All Are Not Welcome

Are all persons welcome to become members of the Catholic Church?

No. In order to be a member of the Catholic Church, you must believe what the Catholic Church teaches. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but you do not believe that the Magisterium has the ability and authority to teach on behalf of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, then you are a Protestant, not a Roman Catholic.

Are all persons who were baptized and raised Catholic welcome as members of the Catholic Church?

No. Even if you were baptized Catholic and raised Catholic, you are still required to believe and practice the Catholic Faith in order to continue to be a member of the Church. The teachings of the ordinary and universal Magisterium are required beliefs for all Catholics. If you were baptized Catholic and raised Catholic, but you knowingly choose to reject (or to doubt obstinately) one or more of the definitive teachings of the ordinary and universal Magisterium, then you are no longer a Catholic, but a heretic. The same is true concerning any infallible papal teaching, or any infallible teaching of an Ecumenical Council.

A few examples of infallible teachings of the Magisterium that are required beliefs: the real and substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist; the sacrificial nature of the Eucharistic celebration; the foundation of the Church by the will of Christ; the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff; the existence of original sin; the absence of error in the inspired sacred texts; the grave immorality of direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being, including by direct abortion, euthanasia, or suicide; the grave immorality of adultery, premarital sex, masturbation, and homosexual acts; the grave immorality of contraception; that neither natural marriage nor the Sacrament of Marriage is possible between persons of the same gender; and that priestly ordination is reserved only to men.

Are all Catholics welcome to attend Mass and to receive holy Communion?

No. In order to receive holy Communion (the Eucharist) at a Catholic Mass, you must be a believing and practicing Catholic. If you have fallen into the sin of heresy, by rejecting any of the infallible teachings of the Magisterium, then you may not receive Communion. If you have fallen into actual mortal sin, then you may not receive Communion until you have repented and (ordinarily) also been to Confession. You must always be in a state of grace when receiving the Eucharist.

Anyone who is divorced and has chosen to remarry without an annulment may not receive holy Communion, because in the eyes of the Church they are not in a valid marriage. Anyone who engages in any type of non-marital sexual relations and is unrepentant may not receive holy Communion, because they are unrepentant from grave sin.

Politicians and others who support abortion may not receive holy Communion. Supporting abortion is formal cooperation with grave sin. Politicians and others who are support gay marriage or civil unions may not receive holy Communion. Supporting same-sex marriage or civil unions is formal cooperation with grave sin.

Are all persons welcome to attend a Catholic Mass?

No. Even if you do not receive holy Communion, you should not be attending a Catholic Mass if you hate the definitive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on any matter of faith or morals. The Mass is a celebration of the love of God above all else, and the love of neighbor as self. If you hate what the Church teaches, or you hate those Catholics who believe what the Church teaches, or you hate those Catholics who teach what the Church teaches, then you are not welcome at Mass.

For faithful Catholics, the true love of God above all else and the true love of neighbor as self implies that we believe and live what the Church of Jesus Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, teaches. But this love does not imply that we ignore the truth about our neighbor, that certain neighbors are, by their own sinful choices, not fit to receive holy Communion or not fit to attend Mass.

If you believe what sinful secular society teaches about abortion, contraception, homosexuality, gay marriage, sex outside of marriage, etc., then you are, in truth, not a believing and practicing Catholic. And you are not welcome.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
a believing and practicing Roman Catholic

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