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Chris Manwaring wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • As a Reformed Catholic, can I engage in activities outside the Church?
  • Why is the memory of sin so dark after going to Confession and asking for the forgiveness of sin?

Please reply today,

Chris

  { Can I participate outside the Church and why does the memory of sin remain, after Confession? }

Bob replied:

Chris,

I don't fully understand your questions, but I'll take a guess at what you meant. If you are asking about going to non-Catholic events, with other churches, it is OK provided that there is no threat to your Catholic faith.

Secondly, sin always leaves its mark on the mind and soul, so even if you are forgiven it is often difficult to forget. God is not hung up on our old sins that we have already confessed, but He is under no obligation to erase the memory of them either.

That is something we have to learn to live with.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi, Chris —

You said:

  • As a Reformed Catholic, can I engage in activities outside the Church?

Just to add to what Bob has said, it is OK provided there is no threat to your Catholic faith.

If, for example, you when to another church that had, what they call, communion, you could not participate because, in doing so, you would be saying publicly that you are in a Common Union with a non-Catholic church (i.e. One that does not recognize the Vicar of Christ, the Pope, in Rome). Anything dealing with another church's worship would not be allowed.

That said, if the activities involved true faith-sharing or participating in corporal works of mercy (feeding the poor, visiting the sick, giving to the poor, etc.) or maybe some spiritual works of mercy (like praying for Christian unity or ending terrorism) with fellow Christians, that would be OK.

Personally, I discourage Catholics from participating in non-Catholic Bible studies because the underlying assumption of their interpretations of the Scriptures is that any Catholic interpretation is wrong and too many Catholics are not Scripture-strong or even knowledgeable of their faith.

  • Want to get involved in a Bible Study?

Take the initiative and (getting the permission of the pastor), start one yourself. As I have told my niece and nephews:

In this world and in this culture, if you are not a leader, by default you are a follower so . . .  be a leader! 

Hope this helps,

Mike

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