Missing Mass and Hell

I have a friend who was born and raised in the Catholic faith but in his adult years has abandoned his Catholic upbringing and hasn’t been to Mass in over 25 years nor receives any of the Sacraments such as confession. Although this person still believes in God and lives a fairly moral life with good values but now believes that attending church is not necessary for salvation and he firmly believes he will go to Heaven. I told him, in my opinion, he was taking a big gamble because the Catholic Church teaches if one misses Mass without a valid reason that is a mortal sin and if they die without confessing it, that person will likely end up in hell. Of course, he dismissed my opinion and quickly changed the subject so I guess my question is. If a person lives a fairly good moral life such as this person but refuses to attend church (or confession), do you think they are destined for hell?


Well, I can’t judge anyone’s soul, but here’s what you do, you ask him which he thinks it’s a good idea NOT to go do Mass or Confession, ask him what his problem is with it, and explain to him why going is a good idea. I like confession because it forces me to confess my shortcomings.

Its a problem today that many Catholics think they know better than God and want him to bend to their will instead of obeying God.
Christ gave authority to the Church to teach us in matters of faith and morals so all teachings have the full authority of God behind them.
Ask your friend why he thinks his will trumps God’s?

Actually, I did ask him something similar. I asked him if attending Church is unnecessary (for salvation, like you say) then why did Jesus, who is God, go to all the trouble of establishing a church on earth. I continued to say to him, since God has infinite knowledge and knows what is best, or do you think you are smarter than God? He never answered my question and walked away. That was about two years ago and today he still refuses to go to Church. In fact, he recently said to me, “I will never step inside a church for the rest of my life and I still believe I’m going to heaven”.

I’m sorry, I just don’t understand his logic.

You may have done what you can, you may now have to just preach by being a good example, lest you drive him away; and pray for him too (that never goes astray). Ultimately, it will be between him and God: and God’s ways are not our ways, and He saves whom He will.

He probably thinks you’re a radical throwback and can’t believe you used the word “hell.” When was the last time you heard a good homily on hell?

We can’t judge where he’ll go, but objectively you’re correct. He probably just doesn’t want to hear it, and it bounces off like he’s in a Teflon suit.

Last year, from one of my favourite Polish priests. They talk about hell quite a bit, I love the Polish.

That’s great, I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person from Poland. Some descendants but no transplants.

Perhaps it is best to just pray for him at a distance, unless an opportunity comes from the Holy Spirit that inspires us.

I have been told by my pastor that we are no longer teaching that missing Mass for no good reason is a mortal sin. It might be a sin but it doesn’t break our relationship with God. Not mortal. I am sure some of you don’t agree with that, but I was told that is what the new position of the church is. And my pastor is a very educated elderly priest. I do what I am told to do.

That doesn’t sound right. The Mass is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Perhaps you misunderstood that educated priest?

I am aware that there are good reasons for missing Mass.

The best that can be hoped for is that a conversion will occur sometime before his death. Short of that the best that can be hoped for is that, in Hell, his level of demerit will be zero as speculated for the unbaptized infants, leading to a natural state of peace (without the Beatific Vision).

Yes, pray.

Also don’t underestimate the power of your good example, not specifically with regard to Mass and Sacraments, but in the way you treat others in every way and every day. “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” If he recognizes you as a good Christian, he may think better of the Church and may, with God’s help, come around someday.

If he wouldn’t consider himself a Catholic, but still a Christian, it is schism (a mortal sin). If he left the Christian faith entirely, it is apostasy (a mortal sin). If he holds some odd, hard-to-describe position, it may willful heresy (a mortal sin). It could certainly be the first two at once, but the last one would be excluded (a heretic cannot be an apostate unless they were an ex-heretic?)

More or less, pray for him and pay attention to the posts of others. :cool:

Since all Protestants miss Mass all the time, are they all going to hell?

Thank you

No one can say certainly since it is not known if the baptisms are valid, or if invincible ignorance is present, of if unforgiven willful heresy or schism is present. It is more difficult without access to the sacraments of the Church.

The RCC teaches that Protestants can be saved, but may be taking a large gamble if assuming to know God’s judgement. We know definitively confession wipes our soul clean. Without it, salvation is left up to God’s graces.

God is both merciful and just. Grace requires a response from us. We cannot assume to know His judgements.

Not necessarily. There are the pious and impious among all of the Christian faithful, regardless of their church.

Not all Catholics are super pious and not all Protestants are super impious. :mad:

Protestants are not bound by canon law and the precepts of the Church, so no. :slight_smile:

So if I remain a Protestant and miss church services, I’m fine. If I become a Catholic and miss Mass, I’m going to hell?

Thank you

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