Why not visit other churches?


I have recently seen in some threads the statement that Catholics are not supposed to visit/attend other churches. I was hoping that someone could direct me specifically to where in the catechism/church doctrine that this is taught as a “must obey” rule. I want to be clear on if it is actualyly an official church teaching or more of an opinion motivated teaching that has firmly rooted itself in general belief of Catholics today. I understand that there may also be the opinion of “just visiting” say with a friend, relative etc. vs. actual participation in rituals.

Thanks in advance!


The “must obey” is that Catholics must attend Mass on Sunday (or Saturday Vigil). So long as they’ve attended Mass there isn’t a “rule” (as far as I know) saying that they cannot visit other ecclesial communities; however, there may be problems if the Catholic is not well grounded in the Catholic Faith, and hears heretical teachings or worse, hears false/twisted teachings about the Catholic faith and believes those things to be true.

CCC - 2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.


Thank you for your answer and the references. Your answer does beg another question for me; is it always Sunday Mass that is required or can it be Saturday or a regular weekday Mass? I go to Mass during the week - not usually on Sundays…I have a friend who goes Mondays and never Sundays…



Going to another denominational chruch==regardless of the holy intent of the followers, is in NO WAY GOING TO GIVE YOU WHAT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH GIVES: The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in Flesh and Blood.
Easy enough, ask any other denomination to trace back to Christ an unabridged, uninterrupted flow whereby all Seven Sacraments were initiated by Jesus in His Lifetime, and successively passed over the last 2000 years. They are historically or authentically NOT able to do it.

The Catholic Church does not ban anyone from attending another denomination’s service----SO LONG AS THE ATTENDANT KNOWS THE REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST IS N O T THERE. It is only available in the Roman Catholic Church.

Look into proprietary Ignatius Press Issues “The Sacra Pagina” Book IV, Gospel of John, edited by Fr. Harrington, S.J. When the Catholic Church is adequately explained, you will have no need to go to any other denomination. The series “Sacra Pagina” is a scholarly work—in everyday language----Start with the Gospel of John. l, m…


A Saturday Vigil Mass will fulfill the Sunday obligation, weekday Masses do not. It is certainly a good thing to attend daily Mass if one is able to, but it doesn’t excuse you from Mass on Saturday evening/Sunday.

CCC 2177 - The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life. “Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church.”

Here’s a link to the Catechism where Sunday Mass is covered. If you scroll all the way down there is a search feature so you can look up just about everything by typing in a keyword. :thumbsup:


There is no personal need due to lack of personal conviction. I was curious because I have a freind who is Catholic and her husband is not (attends another church) and she has been told by other Catholics that she is not supposed to attend her husband’s church - ever. Then I saw the same opinion expressed in some threads…My friend attends Mass and her husband’s church - to keep the peace in their marriage. Oh, btwm he attends Mass with her:)



If that is true, then I am doomed:(



You’re still breathing aren’t you? You aren’t doomed until you’re dead. Do you have a valid reason for not attending Mass on Sundays?


Would a valid reason matter if the Church teaches that it is Saturday Vigil or Sunday Mass? I panic in crowds - weekday Mass is something I can cope with because there are fewer people…



The Church also says this:

CCC 2181 - The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation,** unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants)** or dispensed by their own pastor.

However, I am sure that if you went to the early Mass (usually 8:00, some parishes offer one even earlier) you would find the crowd only slightly bigger than that of a weekday Mass. Have you talked to your pastor about this?


Per Canon Law

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.
Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.
Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.


He knows that I attend Mass during the week because it is more manageable for me. He never said much about it…



Now, I am not your pastor and only know what you have posted on this thread, but I would venture a guess that your panic attacks constitute an illness, in which case you are not necessarily in mortal sin for missing Sunday Mass. Mortal sin requires a grave matter committed with full knowledge and complete consent. I am fairly sure that if you did not suffer from panic attacks you would be at Sunday Mass, am I right? :slight_smile:


Yes - you are right.:o


I’ll be praying for you, my sister. :gopray2:


It might be worth trying, as previous poster said, an early Sunday Morning mass, they do usually tend to be uncrowded, in my experience. It might be best to sit near the back door of the church, for more room and quick escape if needed.

In any event you haven’t committed a mortal sin, you weren’t to know. Perhaps ask your pastor roughly how many people come to each of the Sunday Masses? This would give you an idea of whether it’s worth trying.


pixie dust, cute name. :slight_smile:

You mentioned 'heretical teachings? such as what?
Doctrines widely differ, but we all have one Savior, Jesus Christ. I think Jesus is aware of our short comings. He’s probably laughing and shaking his head, but he loves us all just the same. :slight_smile:
I believe anyone who believes Jesus Christ died for them is saved. I do not judge anyone’s salvation. See Mt.7:1-5

God bless,


Thanks. :smiley:

You mentioned 'heretical teachings? such as what?
Doctrines widely differ, but we all have one Savior, Jesus Christ. I think Jesus is aware of our short comings. He’s probably laughing and shaking his head, but he loves us all just the same. :slight_smile:
I believe anyone who believes Jesus Christ died for them is saved. I do not judge anyone’s salvation. See Mt.7:1-5

God bless,

Any teaching that is at odds with what the Church has taught for nearly 2000 years is heretical. That doesn’t mean that those who believe those things are not Christians and can’t be saved. For examples, the Church has always taught that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ and that baptism is necessary for salvation, anyone who says otherwise is teaching heresy.

I believe there is only one Truth, not multiple truths. I believe that Jesus founded one Church, not many churches with conflicting and contradictory doctrines. Jesus prayed that we would all be one, and He and the Father are One. Having widely differing doctrine and thinking Jesus is OK with it does not answer Jesus’ prayer. Jesus breathed on the Apostles and promised that the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance everything He taught them. I believe that He kept His promise, and everything He taught them is found in the Catholic faith.

I do not judge anyone’s salvation, either. Praise be to God, that’s not my job. Only God can judge who belongs to Him. You seem to think that when I say “heretical teachings” I mean “doomed to Heck in a hand-basket for believing such things” and that is not what I mean at all. Non-Catholic Christians are my brothers and sisters who are following Jesus the best way they know how. I condemn no one.


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