Can one practice Catholicism without ever going to the church? Without going to mass and receiving communion? Do people do it?
- username_hiddenLv 73 months agoFavorite Answer
Only in a case of extreme necessity - the most obvious example would be where someone is suffering a long-term illness and in hospital and cannot travel to church. In a case that like that, a person can usually arrange for a priest to visit occasionally to hear their confession and to give them the sacrament of the eucharist. Apart from that they should do what they can to maintain their faith through prayer, spiritual reading, and whatever good works or sacrifices they can offer.
A similar situation would apply to small or remote communities where there is no resident priest and visiting priests come only very rarely. In that sort of situation, people should also practice their faith as best they are able and receive the sacraments when a priest does visit.
In a few extreme cases such as where an entire country is under anti-Catholic persecution and there are no priests at all, then the faith can survive for many years without any priestly ministry. Baptisms can still be performed, because any person at all can perform a valid baptism, and although the sacraments of confession and the eucharist cannot be offered, people can fall back on practices such as 'acts of perfect contrition' and 'spiritual communions'. There are a few documented cases where this sort of thing has happened - for instance Catholic missionaries arriving in Japan in the 19th century found that there were still some Catholic believers living there even though the there had been severe persecution and no priests for roughly 200 years.
The important thing to note is that all of these are exceptional cases. Under normal circumstances, a Catholic is obliged to attend mass on Sundays and holydays and to confess and receive the eucharist at least once a year (although more often is recommended). There is no sin in failing to do the impossible, but serious sin in refusing to follow the most basic of duties when they are easily possible.
- okiknowitLv 73 months ago
Not according to the church. Of course you can be excused from mass if you are too ill to attend, or for family emergencies.
- SofiaLv 63 months ago
No, you cannot. You must live the religion, not just give it lip service.