Catholic Sister Going to Baptist Service

My Catholic sister has been recently going to Baptist services on Sundays after her Catholic mass is over. She says it’s because she enjoys the songs and “oomph” that the Baptist services have that the Catholic mass doesn’t. She doesn’t participate in the service, but never the less enjoys going.

  1. Is there anything wrong with this?

  2. If there is, can somebody give me some rule (like Catechism or Canon Law) to give her on why attending a Baptist church is not OK?

As long as she goes to mass there’s nothing wrong with going to a Protestant church.

I have to agree with her on the music. When I was a new convert I really missed the livelier music & occasionally went to Protestant services.

This isn’t exactly accurate.

We can certainly go to non-Catholic services for a just cause such as a wedding, funeral, with a non-Catholic spouse.

Catholics should NOT go to non-Catholic services regularly nor participate in them. There most certainly is “something wrong” if a Catholic believes they **need **to do so.

Exposure to errors in teaching found in the Baptist service, over time, can influence the Catholic to believe that those teachings are true. One is inviting doubt, and doubt of the Catholic faith is grave matter.

We are also not to give scandal or fall into the error of indifferentism or syncretism.

Catholics may work toward ecumenism and unity. That is not what your friend is doing.

Some formation for the Catholic is needed.

Your sister will eventually be encouraged to leave the Catholic Church and become a “real” (Baptist) Christian once the people at the Baptist church discover that she is Catholic. It’s really not a good idea for her to make a habit of attending the Baptist church if she wants to remain a Catholic.

When you say that she doesn’t participate in the service, do you mean that she goes to the church to hear the praise and worship music that is performed prior to the service and then leaves? If that’s the case, I don’t think there’s anything too troubling about that. I’ve attended several choral concerts given by the choirs at various Protestant churches.

It’s not wrong on a one-off scenario, but if she is using it like a spiritual dietary supplement, saying she needs the “oomph” then she probably needs better catachesis. There’s nothing lacking from the Mass, and no protestant church can offer anything remotely as intimate and powerful as the Eucharist.

I don’t have any valuable insight on how to get through to her, but the end game needs to be helping her understand what’s happening in the Mass. Perhaps figure out what she is lacking in understanding or why she is numb to a divine gift.

Depends on the parish. I’ve been in some where the music was lacklustre & the homily quite boring. Others are great - but most are in-between. The sister may also like the camaraderie that one sees in a lot of Protestant churches. Tho most Catholic parishes are catching up on that score. But can’t there be something healthy after mass instead of just doughnuts? After I started my diet I skipped the social hour for quite a while as the temptation was just too much. I can handle it now, but all those pastries can be a weekly diet killer.

There is nothing in the OP that says the sister is “numb” to the Eucharist. At least she’s with other Christians. She could be going to an Irish pub after mass, drinking a lot of ale & singing along with the occasional bawdy song. :wink:

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. I can’t think of anything greater than receiving the Risen Lord in the Eucharist. Prayer opens our hearts wider to that reality.

Better catechesis can help.

I presume your “Sister” is a Catholic nun.

If that is the case, I think she should not go on a regular basis. People will be looking at catholic nuns as examples to imitate. Cath nuns may be mature enough not to fall into the baptist philosophies but a person who may take a cue from her and start going to baptist may eventually get attracted to it and could leave catholic church

My 2 cents:

Invite your sibling for coffee or lunch and talk about what we believe we “get” out of Mass, and what we believe we are to “put into” our Sunday obligation.

Be objective with her because she won’t like a lecture. Just make a simple list:

Correct interpretation of Scripture
Worshipping with our parish family
personal encounter with Christ Jesus
you get the idea

Her list may be mostly based on the snappy music. :shrug:
That’s not what Mass is about or for.

At the Catholic Mass she is a great Mystical Sacramental event. Many masses are silent.
At the Baptist church, surely there are nice Christians, and they probably pay a fortune for great musicians and a wonderful sound system. Because the music is a LARGE part of their service. Not a horrible thing, no, but not anything like the variety of worship and real presence in the Catholic Mass. Time to point out to her what the Mass is, and why we go. And it’s not just because God told us to in the 10 Commandments .

Show her compassion and pray for her. She clearly has no idea that she IS putting her faith on the line.

But are we going to favor the budget of the Baptist Church over the home of Our Lord?

Exactly. It usually comes down to solid catechesis.


Not all Catholic Churches have the old lady at the organ! My church [which seems to often bust stereotypes] gets real lively. Sometimes even clapping breaks out. [to which I just smile and nod :D]

She doesn’t miss Mass, that is a good thing. I wouldn’t worry about it, unless that starts happening. I read Eastern Orthodox material somtimes, but I have no desire at all to convert. You can find inspiration, just by visiting!

Sometimes I wish we still had the old lady at the organ! Now that I’m older & my musical taste has matured, I’d like much better music. I only get it at home & on public radio.

I suppose some people are more suggestible than others, but I have read many books about different religions - both Christian & non-Christian - and I have attended services at various places of worship. The Buddhist one was interesting - very upbeat for a funeral. Yet in spite of - or perhaps because of - these books & experiences, I’m not tempted to convert.

I have been to Protestant churches when I could not make mass. I do not see the big deal. I am going to a Protestant retreat this summer. I am in between I don’t like everything the Catholic church does nor do I like everything the Protestant church does.

I recently went to a Catholic event that included music and dancing and ended with the preaching from a Protestant speaker or minister. The priest spoke, too.

While they do seem to be more focused on fun, excitement, and music, I am reminded that truth is higher than feelings.

Folks at the event, including the Protestant speaker, were focused on Christian unity and that’s great. However, I also heard terms like altar call during the presentation. Inherently, an altar call indicates a desire for a relationship with Jesus, but it also indicates we don’t need the sacraments or priesthood. I also heard the term born again used in this context. From a Catholic view, these are errors and to some extent a rejection of our church.

Also remember that Protestants reject the authority given to Peter and his successors.

So perhaps Baptist services are more hip, and perhaps I am too focused on division, but they do not reflect the fullness of truth and to some extent they inherently reject our truths

Perhaps you don’t actually know what the church teaches.
Churches are not interchangeable. Especially for one who identifies as “catholic”.

I had already missed mass and there was literally no way for me to attend so I went to a Protestant church. I am not ever converting. It is beginning to sound like Jehovah’s witnesses who cannot enter a church that is not theirs.

It’s not that at all - the Catholic Church is the most open about reading, exploring, and learning. But being Catholic comes from the knowledge that the fullness of Christ’s Church is had only in the Catholic Church.

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