Is going to Protestant services a sin?


#1

Is it a sin to go to a Protestant service? Please read this post by Fr. Serpa:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=229077

Haven't Popes been to Protestant services? I doubt a Pope would go if it's sinful.

What does Fr. Serpa mean?


#2

I think Father Serpa's main issue with the person who asked the question is that this person saw nothing wrong with receiving Communion at a Protestant service. I think, too, we ought not to make it a habit to attend Protestant services b/c then we become accustomed to hearing things that are contrary to our Faith as Catholics. In your case, you have close family members who are Protestant and you may want to attend services with them occasionally in order that you may worship as a family. They may also want to attend Mass with you occasionally. Of course you still have an obligation to atttend Sunday Mass (or Saturday vigil) and you must never receive Communion at a Protestant service. This sounds like an issue you should discuss with your parish priest if you have concerns. How did Easter service go?


#3

You seem to be looking for a yes or no answer. It isn't that simple.

Are you going for a special occasion or on a regular basis? Are you going because you feel you're missing something spiritually, or for other reasons? Are you well formed in your faith, or are you unable to tell when you hear false doctrine? Do the persons involved get the message that you approve of their heresy, schism, and false worship, or is it clear that you are a committed Catholic who is just attending a wedding or are present for some other legitimate reason?

As to the popes, I am not aware of any popes having participated in Protestant worship. They have certainly been part of ecumenical services designed to be suitable for those occasions.


#4

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:3, topic:321250"]
You seem to be looking for a yes or no answer. It isn't that simple.

Are you going for a special occasion or on a regular basis? Are you going because you feel you're missing something spiritually, or for other reasons? Are you well formed in your faith, or are you unable to tell when you hear false doctrine? Do the persons involved get the message that you approve of their heresy, schism, and false worship, or is it clear that you are a committed Catholic who is just attending a wedding or are present for some other legitimate reason?

[/quote]

These are all good things to think about. You have just become a Catholic, so your Faith is new and you need to be around other Catholics to continue to grow in your Faith. Maybe you could just go with your family to Protestant services on special occasions such as Easter and Christmas--to be together as a family. Or if you want to do something with your family, maybe just spend some time together at home on Sunday reading from the Bible or praying together. Again, I think this would be a good thing to talk over with your parish priest.


#5

[quote="Veronica97, post:2, topic:321250"]
I think Father Serpa's main issue with the person who asked the question is that this person saw nothing wrong with receiving Communion at a Protestant service. I think, too, we ought not to make it a habit to attend Protestant services b/c then we become accustomed to hearing things that are contrary to our Faith as Catholics. In your case, you have close family members who are Protestant and you may want to attend services with them occasionally in order that you may worship as a family. They may also want to attend Mass with you occasionally. Of course you still have an obligation to atttend Sunday Mass (or Saturday vigil) and you must never receive Communion at a Protestant service. This sounds like an issue you should discuss with your parish priest if you have concerns. How did Easter service go?

[/quote]

The Easter service went pretty good. No one tried to convert me back, but someone did say I could come back any time.


#6

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:3, topic:321250"]
You seem to be looking for a yes or no answer. It isn't that simple.

Are you going for a special occasion or on a regular basis? Are you going because you feel you're missing something spiritually, or for other reasons? Are you well formed in your faith, or are you unable to tell when you hear false doctrine? Do the persons involved get the message that you approve of their heresy, schism, and false worship, or is it clear that you are a committed Catholic who is just attending a wedding or are present for some other legitimate reason?

[/quote]

I was just going because my mom really wanted me to go and my dad told me to.

As to the popes, I am not aware of any popes having participated in Protestant worship. They have certainly been part of ecumenical services designed to be suitable for those occasions.

Maybe's that's what I was thinking about.


#7

I would say it isn’t, just don’t receive communion there. Really, Protestants and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ speaking the same language, but different dialects.


#8

I agree with what Fr. Serpa said, though it almost sounds as if your parents are protestant and you are Catholic. That can be a tough situation. If it was something like an Easter or Christmas service and it was a special family thing then I think it was fine as long as you went to mass maybe the night before or that morning and you don't like try to go frequently. It is better to try to get them to understand your position but I know it can be very hard.

[quote="VanSensei, post:7, topic:321250"]
I would say it isn't, just don't receive communion there. Really, Protestants and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ speaking the same language, but different dialects.

[/quote]

I disagree. I heard the late Fr. Hugh Thwaites in a talk on how to lose your Catholic faith that a Catholic can learn something from a protestant Christian but a Catholic can not learn from a protestant service because they do not have the fullness of truth but many misconceptions.

I believe it is much more than just a different dialect.


#9

Thanks for the replies. Do I need to go to Confession?


#10

I don't think you need to go to Confession for going to Easter service with your family. Your mother had just witnessed your First Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, and I am sure you were grateful for her support and wanted to please her by attending her church with her. You didn't take Communion at the Protestant Service, did you? I have a good Examination of Conscience and under mortal sins it lists: Apostasy (leaving the Catholic Church), Adherence to a schismatic group (that would mean you chose to FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS of the Southern Baptist Church), and Involvement in false or pagan worship (I would think that would be more like worshipping false Gods of Hinduism for instance or being involved in Wicca.) You went to Easter service and worshipped the same God and the same Jesus Christ. You celebrated the Risen Christ with your family. If you didn't take Communion and you weren't sitting there agreeing with "once saved always saved", then I don't see any sin here. You wouldn't have gone at all if you weren't trying to honor your mother's wishes. I am a very scrupulous person and I still don't see that you've sinned. If you are still worried, please go speak to your parish priest and put your mind at ease.


#11

[quote="Zenkai, post:9, topic:321250"]
Thanks for the replies. Do I need to go to Confession?

[/quote]

I would mention it to the priest the next time you go to confession.

If you can avoid it, don't attend their services. They have nothing you don't have and are missing a lot of what you do have. Jesus is pleased when we show our loyality to his desire that we attend the one church he himself gave us thru Peter.

Be at peace.


#12

Similar question:

Is it wrong to go Protestant services on a regular basis?

Specifically, a weekly chapel service at school.


#13

[quote="Kamaduck, post:12, topic:321250"]
Similar question:

Is it wrong to go Protestant services on a regular basis?

Specifically, a weekly chapel service at school.

[/quote]

Please read this post by Fr. Serpa:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=229077


#14

[quote="fred_conty, post:11, topic:321250"]
I would mention it to the priest the next time you go to confession.

If you can avoid it, don't attend their services. They have nothing you don't have and are missing a lot of what you do have. Jesus is pleased when we show our loyality to his desire that we attend the one church he himself gave us thru Peter.

Be at peace.

[/quote]

For context here, Zenkai's Baptist mom had attended the Easter Vigil where he (she?) was received into the Catholic Church and had then asked him (her) please to attend the service on Easter Sunday with her. I think some allowances are made for those who have family members who belong to other church denominations and in my opinion this was a sign of graciousness to the family. My father knew I loved Midnight Mass, his church was very different, but he always came with me to ensure my safety; I reciprocated by going to his church with him at times.

Zenkai, as a new convert, discuss this with your priest who knows you and your family situation.

[quote="Kamaduck, post:12, topic:321250"]
Similar question:

Is it wrong to go Protestant services on a regular basis?

Specifically, a weekly chapel service at school.

[/quote]

Kamaduck, I'm not sure that the reply from Fr Serpa applies as it stands to your question, and I suggest you ask your priest about this.


#15

Here is what Fr. Serpa said:
"In the first place a Catholic has no business attending Protestant church services even occasionally."

"To participate in a heretical worship service and especially a communion service can be sinful for a Catholic because such an act is an affirmation of what we believe to be untrue. To attend an ecumenical service or a wedding or baptism is allowed, but Catholics are not allowed to attend such churches for the main reason of worship."


#16

[quote="VivienneJ, post:14, topic:321250"]

Kamaduck, I'm not sure that the reply from Fr Serpa applies as it stands to your question, and I suggest you ask your priest about this.

[/quote]

I will, but since my priest is very aware that I go to a protestant school, and he hasn't said anything at all, I'm gonna assume it's not sinful until I get a chance to see him. It'd be incredibly rude and rebellious of me to refuse to go, and I think that's worse. I was just wondering what people thought. :o

It's not a communion service, and none of us would ever consider it a substitute for Sunday worship, so I guess that's good. :shrug:


#17

I went to Confession and the priest said it was not a sin to go to Protestant services occasionally.


#18

I think the main thing here is are you attending for the main purpose of worship? My mom's side of the family is all Protestant and I very occasionally will attend with them on major holidays (having gone to Catholic Mass night before/earlier that morning). I will sing the songs about God and say the Lord's Prayer because those are not different teaching than the Catholic Church. However, I would say the main purpose for me is to be there with my family, I am not using it for spiritual fulfillment.


#19

Always prudent to ask your own priest about this type of thing.

Well done Kamaduck and Zenkai for checking with your priests about your particular situations, rather than about Protestant services in general, which I would not advocate attending.


#20

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