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Ask Fr. Francis: Can I attend a Protestant Church to fulfill the obligation of worshipping on Sunday if there is no any Catholic Churches nearby?

The following is an excerpt from askfrfrancis.org. Fr. Francis Ching, CC answers tough questions about the Catholic faith.

Question: 

Due to location factor, as a Catholic, can I attend a Protestant Church to fulfill the obligation of worshipping on Sunday if there is no any Catholic Churches nearby? Can I receive Holy Communion in the Protestant Church since their theological view and belief on Communion is different from ours?

Fr. Francis' answer:

A Catholic must pay due diligence to explore possibilities where he or she may attend mass. While there are still many locations in the world where Mass is hard to find, the importance is that we must try to locate it, or even consider travel for longer distance to attend it. Some less known options are:

  • embassies and consulates of Catholic countries, like France, Italy, Spain, etc. They sometimes have Mass for the staff that is not publicized but may be accessible upon request.
  • Catholic Churches of the Eastern rites, like Byzantine, Melkite, Maronite, Syro-Malabar, etc., but I don’t think they exist in Malaysia
  • Orthodox Churches: their sacraments are valid so attending their Divine Liturgy as well as receiving their Communion when there is no access to a Catholic Church can fulfill the Sunday obligation; however, depending on the priest or bishop, they may deny you Communion.

Attending a Protestant worship or fellowship, however, does not fulfill the Sunday obligation. Since they do not have valid sacraments, Catholics are to refrain from their Communion. Catholics however are permitted to attend their gatherings and participate in their prayers.

Read the full answer here!

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