Ok to play organ for a Protestant service?



Some of my fondest memories of my childhood church was the regular organist who wasn’t a member of my church but of the Catholic Church…
Such a sweet woman…

So how can the Church contradict Herself in such a substantial way? Prior to Vatican II active *Communicatio in sacris *(that is participation in worship with non-Catholics) was always considered a mortal sin against the 1st Commandment and against the natural law. Since this is directly related to Divine Law, how can active worship with non-Catholics now be considered OK?

Divine Law cannot change, right?; You know the 1st Commandment?

The 1917 Code of Canon Law 1258 states that* "§1 It is not licit for the faithful **by any manner *to assist actively or have a part in the sacred [rites] of non-Catholics."

*§2 Passive or merely material presence can be tolerated for the sake of honor or civil office, for grave reason approved by the bishop in case of doubt, at the funerals, weddings, and similar solemnities of non-Catholics, provided danger of perversion and scandal is absent" *(canon 1258, 1917 Code)

*“Whoever in **any manner **willingly and knowingly helps in the promulgation of heresy, or who **communicates in things divine with heretics **against the prescription of canon 1258, is suspected of heresy.” *(canon 2316, 1917 Code)

Furthermore moral theology manuals prior to Vatican II always held that active participation in worship with non-Catholics was a mortal sin. “Moral Theology” by Fr. Heribert Jone #125 states:* “Active participation in non-Catholic services is entirely forbidden.* It then references Canon 1258 (see above). Jone goes on: "*The **natural law *forbids participation in services that are heretical. If the service is one that heretics have in common with us, even though no scandal comes from such participation, it is at least forbidden by Church law".

Jone goes on: “It is forbidden to sing, play the organ or other instruments in the religious services of non-Catholics. “

So how can something that was considered a sin against the 1st Commandment and the natural law and a mortal sin, now be OK?

Isn’t this a substantial contradiction?

Popes Clement XIII, Innocent IV, Nicholas IV, John XXII, Benedict XII, Clement VI, and Urban V all permitted communicatio in sacris with heretics and schismatics. Every single one of those popes lived prior to the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Saint Pius X is amongst those popes that have also permitted communicatio in sacris with non-Catholics.

Pope Benedict XIV said that “Communicatio in divinis with heretics cannot and should not be so readily and so generally pronounced forbidden in absolutely every circumstance.”

So there is no substantial contradiction, because the Church’s teaching today reflects the Church’s teaching of yesteryear.

In Jesus and Mary,

Whoa. I consider it a kind of corporal work of mercy to play a funeral for someone who would otherwise not have any music. What about showing mercy to others?
Using our God given talents for the good of mankind?
I doubt of the random little funeral procession of another church is considered participating in their “sacred rites”.

The OP is talking about subbing for an ill or absent musician.

She’s not signing on to abandon her faith. :rolleyes:

I guess I see this as sort of “coming with the territory” as part of being a musician.

This is how it was for the musicians that I knew, who had a career as musicians. They were used to playing at all different kinds of venues. They played at weddings and funerals, etc., and they saw these as job/income opportunities.

Really? That is quite interesting. I should like to read more about this because this is one of the main objections of the Traditionalists. Could you please site a source for each of the examples you list?

Why do you suppose pre Vatican II Canon Law, Moral Theology Manuals, declarations of the Holy Office and Papal Encyclicals all regard *communicatio in sacris * with non-Catholics as a mortal sin?

For example, Pope Pius XI’s encyclical “Mortalium Animos” was written exactly about these ecumenical type gatherings. He specifically condemns and forbids participation in these interreligious services: "So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.”

I’m looking forward to reading your sources.

I think the “participation in worship” would be receiving their communion, being a cantor for them, playing the organ while signing with them, etc.

Also, I think that some of what Father Jone wrote was his own interpretation; and/or disciple based on the time. We also have to remember, that in 1917 the no-nothing riots and Catholic persecution in the United States, Britain, and other protestant nations was still very fresh and even active. There were still gang wars, etc based on Protestant vs Catholic. So, keeping Catholics out of there was also a good pastoral thing to keep them physically safe. Just look at Northern Ireland of the late 20th century. That was everywhere in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Today, the situation is different. So I think it’s OK to make SOME exceptions if the Catholic is SOLID in the Faith. However, with all that said, it’s a really bad idea to allow a poorly catechized person to even enter a protestant church.

I also think it would be wrong to play the organ for free or to play it for money and be treated as part of the congregation. An organist can’t get “sucked in;” which required strong Faith. Also, Catholic still should not attend protestant services because they want to… it should still just be for weddings, funerals or some extraordinary reason.

It is objectively a mortal sin for Catholics to participate in any way in non-Catholic services. Playing the organ at a Protestant service is considered participation, so please don’t do it any more. God bless you.

Which would seem to put you at odds with the OP’s own priest.

And with everybody else who does not acknowledge the Church’s teaching in this matter.:slight_smile:

Do you think that sex outside of marriage is ok?

From this link:

…In the Catholic Church, we believe the reception of Communion is the sign and symbol of union - union between Christ and those who receive Him, and union between all those who receive Christ in this sacrament.

In a marriage, the physical joining of husband and wife is the sign and the symbol of union between the two. If there is no union - no lifelong commitment - then the sign of union should not take place. Which means sex outside of marriage is a lie - you are saying with your bodies that a union exists, that a commitment has been made, when no such union actually exists.

Just so, it is a lie for someone who is not Catholic to receive Communion in the Catholic Church, when there is first no union with the Catholic Church. When you receive Communion in the Catholic Church, you are saying with your body that you are in union with the Church and that you believe as we believe. And not just in regard to the Real Presence, but also in regard to the Pope, to Mary, to the other Sacraments, to the Communion of Saints, the priesthood, salvation, and so on. If there is no union, there should be no Communion.

The same holds when you receive communion in a non-Catholic faith tradition. You are saying, with your body, that you believe as they believe. You are telling everyone present that there is essentially no difference between what they believe about communion and what you, as a Catholic, believe about Communion. You are telling a lie with your body. That is why Catholics should not receive communion, or the Lord’s Supper, outside the bounds of the Catholic Church.

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