Is it a Sin to Listen to Non-Catholic Sermons?


#1

I have come back to the Church a little while ago. I came across something today on a Catholic site that said taking part in non-Catholic religions was a sin against the first commandment.

I have listened to sermons for the last few years from some Christian Preachers and even still now give money to Christian, non-Catholic Charities.

Are these really sins?

What am I not understanding here?


#2

The problem with actions such as these is that there's no way to be sure that what the pastor is saying coincides with Catholic teaching. This is a danger for people who's faith is not well formed, which is why it is generally frowned upon.

I know of several people who ceased being Catholic because they didn't know about their religion, and were drawn in by the misrepresentation of Protestant pastors during non-Catholic bible studies they attended.

I'm not saying that your faith is malformed or lacking in some way, just that this is why it is considered a bad idea. You're much better off listening to the sermon of your parish priest, or any of the talks on a myriad of subjects available on the website.


#3

[quote="JLAChild, post:1, topic:313956"]
I have come back to the Church a little while ago. I came across something today on a Catholic site that said taking part in non-Catholic religions was a sin against the first commandment.

I have listened to sermons for the last few years from some Christian Preachers and even still now give money to Christian, non-Catholic Charities.

Are these really sins?

What am I not understanding here?

[/quote]

I wouldn't say it is inherently sinful, but you put yourself at great risk. You are exposing yourself to heresy, but if you keep your ears open, you should be okay.


#4

No, listening to preachers and interesting speakers who are
not Catholic is not a sin anymore than reading a book
for curiosity sake is a sin. You just have to make sure that
none of what they are saying contradicts Catholic dogma…
so it depends on what they are talking about…
for example today I was flipping through the AM dial
and heard some Grace Hour show, it was all about
angels and very true to Catholic teaching. There are some
very good Christian preachers and lectors, but you need
to steer away from the ones on TV mostly, the ones on TV
are more likely to say things which distort. Plus, we have
EWTN anyway. On AM we have Relevant Radio.
And Vatican Radio internationally.
I have a lot of links to good Catholic free radio shows.

But what I said above cannot apply to everyone, for example
the mere fact that you asked this question leads me to suspect
that your knowledge is not fully formed. If you are a new Catholic
or young, or don’t have a strong working understanding of history
you would be better off immersing yourself in Catholic sources
so that you may buttress your own mind, to become wise enough
to weed through what they say.

Concerning charities, yes you may give to other charities
but you may not give to other churches. And you may
want to consider giving to some of the better Catholic
charities which need help, two of my favorites are the
Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land and Aid to the
Church in Need.


#5

[quote="JLAChild, post:1, topic:313956"]
I have come back to the Church a little while ago. I came across something today on a Catholic site that said taking part in non-Catholic religions was a sin against the first commandment.

I have listened to sermons for the last few years from some Christian Preachers and even still now give money to Christian, non-Catholic Charities.

Are these really sins?

What am I not understanding here?

[/quote]

Some Traditionalist sites reject ecumenism and invoke earlier disciplinary measures against Catholics participating in ecumenism.

Such sites may be dissident in openly rejecting Vatican II, or just very conservative within the bounds of legitimate discussion.

If you are reading a site which says, unequivocally, that participating in a Protestant ceremony is a sin (ie. just attending is a sin), then it is wrong, and the site is probably a dissident Catholic site. Dissident sites never admit they are dissident, btw.. ;)

On the other hand, if you were to be regularly practicing another denomination or religion, then that is a sin. For example, it is a sin to receive communion in another denomination, or to accept a doctrine which is contrary to Catholicism.

I personally sometimes read non-Catholic writers and also give to non-Catholic charities.


#6

I lost my way for a lot of years and stopped attending mass regularly, but never stopped believing in God. Quite frankly a TV minister, very gradually over time made me want more and more to get back into Church. I returned to the Catholic Church because it was what I was raised in, but there are things I forgot along the way, so this was rather alarming to hear.

I give a little to a couple different charities that are Christian, but not Catholic, because of the help they give children and other people in need. The majority of my giving is to my own Parish.

As far as listening to sermons, I realize that there are area’s that may be more relaxed or whatever with other Christian Faiths and I take that into account when I listen, but it just didn’t sound right to me to call it a sin.


#7

Sinful? No. But possibly dangerous to faith, for someone not well-grounded in knowledge of Catholicism. If you know your faith well enough to recognize when they’re saying something contrary to it, you’ll be fine.


#8

Ya know, I have no idea. My first thought, based on nothing but my sense, is:
If you are asking, maybe it’s not a good idea for you.
If you are asking, it might be, though not necessarily, that you still have questions of your own faith, and if that’s the case, maybe it’s not a good idea for you.
If you are firm in your faith and want to know what others’ believe without following, why not? How else can we understand each other? I cannot tell you how many different churches I’ve attended as a guest. I gained knowledge of others’ faith while holding steadfastly to my own. It sparked healthy conversations, not heated debates. I gained personal knowledge because all but one was a Christian denominational Church; and even the non Christian was insightful. Wise words were stated in every sermon; I gained more Christian insight each and every time, again, while still holding steadfastly to my own. The only non Christian was a Temple; I learned something of Jesus faith, their faith, and the Rabbi’s ‘sermon’ was of charity and help for ALL of God’s Children. And I Iearned that there is no applading in some temples. Oopsy!!


#9

I believe that you should be grateful to them, as you have been, for bringing you back to the Christ, even if they did not teach the fullness of Catholic truth.

Gratitude is good!

It is not, in itself, a sin to listen to a Protestant sermon or to give to a Protestant charity. Anyone who says that is either not telling the full story, or is imposing more strict rules than the Church itself does. They may even be actively undermining Church teaching on the subject.

Obviously you should not listen to Protestant sermons which have a strong anti-Catholic message, unless it is for the purpose of being informed about anti-Catholicism. We frequently discuss such sermons and writings in CAF, and we couldn’t do so without watching or reading them.


#10

[quote="Edmundus1581, post:9, topic:313956"]
I believe that you should be grateful to them, as you have been, for bringing you back to the Christ, even if they did not teach the fullness of Catholic truth.

Gratitude is good!

It is not, in itself, a sin to listen to a Protestant sermon or to give to a Protestant charity. Anyone who says that is either not telling the full story, or is imposing more strict rules than the Church itself does. They may even be actively undermining Church teaching on the subject.

Obviously you should not listen to Protestant sermons which have a strong anti-Catholic message, unless it is for the purpose of being informed about anti-Catholicism. We frequently discuss such sermons and writings in CAF, and we couldn't do so without watching or reading them.

[/quote]

I like this. Really do. Maybe I am naive but I do not care. While there are differences, differences that cannot, will not change, We are all praising Jesus.


#11

It's not inherently sinful, no. Sometimes it can be very useful, as long as you keep a good understanding of Catholic teachings. When I was first looking into Christianity, some of the best materials I found in support of the existence of God came from protestant sources.


#12

That’s like what I said! Gee, I like it when we are on the same page… Wait, We ARE on the same page…:smiley:


#13

I would say ,not a sin. My wife is not Catholic and we attend her church every other weekend (I of course attend mass as well on those weekends). My pastor is aware of this and informed my that we (catholics) are allowed to “visit” other churches. You must use decernment and familiarize yourself with sound Catholic doctrine. As far as giving to non-catholic christian charities- be careful. Many of those charities are raising money to “spread the gospel” in Catholic countries. In other words their goal is to convert Catholics. Though they won’t come out and say it.


#14

I would advise against it. Try to find Catholic radio programs, watch EWTN and spend time on this forum. Re-ground yourself in the faith, and then you will be able to recognize the sometimes subtle anti-Catholic theology that can run through these non-denominational or Protestant celebrity preachers. I was listening to several and wasn’t picking up on all the errors I was hearing and then I came here and realized that for me, a revert who had missed out on over 20 years of catechism, it was dangerous to spend too much time hearing non-Catholic theology. I was reading a Protestant version of the Bible too. Not good. I’m a Catholic and don’t need to fill my mind with errors of theology.


#15

[quote="cheezey, post:10, topic:313956"]
I like this. Really do. Maybe I am naive but I do not care. While there are differences, differences that cannot, will not change, We are all praising Jesus.

[/quote]

:yup:

From Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church

This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him,(13*) although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.

John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Mark 9:38-40


#16

Like many of the above posters have said, it's not a sin, and I've heard some really good talks by non-Catholic Christians before, but there is a danger if one is not well-formed in their faith.
At the same time, when I have heard something that challenges a Catholic teaching, it prompts me to do some "homework" and learn about why the CC teaches what it does. It has helped me grow in my faith and it's amazing to discover just how many things are misunderstood about our Catholic faith and how awesome Catholicism really is!


#17

I like to learn what makes every thing and every one tick…doesn’t mean I’ll follow it. I just like to understand.


#18

This advice kind of sounds like what I was already doing. I have liked listening, but if there is something I don’t understand or is questionable said by a non-Catholic, I research or ask about it.

I am aware that some people may want to persuade Catholics to their faith, but I don’t generally listen to those types of preachers anyway.

Good point about the ministries though that may try to “evangelize” existing Catholic countries. I will look into that.

It sounds as though “taking part” in a non-Catholic service isn’t the same as listening or attending. I don’t plan on being anything other than Catholic.


#19

Ditto


#20

[quote="JLAChild, post:18, topic:313956"]
This advice kind of sounds like what I was already doing. I have liked listening, but if there is something I don't understand or is questionable said by a non-Catholic, I research or ask about it.

I am aware that some people may want to persuade Catholics to their faith, but I don't generally listen to those types of preachers anyway.

Good point about the ministries though that may try to "evangelize" existing Catholic countries. I will look into that.

It sounds as though "taking part" in a non-Catholic service isn't the same as listening or attending. I don't plan on being anything other than Catholic.

[/quote]

Just today we attended my wife's church. I have been going there with her for 13 years.(of course I go to mass those weeks to.) i have never, nor will I ever, receive their communion( they actually have communion every week.) But today one of them asked me if I would pass out the communion. I respectfully said no. He wasn't trying to convert me or anything like that. They just don't understand why we can't receive communion in other churches. Since most protestants have open communion. As far as charities. I decided the Catholic charities do good work. And there is no reason to give to non-catholic ones.


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