Question for Catholics: Will you really go to hell for deliberatly missing Mass?


Could we get an apologist to answer this for us please, since the poster himself refuses to ask you. thanks you very very much.

I was just listening to James Akin and he said something that I wonder if it represents the Catholic concensus.

He said that if a person deliberately misses mass, this person would go to Hell since he committed a mortal sin.

This confuses me. Does this mean that a person could love and follow Christ his or her entire life with devotion and sencerity, but for some “invalid” reason deliberatly miss mass and end up in hell.

Please help me here. I thought that Catholics believed in salvation by grace. I don’t know if this is true–but a poll about “surprised by hell” on this web also seems to suggest that this is what Catholics believe

If this is true, how can this be grace (“a gift” or “unmerited favor”)? How is this not legalism?

Please help me.



Dear Church,

Catholics do believe in salvation by grace. There is no way that we could ever make it on our own. But we are free to refuse grace and thereby sin—and even in mortally. We all have free will and we are all very weak. Some of the greatest saints were great sinners and even with the gift of faith they fell. St. Peter is a good example.

So it is possible for anyone to fall into sin. That is why St. Peter warns: “Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith.” (1Peter 5:8-9a)

Sunday Mass fulfills the Commandment to keep holy, the Lord’s Day–not a minor thing, indeed! To break that Commandment IS a mortal sin.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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