Long story short: I am a cradle Catholic, went through the Catholic sacramental life up to and including confirmation, was heavily involved in my college’s Catholic campus ministry, and a ton of my friends are Catholics, ranging from liberal to conservative (by American social standards)
A year or two ago I found Episcopalianism, started attending their Masses, studying their theology, and here I am now making the final leap into being received into the Episcopal Church.
Anyway, the pontifical Mass is going to happen in about a month and I’m not sure if I should invite my Catholic friends to it. It’s a huge deal for me and my family is coming…but should I extend the invite to my friends?
My more liberal friends would be fine with it, but I’m concerned with how my conservative friends would feel?
On top of that, are they even allowed to attend per Catholic guidelines? Everyone is welcome to attend per Episcopalian guidelines and, depending on how ‘low’ the church is, even non-Christians are welcome to have the Eucharist.
I’m sure it’ll be fine, but try not push Episcopalianism on them too much. I take it that they are happy inside the Roman Church? If so, they probably don’t want to go to the Episcopal “mass” just so they can be proselytized.
There’s a good chance, following general Catholic teaching and principles, that they would not be able to attend. It is a similar principle to attending the wedding of a divorced person who has not obtained an annulment.
You have to understand, from a Catholic perspective, you are cutting yourself off from the Truth, you are separating yourself from Christ’s Church, and you are divorcing yourself from access to the sacraments which are required for salvation. This is, to a faithful Catholic, and occasion for mourning, not celebration.
I hope I have not insulted you, but I also feel that bluntness is important.
May I ask what it is about Episocopalianism that makes you believe it has a higher claim to Truth than Catholicism?
You would put them in a tough spot, they would have to take the chance of offending you if they cannot in good conscience attend. Maybe make it very clear that you “100% respect you if you cannot in good conscience attend”.
I do not see any problem in a Catholic attending. Obviously they would not and should not receive. But what is happening is not a disordered act and therefore does have an element of Truth in it. It’s not like going to a same-sex wedding, this would not be allowed because it’s a disordered act and a perversion of Truth. Your service is not a perversion of Truth so I see no problem in attending.
I have been to a Mormon funeral before and there were no issues in attending, also had priest approval just to be sure. God isn’t out to say “ha got you!” so honestly, we need to stop taking things so strictly sometimes, it’s just not right because we end up overthinking and losing greater picture.
@Episcopalian I am glad you are finding great love and faith in your Church, despite some theological differences between us, we share a love for Jesus and a desire to create his Kingdom here on Earth. Congrats to you my fellow brother in Christ
Are you really going to be reconfirmed? That could be a real problem, given Catholics believe it should not be repeated.
Beyond that, The Directory on … Ecumenism is the official word on how this is how to be handled. Most of it is what you already know - No sharing Eucharist, encouraging and hoping for unity, etc. I point you to the Directory mostly so you can understand the decisions that affect you. Particular application by your bishop or pastor supplement anything you find here.
Christians may be encouraged to share in spiritual activities and resources, i.e., to share that spiritual heritage they have in common in a manner and to a degree appropriate to their present divided state.
The term “sharing in spiritual activities and resources” covers such things as prayer offered in common, sharing in liturgical worship in the strict sense, as described below in n. 116, as well as common use of sacred places and of all necessary objects.
The principles which should direct this spiritual sharing are the following:
a ) In spite of the serious difficulties which prevent full ecclesial communion, it is clear that all those who by baptism are incorporated into Christ share many elements of the Christian life. There thus exists a real, even if imperfect, communion among Christians which can be expressed in many ways, including sharing in prayer and liturgical worship, as will be indicated in the paragraph which follows.
b ) According to Catholic faith, the Catholic Church has been endowed with the whole of revealed truth and all the means of salvation as a gift which cannot be lost. Nevertheless, among the elements and gifts which belong to the Catholic Church (e.g.; the written Word of God, the life of grace, faith, hope and charity etc.) many can exist outside its visible limits. The Churches and ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church have by no means been deprived of signi- ficance and value in the mystery of salvation, for the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation. In ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or ecclesial Community, their celebrations are able to nourish the life of grace in their members who participate in them and provide access to the communion of salvation. Principles and Norms on Ecumenism 102-4
The Protestant churches certainly contain part of the truth. I wouldn’t think of denying that. However, only the Catholic Church has the fullness of the Truth. By rejecting the Catholic Church in favor of some other sect, the OP is rejecting the fullness of Truth in favor of a partial, incomplete Truth. A lesser truth.
These churches, as you say, lack the fullness of Truth. They have some truth, but, by nature of rejecting the fullness of Truth, they also embrace error. They embrace teachings which are contrary to the faith which Christ gave us, the Truths which we ought to embrace, and the means we require for our salvation.
You may disagree with me, but the fact of the matter is that, by rejecting the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church, the OP is placing their soul in jeopardy. They are removing themselves from the Church which Christ founded in favor of a lesser church, a merely human institution which, while possessing some of the Truth, also embraces errors and teachings which will lead people away from God. To pretend otherwise for the sake of ecumenism is to place human concerns above the concerns of God.
We can debate all day long about whether or not the OP meets the definition of “knowing” per this passage, but it would be fruitless. We rarely know what we know, as our personal wants and desires can cloud out recognition of the Truth. Ultimately, it is up to God, but you cannot claim that the OP is not placing their soul in peril by leaving the Church for some lesser institution.
In my opinion, who am I, a sinner to claim someone else has put their soul in peril? We are all sinners needing great healing and mercies. Let us all pray for the infinite mercies of God to be bestowed upon us
Yes, I must remove the beam from my own eye before helping others, but that does not make me blind to the realities of sin I see; nor does it make me ignorant of Church teaching.
If we were to take your outlook, then only Jesus Christ Himself would be capable of point out our follies to us.
We are Catholic. We are supposed to point out sin when we see it. I cannot speak to the disposition of the OP’s soul, but I can tell them that, per the teachings of the Church which Jesus Christ founded, the willful decision to separate themselves from that Church imperils their soul.
If I do not say this, then I show a callous disregard for their eternal well-being.
You may not like my tact, but do not say that I am wrong for warning people of the dangers of decisions they are undertaking.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’.” - Matthew 19:26
We can stand up for the fullness of Truth but we must also understand nothing has been revealed to us without God. There are flaws in any church that is made of human hands. Only the Kingdon of God is perfect. We must ”Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” but we must also be charitable for ”blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth”.
It is better that this gentleman be active in his faith and engaged with Jesus than be an inactive Catholic by name only. We are not perfect, we must do the best we can. Jesus knows the OP’s struggles and will never leave him, He will guide him to His merciful love
Maybe so but I don’t think this is the post to do so. The OP is getting closer to Jesus and his faith and while it is not the fullness of the Truth, this should still be celebrated. We must celebrate the joys of our brothers and sisters in Christ as they move forward on their journeys.
We do not rejoice in what is a mockery and a disorderment of Truth which this is not
Except he’s not. He is literally doing the exact opposite of that. He is trading in the faith in which we literally receive and consume the body and blood of Jesus Christ every Sunday, for some man made church which lacks that most intimate encounter.
He is growing in a faith, but it is not the faith Christ intends for us because it rejects fundamental aspects of the faith which He outlined as necessary for our salvation.
To move from Catholicism to any other religion is to move farther away from Christ.
It is obvious that we are at an impasse. You’re not going to change my mind, nor my tact, and obviously I’m not going to change yours, so there’s little purpose in continuing our discussion.
I’ve bolded the important word here. The OP could still get to Heaven, in the same way that anyone can get to Heaven. But if they do, it will be outside the normative means Christ laid out for us.
I am not saying they have lost their salvation, that is not my prerogative, and is entirely up to God and the individual. What I am saying is that, per the teachings of the Catholic Church, to knowingly reject the Faith Jesus gave us is a rejection of God Himself, and will result in damnation.
The could comes into play because we don’t know what the OP knows, or what they Know. And so, we cannot make absolute pronouncements.