Does the Church Allow “Parish Shopping”? (Special Podcast Highlight)

Do you go to a parish that’s far from you? 


In a recent episode of The Cale Clarke Show, the spotlight was on Pope Francis and his nod to “parish shopping.” That’s right, —swapping your local parish for another might just have the papal thumbs up! Get the whole episode here.


Cale dives into this topic, initiated by a piece from Father Raymond D’Souza. The Holy Father made a comment that’s stirring the Catholic pot: If you don’t feel comfortable at your local parish, it’s okay to look elsewhere. Pope Francis said that he doesn’t want you to flee from the Catholic Church, though! 


Canon law usually ties you to your local parish geographically, but today’s Catholics are looking for parishes not just based on location but on Mass schedules, community, and yes, even the type of Mass that feels like home. Whether it’s traditional Latin Mass or a more contemporary service, the Church has many different varieties to offer.


Listeners like Jodi from Las Vegas and Osvaldo from San Antonio shared their stories, highlighting personal preferences and life situations that guide their parish choices, from seeking a quieter, Gregorian chant-filled experience to sticking with a community that feels like family.


And the Vatican? They’ve acknowledged this, suggesting that the Church’s reach extends beyond mere geography—it’s about community, service, and shared traditions.


So, if you’re feeling guilty about not attending your designated parish, relax a bit. It’s not a sin to explore other parishes. Pope Francis and even the Vatican seem to suggest that finding your spiritual home might sometimes mean looking beyond your backyard. 

Cale Clarke is the host of both The Cale Clarke Show and The Faith Explained on Relevant Radio. On The Faith Explained, Cale dives deep into Scriptures, the Catechism and Sacred Tradition to bring an in-depth look at what the Catholic Church Believes. On the Cale Clarke Show, Cale unpacks how a Catholic perspective affects the nitty-gritty of everyday life. He also looks at what's happening in the culture through a Catholic Lens.