Talking in Church a sin?


Is talking in church a sin? A colleague at my soup kitchen was talking the other day about how narrow the way to heaven was, and he started listing all these sinful things that we turn a blind eye to, like being uncharitable in the way we speak, even humourously, or talking in church. He mentioned that St Faustina and St Don Bosco and others all saw people falling into hell in huge numbers.

So, first of all, is talking in church a sin? I can imagine it being a discipline that may have been pronounced on in the middle ages and then just never officially repealed?

Secondly, if that’s true, what about all the other minor things the Church has, at some time or other, declared sinful, but people have forgotten about over the years? What about all the sins we don’t even know we’re committing?

It’s enough to make you want to become a hermit, only I know I sin more when I’m alone than with other people.


Well, I think it is good not to talk in church, you are a little bit disruptive for one thing, and the second, it is like you go to your friend’s house and you ignore the host concentrating on other stuff. So I would rather look at that in such categories.

But I think that there is a dangar in this approach, and I am not sure that this is what the Saints meant, it is some kind of way of perfectionism, which might not be altogether healthy. Instead of concentrating on what you should do you start to look for sins everywhere, at the same time forgetting that if the main commandment is about love, the biggest sins would be against that commandment. So you will se poeple judging others, nurturing grudges, unforgiveness and at the same time thinking that their biggest crime is that they were making noise in the church. You will see poeple who try to live holy lives, go to church on regular basis, maybe praying a lot and involved in the church activities, and doing everything that they should, but having no love for their families, being cold-hearted towards their children or neighbours.

It is really not all that simple - you can make an idol of anything, even of your own religiousity - and forgetting about the love of God and the love of your neighbour - and these are really hard at times, it is not easy to forgive when someone misuses your trust, when someone slanders you etc. And yet, we are called to pray for such poeple and unconditionally forgive.

So relax, and believe that our God is a merciful God. True, Faustina said that she saw a lot of poeple going to hell, but she said that even if she had all the sins of hell on her shoulders, she would still not doubt in God’s mercy and she would still not be afraid to stand before God.


Talking in church is not a sin but I would venture to say that once Mass has started it is at the very least disrespectful. Your full focus should be the Mass. Chatting to people can surely wait until Mass has finished.



A colleague at my soup kitchen was talking the other day about how narrow the way to heaven was,

The way to Heaven is narrow, but Jesus told us He is the way, so focus on Him and don’t get hung up on the scrupulosity of others.




If talking in the church is not a sin, and other people are *bound *to be chatting nearby, then are we rewarded for not also being chatty?


I would think it could be a sin if the person chatting is focusing on his interest or someone else, and not on the Mass and God. How could a person be focused on the Mass if he or she is talking?

Sin has to do with intent and where one’s heart is.

We should pray and help others, that way we think less about ourselves and become more like Christ.



No, it is not a sin. Many times it cannot be avoided for whatever reason. If there is no mass going on and nobody praying, you can talk in a respectful tone in the Church area. Complete silence is not required.


I should think the reason is WHY you are talking.

Are you trying to find your way through the hymnal or service book–or helping someone else?

That might be a good reason.


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