Going to another parish

Fr Edward McNamara made an interesting point yesterday in his regular column for Zenit. The question was about Attending Sunday Mass at Other Parishes. Apparently, the new code (can 1247 & 1248) does not specify that people should attend Mass in their own parishes as the old code did.

Father goes on to make as much of a case as possible for going to one's own parish (it emphasises communion, promotes the growth of the Church, enables one to support one's pastors...) but he admits that there may be circumstances where defective practice and doctrine meant that a person could have no alternative. He says,
If the objective defects constitute a danger to the Christian's faith, or to that of his or her children, or cause serious spiritual turbulence, then the person would be more than justified in worshipping somewhere else.
Personally, I would not be as cautious as Fr Edward. If people are going to Mass, that is fine. Sometimes the objection is made that this will make us like the Anglican Church with "High" and "Low" parishes. Of course this should not be so, but in fact good Catholics can be tortured in some places because of what goes on at Sunday Mass. If they are able to pray better, to be more recollected, to offer themselves in union with the divine victim without being distracted by "Good morning everyone!" and all that follows, so much the better.

In places like Blackfen, and even more with inner city parishes like Camberwell (my first appointment) the boundaries do not necessarily reflect where people feel they belong. I'm quite happy if people want to go next door and my neighbouring parish priest and I have always had a standing agreement that we can baptise each others' parishioners without worrying about obtaining permission for each other.

Popular posts from this blog

1962 Missal pdf online

SPUC Clergy information day

When people walk away with Holy Communion

Saint Gabriel

Walsingham - the Anglican shrine