Is God happy by the praise and worship of schismatics?


#1

Will God be happy with the praises and adulations given to him by religious sects known to be schismatics like born-again Christians and others?


#2

First, we have to distinguish between formal and material schism. Formal schism is when a group of people knowingly and willfully choose to separate themselves from the Catholic Church. An example of such a group would be the radical Traditionalist priestly fraternity that is called the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), which separated itself from the Church in 1988. Material schism is when a group of people belong to a sect that long ago separated itself from the Church. They did not willfully choose to leave the Church; instead, they, in all likelihood, honestly believe that they are participating in Christianity as God intends it. An example of a group such as this would be the Eastern Orthodox, who have lived for centuries under Orthodoxy and were not party to the original schism. Evangelical Christians would also fall into this group with the Eastern Orthodox because the Protestant Reformation is also centuries old.

Second, we cannot presume to know how God receives the worship of others. We can say, objectively speaking, that the Catholic Mass (and the divine liturgy of Eastern Catholics) is the most pleasing form of corporate worship that can be offered to God because it is the worship he himself ordained. But we cannot presume to say that God rejects the sincerely offered praise and worship of non-Catholic Christians, or even of non-Christians, that is given to him according to the light and knowledge of God that these groups have.

Look at it this way: A father with an eighteen-year-old art major and a four-year-old preschooler is given art projects by each of his children for Father’s Day. The art major’s project is going to be more highly-accomplished and aesthetically-pleasing, but a good father is going to delight also in the clumsier efforts of his preschooler who has also made his project for his father with love. If that is true for earthly fathers, how much more will our heavenly Father delight in the sincerely-offered worship of those who love him but are blamelessly ignorant of the corporate worship he has entrusted to his Church?


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