Can Catholics pray with Non-Catholics and Non-Christians?

Well…can they? I’ve done it before. Was I wrong or am I okay?

Other: It depends.

Is it formal public worship, for example, as in the context of a church service? Is it semi-public, like praying in front of an abortion clinic? Is it a private affair with family and friends?

If it’s the first one, is it an ecumenical service with the approval of the bishop, or are you visiting a non-Catholic assembly?

If you’re visiting a non-Catholic assembly, are you formally participating in their official worship?

There are other factors, too, but these are the main ones that come to mind, which would affect the answer.

Yes. a Baptist church, a Non-Denominational church, and a Kingdom Hall (Jehovah’s Witness church)

I haven’t done that.

Yes, to this too. My friend’s Jewish and I did this with his family.

Non-Catholic assembly. Except for praying with them and singing to God, nope. What happened recently is I went to my friend’s Kingdom Hall (again Jehovah’s Witness church). I prayed with them during the service and after when it was done. We discussed our different beliefs (I’m not looking to convert though) and we just…prayed.


In praying with other Christian groups are you not praying to the same God? All these groups have some portion of the real faith that must be respected.
With the Jews you are praying with the chosen people of God that have not yet accepted Christ as their expected Messiah. They also worship the same God but only accept the Father. They too must be respected, even more so because of their relationship with God. You will not go far from the right path if you pray with other good men in Christ’s name or even with those who know our Father as do the Jews.

Of course we can.

Yes, we can pray with other faiths and it is done regularly at our parish with interfaith services.

Please remember that Jehovah’s witnesses do not believe that Jesus is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

And there are guidelines for inter-faith prayer services.

This from a CAL apologist…

In the first place a Catholic has no business attending Protestant church services even occasionally. To participate in a heretical worship service and especially a communion service can be sinful for a Catholic because such an act is an affirmation of what we believe to be untrue. To attend an ecumenical service or a wedding or baptism is allowed, but Catholics are not allowed to attend such churches for the main reason of worship. Now if there are no Catholic churches in the vicinity on a Sunday, Catholics are allowed to participate in the Liturgy of Churches whose clergy are validly ordained such as the Eastern Orthodox Churches—including the reception of the Eucharist. Although we consider them to be in schism (not in union with the Pope) with the Catholic Church, such Churches are not heretical and share our basic beliefs.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

As far as praying with non Catholics I don’t see why not although I’m curious…assuming that the praying is spoken…can a Catholic pray for intercession of our Blessed Mother and/or the saints at these kind of things?

"It is not a unity of religion we seek but a union of religious people. We may not be able to meet in the same pew, but we can meet together on our knees as Christians.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen Archbishop


[quote=Johnnyc176]This from a CAL apologist…

Do you have a link to the CAF Apologist thing you quoted? It sounds like there may be a little missing context there. In particular, in the same way that we are happy to have non-Catholics attend the mass (though not receive the Eucharist) with no assumption that doing so indicates acceptance of our beliefs, it seems like a similar thing could happen for a Catholic attending a protestant service. And it would make sense that there is no reason for a Catholic to just randomly go to a protestant service on an every other weekly basis or something, but it does seem that there may be situations in which it would be fine.

Now granted, the mass is something that a protestant service is not, and I am not trying to equate the two. I’m only focusing on the “with no assumption that doing so indicates acceptance of our beliefs” thing. I mean, you’d have to make sure you don’t join in any prayers or such that contradicted what we believe, and it might not be wise for a Catholic who doesn’t know his faith well and isn’t willing to put in the time to find answers to any issues that might be raised. But I don’t think it makes sense to say that mere attendance indicates agreement.

(Edit: I didn’t vote because I’m not ever sure how a Christian and a non-Christian would pray together. For the other Abrahamic religions, something might work, but for other religions? “May whatever God is actually there do whatever is good” is about the best I can come up with.)

Someone else posted it in another thread but I’m pretty sure I remember Father giving that answer. I don’t believe it was taken out of context. I agree with Father. You’ve already listed three reasons for being careful I would just add that you would be listening to probably a half hour or more of Scripture interpretation that may not be in line with Catholic teaching. So what would be the point?

Every year the AoG church in the next town over hosts a women’s spiritual conference 2 night event. the town has a population (according to the sign going into town) of a little over 1000 people. This years sold out event had 800 women that joined together to sing praises and pray. They have great speakers come in talk to the women about how to have a blessed and spiritual life, even through all the caring, cooking, working, and carpooling kids to school and sporting events. It is quite the event. No there isnt a communion or any hell, fire and damnation preaching going on just a LOT of women raising their voices to God. its a wonderful event with all denominations represented.

I think Non-Catholics yes because Christians believe in the same God, Jesus. (Well most of them do)
Non-Christians, I’m not sure, because they don’t believe in the same God. However, it would give them a chance to get to know God. :smiley:

Just my opinion. :slight_smile:

I sure hope we can pray with non-Catholics, because I do it around ten times a day. Approximately everyone I know is Protestant. :whistle:

I wouldn’t pray with a non-Christian unless they wanted to ask for the help of a God they didn’t yet believe in. It would be a weird situation, but if they wanted to, I would pray with them. I certainly wouldn’t be involved in praying to their god(s), though.

Other Christians. Sure why not?
Non Chrisitans, Well, here it gets tricky. Jews, yes. Same God. Muslims a hesitant “yes” One should probably understand the situation and beliefs of the Muslim they would be praying with. Now others. Absolutely not. A Christian should not pray with say a Hindu to Shiva or the like. I would also refrain from paying to occult or new age “gods” If I were a praying Christian in a group setting and someone wanted to pray to the great She or Gaia or some kind of other god I would get out pretty quick.

My Catholic Church, priest and pastor included, actively participates in the worship service at a Jewish Synagogue. The Rabbis and Jewish worshipers then actively take part in our Sunday worship!

What do you mean “actively participate?”

Just as it says, actively took part in each other’s worship services. This actually happened several years ago, and I have moved away from my church and have been attending other Catholic Churches closer to where I live. But we, including our then pastor and priest, actively took part in their Sabbath service, including the breaking of bread, singing of their hymns (the best that we could because they were in Hebrew) and praying of their prayers.

I could maybe see that. I have a hard time picturing the Jewish people praying to Jesus or reciting the creed. I was just wondering what “actively participating” meant in this case because when one actively participates in the Mass it would involve things that non Christians could not do.

They were Reform Jews, if that might shed light on things.

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