In China [Guangzhou] during Holy Friday but not going to Mass


Brothers and Sisters,

I will be in China for work purposes and I still need to go to Good Friday mass. What is is the Vatican’s stance on the cathedral there. Can I go? Should I not go? Are we allowed to go there? The chinese-communist party is all but happy to change scripture and place the picture of party officials higher than any other figure… Also, if I go and it ends up being the wrong decision, it then becomes a sin against the Holy Spirit…

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What do you guys know about this topic? What do you guys think?

Current Decisions
03/08/2019: Not going. Source: My parish priest said not to go.


Just to clarify. There is no Mass on Good Friday.

I think you meant to say Good Friday service or Liturgy… There will be Holy Communion distributed from what was consecrated on Holy Thursday but no Mass.


[Deleted and re-posted as a reply to you.]

You are correct! Also, sorry, language barrier. In spanish, my first language, we have the custom of calling every and all celebrations at church “Misa” or translated as Mass also knowing that there is no Holy Communion on Good Friday. In a failed attempt to simplify my case, I wrote as Holy Communion on Friday. But in fact, I’ll be in China for Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday, days that I would miss Communion.

My question mostly deals with the fact that, even though there is a cathedral in Guangzhou and Shanghai, I have absolutely no idea if it is OK for us Catholics to go to those churches… What’s the status? My priest told me not to go, so that’s my solution for now. I will be attending another church this weekend to get the chance to ask another priest the same question. Also, what are your opinions?


a) There is no mass on Good Friday.

b) Good Friday is not a day of obligation, so indeed you do not “need” to go.

c) Yes, you may attend mass in a Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association church in China – the “state church”. Or not attend.


Thanks for your response 1ke.

I’ve responded to paperwight with regards to language barrier in my case with use of the word “Mass” and how in order to simplify my case, I wrongfully used just Good Friday as example when in fact I’ll be there also Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday.

From your response, I’ll go ahead and read and educate myself about the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association which I did not know or had come across in my search yet.



You can attend, but you aren’t obligated to attend the Chinese patriotic church. As a traveler, you may be excused from the obligation when it becomes difficult or impossible to fulfill it.


I need to work out a better plan for the future. Canton Industrial fair is during Holy Week. If that is the case, I’ll add time and budget to travel to Macau or Hong Kong and save myself this headache…


I was in China two years ago and faced the same problem,.
The Church buildings in China are occupied by a fake Catholic Church that is under the atheist Chinese government. So I decided not go to mass there.
Half the Catholics in China wouldn’t join this organization and are underground Catholics. If a foreigner learned about where an underground mass was held and showed up, you could draw attention to these underground Catholics and get them into trouble, which was the advice I got.
So I missed mass two Sundays. The Church allows Catholics to miss mass for even a moderately serious reason.
You might decide it is all-right to go to mass to the government-run “Catholic” Church. I leave that up to that decision for you to make with your conscience.


There is no Mass on Good Friday.

There is no obligation to go to church on Good Friday so by not going you will not break any canons or other rules.

Your only safe option in China would be to go to a Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association church. However, this is not the true Catholic Church. Trying to find an underground real Catholic community will get you into very serious trouble not to mention potentially placing local Chinese who are part of it at great risk.

My advice would be this. Do not go to church on Good Friday in China. There is no obligation and even if there was it would not apply if there is no church to go to, and there is not. Going even to a Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association church may cause the Chinese authorities to take an interest in you that you would not want.

Whilst in China it may be good for your freedom to simply focus on doing your job then coming home.


Given the deal with China I think that a Patriotic Association Mass would fulfill the obligation and be both valid and licit.

Therefore on a Holy Day of Obligation I would recommend attending.


Possibly. But Good Friday isn’t a Holy Day of Obligation so why risk trouble.


I said a Holy Day of Obligation. The OP will be in China on Easter Sunday.


That is advice you should follow. I believe it dispenses your obligation.

I think it best as a foreigner to avoid going to any church in atheist China.

I don’t want to scaremonger but I think they’re just itching to arrest an American since Canada has arrested the CFO of Huawei and is extraditing her to the USA.


Your priest has dispensed you from the obligation by advising you not to go.

We are accustomed to being able to attend Mass every Sunday, but many people in the world do not have access to Mass or are served by a traveling priest who is there only once every few weeks. Join your sufferings to theirs and offer it up to Our Lord.


The Vatican has recently reached an agreement with the government of China which regularizes the situation of the Catholic Church in China. If you make a point of going to the Catholic cathedral or any Catholic church then you would be showing support for our Catholic brothers in this challenging time.

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