April 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm #21938
I was received into the Church in 2014, but my husband and most of my extended family are not Catholic, so I still frequently attend Protestant services.
(I know that Protestant services never replace the Sunday obligation, so the services are always in addition to mass, never in place of, and I know never to receive communion in these services and do not.)
I was visiting extended family for Easter and went to service with them at the church I grew up in and was actually baptized in. During the service, the pastor led a renewal of baptismal promises (basically affirming the Apostles’ Creed) and had everyone who was baptized come forward and used water to mark a cross on our foreheads, saying something along the lines of “Remember your baptismal promises”. I went with my gut that participating wasn’t problematic, but I thought I’d double check with people on this board who have more knowledge and experience.
Thanks!April 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm #21939
David W. EmeryKeymaster@David W. Emery
A situation such as this is difficult to judge. It depends on how one defines “participation.” My recommendation is to take it to your priest.
DavidApril 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm #21953
Good advice, David. The problem is in how they define the Apostles Creed – I believe in the Catholic Church is usually NOT the Catholic Church in their eyes, but rather the catholic “true” church of all times – and how you define it which is of course with the capital C. Of course you were affirming that you believe the latter, but they were asking if you believe the former. It’s hard to get caught in those out-of-the-blue situations and still think on your feet. Whatever you did, I am sure you did it with right intent, but as David said, have a little chat with your priest and see what he says.April 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm #21968
Thanks, David and Jennie. I’ll definitely have to find a time to chat with my priest. In the past the advice I’ve gotten about participating in volunteering with my husband at his church has been it’s not “wrong” but it’s not right either. I imagine this will be much the same, but I guess we’ll see.
Interesting point about the Apostles’ Creed. Growing up Methodist/Nazarene I would say I understood the phrase catholic church to refer to what I now understand to be the church militant, so even by their definition I don’t think the affirmation would be incorrect to make, though it would be incomplete. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even when we recite it in the Catholic Church doesn’t the phrase in the creed refer to everyone in the Church militant, suffering and triumphant, even those who are/were not in full communion with the Church?April 18, 2017 at 6:31 pm #21969
David W. EmeryKeymaster@David W. Emery
…when we recite it in the Catholic Church doesn’t the phrase in the creed refer to everyone in the Church militant, suffering and triumphant, even those who are/were not in full communion with the Church?
Yes, that is the Catholic understanding. The fact that a Protestant reciting the creed beside you may have a different understanding of it is immaterial. What is relevant to your case is not the understanding (you express this well; compare the Catholic recognition of the validity of Protestant baptisms, even when they have a different view of it than Catholics do), but the fact that the communal prayer was part of a Protestant service. This is why I referred to the question of “participation,” and whether what you did would fall under that heading, and therefore be forbidden — or would be allowed, since you were not partaking of a non-Catholic sacrament. That is the point which must be determined. And as I indicated above, it is the task of the clergy, not a layman like me, to make that determination.
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