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Question 150

Good morning Pater.... just wondered what the general opinion is from a priests point of view is regarding people not going to church often but still have their Christian beliefs. I have experienced through the years guilt trips given by certain priests, and if anything, it repels me even more. In my mind it is the opposite of unconditional love. I do love the serenity I feel when going to church and also the community side of it but I don't go as regular as others might. Is there a measure of someone's decency or faith or of someone's heart based on visits to church? I see a lot of hypocrisy when I know that some regular churchgoers are far from decent. I am not having a go at anyone. I am just curious. Thank you         


Answer to Question 150


Certainly you will have a lot of different opinions. No one can tell others that they must attend every service. Going to church is a matter of faith, but there is a canon of the church that says anyone not attending for more than three continuous weeks is to be excommunicated. People do not need to go every week, but they should have regular Holy Communion and the only way to have this is by attending Church. I think you must do as your heart dictates, but in a sense going to church is a measure of faith, because if our love for Christ was as great as it should be, we would want to be joined to him as regularly as possible through partaking of his Body and Blood.



Same member


Thank you for your reply and I take on board what you say. If my understanding is right from what I've read and learnt through the years, Jesus didn't necessarily want us to go to a certain "place" to worship or pray or that you could only lead a christian life by doing that. In my understanding it is "worship", for want of a better word, when your day to day life includes practices from Jesus's teachings. Unfortunately too much pomp and ceremony has been added through centuries of religion, and self righteousness amongst men of God has bewildered and disappointed a lot of the "flock". I am being devil's advocate by pointing out these things and not critical Pater. Please don't be offended by my comments as that is not my intention. I guess we all reach a point in life where clarity and understanding is important and only by asking things that swirl in our heads can we hopefully have a better meaning to it all. It is clear that you as a man and a priest have great relevance in this world. You spread goodness and understanding. You give time and thought and effort to all around you




You can pray wherever you are and certainly don't need to be in a church, but the Liturgy service is not just about praying. First and foremost it is the distribution of the precious Body and Blood of Christ and you can't get his just anywhere, and no one can perform it themselves. A priest and a church is needed.