Can a Roman Catholic attend 'Anglican Catholic' mass?

There is this small church I sometimes pass. At first I though it was Catholic simply because it was named 'St. Anthony of Padua", plus the architecture looked catholic. But then I observed the sign and it said ‘Anglican Catholic’ Now I attend my own Catholic (just Catholic) church, and Im more then happy for that. But now where does the church step in with this situation? With Anglicans acknowledging the Pope and all, what would happen if by any chance a Roman Catholic attended, an Anglican Catholic mass?

As of now, those Anglican parishes that have come into communion with the Catholic Church are called “Anglican Use” parishes. They are Roman Catholic, not Anglican, but their Liturgy is one from their Anglican roots. Any Catholic may attend Mass there, but there aren’t many of them, maybe 6 or 7 in the US. The parish you are talking about is probably not one of them–I did a Google search and didn’t find any in New Jersey. They would identify themselves as Roman Catholic and would call themselves an “Anglican Use” parish, not an Anglican Catholic parish, and they only exist in this country.

A Catholic may not fulfill his Sunday obligation at an Anglican Parish or receive Communion there. The current situation of some Anglican bodies wanting to come into communion with the Catholic Church and establishing Ordinariates is currently being worked out with Rome. Someone else may be able to fill in on the details, I’m not that up on it, but I believe that is mostly happening in England.

Our Lady of the Atonement in Texas is an Anglican Use parish–they have a website which you can Google and read about them, and I believe they have the words to the Liturgy there also.

Answer is simple… You may always attend, but you may not always receive.

Only a hand full of Anglican Churches are now in union with Rome. These Anglican churches would be under the authority and guidance of a Roman Catholic Bishop known as the Ordinariate… Many Anglican Churches are now in process of becoming united with Rome, but the process in not complete… >> You should not receive the sacraments in the Anglican Church until the Ordinariate is complete.

You may ask… How do I know if this or that Anglican Church is in union with Rome??? . Ask someone when you enter the church…

What you read on the sign is (most likely) an untruth. Some Anglicans use the word “Catholic” to describe themselves, but since they aren’t truly Catholic, what you read on the sign is simply not true.

The exception, of course, is the small number of Anglican-use Catholic parishes (as other posters have already mentioned). These parishes are in fact Catholic in every sense of the word. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

The best (most authoritative) source to find out about that particular parish would be the local diocese. If they’re listed on the diocese webpage, or in the diocese directory of parishes, then you know they’re Catholic. You could also simply ask a local Catholic priest.

Is this the place? St Anthony of Padua in Hackensack?
If it is, they are not Catholic, despite the fact that they use the word to describe themselves.

To answer your questions more directly:

You may attend any services there. Catholics are free to attend non-Catholic services so long as the reason is legitimate (social obligations, special events, seeking to learn about their beliefs/practices, etc), but never as a substitute for Catholic worship.

Attending does not in any way fulfill your Sunday Mass obligation, so if you do, you still need to attend a Mass somewhere on that day.
The “masses” there are NOT valid Masses. The bread is not consecrated because there is no validly-ordained priest celebrating Mass–therefore you cannot under any circumstances receive the bread.

Answer is simple… You may always attend, but you may not always receive.

I think that’s the right way to put it. You can go to an Anglican service, or to an Anglo-Catholic service, but doing so on Sunday, obviously, will not fulfill your obligation. I attend Anglican services at the local Episcopalian cathedral frequently, because they’re so incomparably beautiful: Mass, Vespers, what have you. But I don’t do this in place of Catholic Mass and services, mind you. I do this after fulfilling my obligation, because after all of the lack of beauty, majesty, and solemnity that my own Church offers, I need to get my ceremonial fix from the Episcopalians.

If the parish in question is an Anglican Use parish, then it is an actual Roman Catholic Church and attendance at Mass there does fulfill your Sunday obligation. You’ll want to find out whether it is a Catholic church or not.

I noticed that St. Anthony of Padua is part of FIF, which is Forward in Faith. There are several parishes in FIF who are planning on joining the Ordinariate, but I didn’t see anything on their website saying that.

Until the US gets an Ordinariate, hopefully soon, we won’t know which Anglican churches are going to become part of it.

There are now around 9 Anglican Use parishes and hopefully once the Ordinariate is in place, many of the parishes that are interested but still have fears will join.

There are many priests who are coming into the Church, some without parishes, there are even Bishops coming. Until they have people who want to establish a parish, the priests once ordained will most likely be assigned to a Latin Rite parish.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


You don’t have a problem with being surrounded by people adoring a piece of bread as God since their orders are invalid?

Go to the parish office and see if the have a photo of the Pope on the wall :smiley:

Nope. I don’t care what they believe or do not believe (neither does one even know what any individual Episcopalian believes; not one seems to believe exactly the same as the next).

I do not go to the Episcopal cathedral to worship. I go to enjoy the magnificent choir and ceremonies that I should be able to experience at the Catholic cathedral. Alas, the Episcopalians/Anglicans have retained…for mere bread…so much of what the Roman Catholic Church has discarded with respect to the liturgical and ceremonial arts.

Hopefully in time once the Ordinariates are established, there will be an Anglican Use parish close enough for you to attend. This will probably be a slow process as many Episcopalians and Anglican groups just can’t accept the Papacy.

But at some point in time the Catholilc minded ones will have to make a decision whether they are really Catholic or protestant.

God Bless


Hopefully. I was contacted by a CAF member, actually, who was kind enough to inform me that he and others are in the process of appealing for an Anglican Use venue about an hour’s drive from where I live. Fingers crossed.

Lucky you! I am waiting to see if my former parish is going to enter it. I live further away now, but at least I will try to attend twice a month if it comes to being. Right now I attend a traditional parish and my Pastor is looking forward to the new translation. He celebrates ad orietiem and we kneel or Communion. No innovations at all and many hymns I remember from my Anglo Catholic days.

God Bless


Not unless it’s in commuion with Rome, if that’s not the case then attending at that parish is no different than attending at any other protestant service as far as the Church is concerned. You should contact the parish and find out what their status is with regards to joining the CC… Once they complete the process and are an Anglican Use parish you’ll be in the clear to attend.

Aren’t you being a bit judgemental here? As an Anglican, I happen to believe in the real presence. My preferred posture is kneeling at the altar rail and receiving the host on my tongue. The V2 custom of receiving the host in the palm of your hand demystifies the sacrament. No wonder high numbers of Catholics no longer believe in Transubstantiation.

Non-the-less you are not free to attend anglican worship unless it truely is Catholic i.e. in communion with the see of Peter. If you like traditional, I suggest you investigate finding an Extrodenary Form mass until the situation with this Anglican pairsh is sorted, or another (true) Anglican Catholic option.

With regards to the bread, the poster you are responding too is making far too sweeping a statement. Some Anglican Priests have valid ordres, thus can institue the Eucharist. Whether or not the Priest in this particular parish can do this however is besides the point. Even if that truely is the body and blood of Christ in that church you can not partake of it. If they are not in communion with Rome then you would be lieing when you say “Amen” when receiving the Eucharist.

I’m sorry that this may seem harsh (I realize to many it does), but this is simply how things are. In faith, words have real meanings which can not be ingored, in many cases this goes far beyond what you sense on the surface. If you are going to receive communion, or even attend a service you need to make sure you are truely in commuion with that parish. If the fact is that they are Anglican, not in communion with Rome, then you are not in commuion with that parish and you need to cease attending services there.

Sorry, “you” should be applied to the OP or anyone else in a similar sitution.

Sorry but it is not true. We are free to attend worship services of other denominations or even of other faith, but merely as spectators and not participants. As long as we don’t cross that line of observer and participant, we can enter any place of worship.

Under certain condtions, sure you can be there… If your good about aboslutly limiting your participation there, maybe… But then one considers whether or not you are putting your self in the near occation of sin. You will be tempted yes, to participate? Perhaps more than one really ought to. For instance even with our eccumenical spirit a Catholic is still aboslutly restricted from even offering a response durring worship which contains a theology contradictory to the faith, what are the chances you’ll end up violating this?

The best attitude towards this is, go if you have a real good reason to. Wedding, baptism, etc. Certainly refrain from participating in communion, even if everyone at that church says “hey man, it’s ok”… No, no it’s not ok.

Receiving Communion in a non-Catholic denomination is already participation. Without even discussing it in detail it already crosses the line we’re not supposed to.

There are many reasons why one would go to a non-Catholic service. Oftentimes its because of family.

You might receive on the tongue, but that is not the typical way Anglicans receive Holy Communion. In some Anglo Catholic parishes it is more the norm, but in most of my former parishes receiving in the hand was the norm.

I noticed you belong to one of the many Continuing Anglican groups and whether they are suggesting this way of reception instead of in the hand I have no idea.

I would say that Anglicans when receiving in the hand have a much more reverent manner of doing so. They lay their right hand over their left and bring up their hands to their mouth so there is little chance that the host will fall.

Also as a former Anglo Catholic, yes we were taught to believe the same as Catholics, but in all my former TEC parishes this was not the case. At one time all TEC parishes had closed communion, now I noticed that even Anglo Catholic parishes say anyone who is baptized can receive.

As one poster pointed out there have been some priests who were ordained in the Old Catholic line so they would have a valid ordination, although considered illicit by the Church. But as of today with women priests and Bishops that is not possible. Also not that many priests were ordained by an Old Catholic Bishop. Most of the parishes I attended until my teens were either very low or broad churches which followed the 39 Articles. Anglo Catholic praishes were few and far between.

Just out of curiosity, is your Anglican group considering women ordinations? I know that there is one group that is, but can’t recall which one.

God Bless


My parish is part of the recently formed network of churches under the umbrella of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). We are a mix of everything from low church Evangelicals to High Church Anglo Catholics. Some of the dioceces allow women to be ordained as priests–which I have a big problem with–and others do not. The fact that we can come together in convention and put this major hurdle aside for the moment is nothing short of miraculous. Women cannot become bishops and if a priest is divorced, he cannot become bishop. Hope this clarifies some.

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