Can I cross diocesan lines?


My husband and I recently moved to a house that is near the diocesan border. Neither of us are comfortable with the church that is closest to us, but we both really enjoy attending church a few miles down the road. The problem is that that church is across diocesan lines. Is it okay for us to register as parishioners at a church that is not in our diocese?


Yes, it’s perfectly fine. Catholics are free to register at any Catholic church that is recognized by its local diocese to be a Catholic church. You should be aware though that, so far as I know, your local ordinary continues to be the bishop of the diocese in which you reside. If this is the case, that means that if your local ordinary makes a decision that binds the Catholics of his diocese, you are bound to that decision despite going to a church in another diocese. So, for example, if during Lent St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Lenten Friday and your ordinary refuses to grant a dispensation to eat meat but the neighboring bishop does grant such a dispensation, you likely are bound by your ordinary’s ruling.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit