Heresy and Sunday Obligation


#1

Suppose your parish priest is highly irregular in his beliefs articulated in his homilies and how he says mass, perhaps even a heretic. Attending another church is out of the question due to transportation issues.

Suppose the parish’s patroness is St. Joan of Arc, for example.

Are you excused from an obligation to assist at Sunday mass?


#2

Again, the Heresy Police are going to attack you for being incompetent to judge what a heretic is.

Just thought I’d warn you. :tiphat:


#3

I suppose you would be if you got a dispensation from your bishop. But you could almost always find another parish. And if not, as long as the from and matter or correct for the mass, just offer up your hair-shirt of a preist.


#4

What does the patroness of the parish being St. Joan of Arc have to do with anything?


#5

The comments that the priest makes have nothing to do with the validity of the Eucharist, and nothing to do with your obligation.

And while I am not a member of the “heresy police”, I have found some amusing statements about what is heretical. There seems to be a thread of thought flowing around that if one is disobedient to any disciplinary rule of the Church, then one is a heretic. Interesting dictionary…


#6

The reference is to St. Joan of Arc Parish in Minneapolis. Here’s a link to their Web Site .

Some here on this website feel that some things that happened at this parish were heretical. Of course the initial question on this thread is ridiculous, for even if the Mass there were invalid, there are many churches within miles to attend.

John


#7

Of course the initial question on this thread is ridiculous, for even if the Mass there were invalid, there are many churches within miles to attend.

Its not a preposterous question, as not everyone drives.

The initial question really wasn’t a “reference” to the St. Joan the Arc parish in Minnesota, more just an illusion to it, as I’ve seen others complain about the parish here.


#8

Well, particularly if one recognized the priest as genuinely preaching heresy (and let’s for the sake of argument suppose a case where this is unquestionably true), then I would say that the obligation is all the greater in effect as the heresy is clearly discernible and the Mass still valid. Now, one caveat, if the heresy was directly about a priest who stated something like “This is not the Bidy, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ” or “I do not confect the Sacrament in this way”, then there would be seriously questionable intent which would bring the very validity of the celebration into focus; in which case one should wonder whether it would be appropriate to attend there if they sincerely believed that it was not a valid Eucharistic celebration. However, in such a situation, I don’t find it likely that even the most liberal of bishops would fail to intervene, so there probably would not be much to be worry about in reality. And one could argue that “the Church Supplies” the grace equal to a real celebration should someone attend well meaning and desirous of fulfilling the obligation, with the hope and expectation that it is valid.


#9

[quote=Trelow]I suppose you would be if you got a dispensation from your bishop.
[/quote]

This is part of the fantasy of the right wing. Somewhow the bishop is giving out dispensations to laity attending Mass at a parish were he has appointed one of his priests as pastor.


#10

[quote=katherine2]This is part of the fantasy of the right wing. Somewhow the bishop is giving out dispensations to laity attending Mass at a parish were he has appointed one of his priests as pastor.
[/quote]

Right Wing?

Let me put it to you another way.
You are working as a manager at a business. You hire someone who you think would be perfect for a job. They turn out to be less than what you expected. You have no one else to fill the position.
What do you do?

Step in yourself. Guide the underlings. Make your word the last word.
It is beginning, from the Vatican down.


#11

[quote=katherine2]This is part of the fantasy of the right wing. Somewhow the bishop is giving out dispensations to laity attending Mass at a parish were he has appointed one of his priests as pastor.
[/quote]

I was just trying to to point out the only way he would be disposed of the obligation, I see no reason for the bishop to provide a dispensation to not attend a valid mass.


#12

Kielbasi

I would get a ride to another Church.

Trick


#13

[quote=Kielbasi]Suppose your parish priest is highly irregular in his beliefs articulated in his homilies and how he says mass, perhaps even a heretic. Are you excused from an obligation to assist at Sunday mass?
[/quote]

Your supposition relies upon personal opinion. If you think him to be a heretice, you are obliged to speak first to him about it in charity. If the dispute is unresolved, you are obliged to speak to his superior. If still unresolved, the final authority on the matter is the Holy See.

If the pastor is a lawful pastor, then he is your pastor and you still have an obligation to obey him in everything lawful within his scope of authority, which includes the your obligation to celebrate Mass on Holy Days of Obligation, whether you agree with him or not. If the bishop has removed his jurisdiction so that he is no longer incardinated in the diocese, then he no longer has jurisdiction in the diocese, and your obligation to obey him in all things lawful in his scope of authority or attend Mass celebrated by him ends.


#14

I think one important point to emphasize here is this…

The Sacrament of the Eucharist conveys grace ex opere operato. That is, by virtue of the valid sacrament licitly received. A heretical priest does not diminish the grace conveyed by the sacraments. There is no danger to your faith by attending Mass with a heretical priest, so long as the Mass is both valid and licit. Grace, conveyed ex opere operato, is salvific, even when the homily makes you cringe.

Now, the danger lies in bad catechesis. In view of your own competence, you have an obligation to correct illicit liturgical practices and/or heretical teachings. If you suspect the priest of teaching or practicing contrary to his lawful pastors, then I suggest that instead of simply skipping your obligation to attend Mass (a grave sin on your part), instead of skipping the grace of Christ in the Eucharist, you ought to continue to follow canon law while praying for him. Then, manifest your opinion in accord with Lumen Gentium while remaining obedient to the lawful pastors of the Church. I recommend the following protocol…

Law Witness Protocol
Catholics United for Faith
cuf.org/Faithfacts/protocol.asp


#15

[quote=otm]The comments that the priest makes have nothing to do with the validity of the Eucharist, and nothing to do with your obligation.

And while I am not a member of the “heresy p[olice”, I have found some amusing statements about what is heretical. There seems to be a thread of thought flowing around that if one is disobedient to any disciplinary rule of the Church, then one is a heretic. Interesting dictionary…
[/QUOTE]

If one admittedly, verbally and phyically dissents from a precept or tenet of the faith, that is considered heresy. This was explained by a lot of Catholic Apologists when Kerry was public about abortion, he is a heretic to the Catholic Faith. True contrition and confession would be necessary to be in communion with the church.
[/quote]


#16

[quote=Kielbasi]Suppose your parish priest is highly irregular in his beliefs articulated in his homilies and how he says mass, perhaps even a heretic. Attending another church is out of the question due to transportation issues.
[/quote]

no, if Mass is available you are not excused from your Sunday obligation, unless another priest or the bishop gives you a dispensation. If the bishop of the diocese is allowing this priest to continue saying Mass, his rule pertains, not yours. If these abuses are not brought to his attention, in writing, with pertinent, accurate, specific details and dates in a concise letter, without rambling and personal opinion, signed by parishioners, the bishop cannot act. Send him a registered letter as described every week until there is some action. After a reasonable time (3 months) without a reply, send it to the Archbishop of your area, etc. there is a procedure, documented here on these forums at least a dozen times.


#17

Perhaps OT, but it appears from their latest bulletin that the good people of St. Joan’s will be blessed with a new pastor soon.

To the OP, I would never assume to excuse myself from my Sunday obligation, no matter how awful the priest is. Jesus is still present in the Eucharist, and that’s what really matters at Mass.


#18

The crux here is this from a previous post

And one could argue that “the Church Supplies” the grace equal to a real celebration should someone attend well meaning and desirous of fulfilling the obligation, with the hope and expectation that it is valid.

If a person attends a mass intending it to be a mass and the priest for some reason makes the mass invalid then the honest layman is ok with the Commandment to keep the Sabboth Holy.

It could be argued that heretical preaching is extremely dangerous to the faith of others and that is very true (hence St. Thomas argued that the death penalty was just for heretics because it is the murdering of souls) there would probably be a lessining of culpability on the part of a laymen who did not attend mass because of a crazy priest (provided that it would be impossible to attend mass at another location). However I personally would not make that gamble. I would do what Trelow said in his first post for the sake of prudence unless I knew for sure that his mass was objectively invalid. If I knew for sure then I would not attend because it would not be mass anyway.


#19

[quote=AGirone]If one admittedly, verbally and phyically dissents from a precept or tenet of the faith, that is considered heresy. This was explained by a lot of Catholic Apologists when Kerry was public about abortion, he is a heretic to the Catholic Faith. True contrition and confession would be necessary to be in communion with the church.
[/quote]

Which still would have nothing to d with the validity of the Mass. As long as the priest minimally intends to do what the Church intends, the Consecration is valid. and as long as the Consecration is valid, the obligtion to attend Mass is in effect, subject only to being able to attend elsewhere.

The Church does not, and has not, taught that if a priest is in a state of mortal sin, the Mass is invalid. The priest may be guilty of another serious sin, that of sacrilege, but that does not affect the validity of the Mass.


#20

[quote=otm]Which still would have nothing to d with the validity of the Mass. As long as the priest minimally intends to do what the Church intends, the Consecration is valid. and as long as the Consecration is valid, the obligtion to attend Mass is in effect, subject only to being able to attend elsewhere.

The Church does not, and has not, taught that if a priest is in a state of mortal sin, the Mass is invalid. The priest may be guilty of another serious sin, that of sacrilege, but that does not affect the validity of the Mass.
[/quote]

Correct, all sacraments do not depend on the holiness of the minister. What is required is proper matter (pure wheat bread and pure grape wine), proper form (the words of institution in the context of the full liturgy), proper intention (confection of the bread ad wine) and Minister (validly ordained Bishop or priest).


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