminds me of the old story of a Catholic missionary talking to a jungle tribesman that had never seen anyone from the outside world. The tribesman asked, "Father if I had never known about Jesus, and I died, would I go to Hell?" The priest answered, "No, the Lord is merciful, and if you did not know about Jesus because of isolation, you surely would not go to Hell." After a long period of silence, the tribesman asked the Missionary, "So why did you tell me then!"

Pax


#6

Not going to Hell for one specific reason doesn’t necessarily mean going to Heaven. It is possible to go to hell for something else, it is possible to go to Purgatory, it has been speculated that it is possible to go to Limbo…

And concerning your other point, the Canon Law only binds Catholics. Actually, the first Canon from the Code of Canon Law says: “The canons of this Code regard only the Latin Church.”. However, non-Catholic, who goes to receive Communion, while having full knowledge that the Church doesn’t allow that, can probably be said to be acting inconsiderately - at least…


#7

Your post is so far off the topic that I can only assume something in my original post offended you. If you would like to honestly seek an answer to this many questions you should start your own thread. Even starting to answer you here requires completely changing the subject to something you want to discuss instead.

I’ll take a look at the questions of yours that make sense to me, and then I’ll leave you to seek answers in your own thread if you are open to more input from the community. I don’t want you to feel like you’re being ignored or shunned, but I hope you understand why completely changing the subject “isn’t much of a deal closer” for spending any more time communicating with you here.

…not suggesting anyone should do it…

This doesn’t make sense. If your ideas are correct, why aren’t you suggesting they be accepted? It really does sound like you wish people to convert to your beliefs, if you weren’t trying to lead people to a closer walk with Jesus, why post anything at all? In order to address what you said, we would have to change the subject to what you wanted instead.

Canon Law its seems prohibits receiving the Eucharist if a mortal sin has not been reconciled through the sacrament of reconciliation. But, what if someone does so even with full knowledge that it is against Church policy, law, regulation, etc.

It breaking the laws of the Church itself a mortal sin, or have the violator only alienated himself from the Church, and not necessarily from God?

It sounds like you believe in a separation between God and His Church that is not in the bible. When the Church is called the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, and when Jesus himself say that persecuting his Church is the same thing as persecuting himself (Acts 9:1-5), he’s letting you know that you are choosing to alienate yourself from Himself when you alienate yourself from His Church. And if you do that with full knowledge, you do not love Christ, and will not want to grow closer to Him in Heaven anyway.

If we say Church law has as much legitimacy as the Law of God…

It sounds like in your religion, your church’s laws can be separated from the Law of God. When Catholics refer to “Church Law” we are referring to what Jesus described in Luke 10:16 when he said “He who listens to you, listens to me. Whoever rejects you, rejects me” to the apostles. That is why the leaders of the Church were able to command (not ask) what the gentile believers were allowed to eat in Acts 15:29. They could have said “that’s just a Church Law, Jesus said it doesn’t matter what you eat, so I don’t have to listen”. But according to Christ, they’d be rejecting him.

…have are we not proclaiming that all non-Catholics, because they are not living within the Canon Law of the Catholic Church are doomed to hell?

No, we follow the teachings of the Apostles. As Jesus taught, through the Apostle Paul:

"What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
-1 Corinthians 5:12

Those who are outside of the Church are not subject to Canon Law, or any of God’s Laws that they are honestly ignorant of. But those within the Church are subject to Her judgement and able to receive Her blessings in a way that those who aren’t united to the Body of Christ cannot. We are called apart to live in a different way, that is the way it has always been with the people of God.

I thought that mindset was abolished by the Church years ago.

The mindset you are referring to may never have existed, it’s hard to tell what you believe about Jesus or His Church. And I’m assuming you are making a statement of fact, and not being snarky. Because snarkiness is a form of aggression…and when we’re asking questions, when we’re seeking the Truth, it’s a bad idea to get aggressive with people.

The catch 22 is that if a non-Catholic commits mortal sin by not subscribing to canon law (with full knowlege), they have to be doomed to hell, because they cannot be absolved of the sin except through the sacrament of reconciliation, which they cannot receive unless they convert and receive the sacraments of initiation.

As Christ taught (see 1 Corinthians 5:12) it is not possible for those outside the church to be the kind of sinners you describe them as. Being outside the Church means you do not have “full knowledge”. God is merciful. He will judge those who have not received the grace of being united with Him in His Church in another way, unknown to us.

Or are Catholics held to a different standard, and since they are church members if they violate canon law they have comitted mortal sin.

This sentence is unclear to me. Yes “Catholics” - and I’m using the word as it is intended to be used from the greek *katholikos *- i.e. members of the “universal” or “fully” Christian Church - are held to a different standard than those outside of the Church. Those who are given more, are required to respond more in kind. That is a basic teaching of Christianity, I think it was a point Paul was making in 1 Corinthians 5:12. It’s certainly the point Jesus was making in Luke 12:47-48.

Either way, some might argue this situation is not much of a deal closer to convince someone to become a Catholic.

That is true, based on your descriptions and the arguments you have made based on them, it would not be much of a “deal closer”.

Sort of reminds me of the old story of a Catholic missionary talking to a jungle tribesman that had never seen anyone from the outside world. The tribesman asked, “Father if I had never known about Jesus, and I died, would I go to Hell?” The priest answered, “No, the Lord is merciful, and if you did not know about Jesus because of isolation, you surely would not go to Hell.” After a long period of silence, the tribesman asked the Missionary, “So why did you tell me then!”

Ha ha, that’s actually pretty funny! The best jokes are often about silly people, like the imaginary priest and tribesman in this joke. The tribesman assumes that he was automatically going straight to heaven. He thinks that what Christ does when he draws us closer to him through his missionaries, and allows us to become united to his own Body by being members of His own Church, and teaching us the wisdom of God, actually makes it less likely that he will go to heaven! Hopefully the priest corrected him!!!

I hope something in there is useful for you, and I really do hope you can start your own thread and have alot of success here on the forums. But like I said, your post is so far off topic, and requires so much discussion, that it would require entirely changing the subject to something you want to talk about instead.

In fact, I’m coining a phrase: “thread-jacking”.

So I won’t be responding to this type of questioning in this particular thread anymore. I hope others will help me keep my topics on subject and do likewise.


#8

Apologies Neofight, I really mistook you for someone who was in a different church. It wasn’t deliberate.


#9

Another thread on this question:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=534105


#10

Thank you Trishie, that’s a helpful link with a happy ending.


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