Should a Catholic Attend a Protestant Service? (The Patrick Madrid Show)

Recently, on The Patrick Madrid Show, a curious 12-year-old named Luke from Austin, Texas, called in with an intriguing question: Is it okay for Catholics to attend Protestant services and vice versa?

Patrick Madrid’s Insightful Response:

Understanding the Terms: Patrick began by clarifying something important—when we say “Christian,” it historically refers to Catholics since the first Christians were Catholic. So, when discussing other groups, it’s more accurate to say “Protestant” or “non-denominational.”

When Can Catholics Attend Protestant Services?:

Special Occasions: Sure thing! If it’s a wedding or a funeral, Catholics can attend Protestant services. It could be a way to show respect and be there for friends and family.

Regular Services: However, for regular Sunday services, Patrick advised against replacing Mass with a Protestant service. If you’re invited, you can go, but only after you’ve already been to Mass. And hey, if you’re a kid, it’s best to go with your parents or guardians. Ideally, Patrick believes that going to a service is probably not the best idea in general.

The Unique Value of Mass:

Real Presence: The Mass is special because it offers the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, something Protestant services don’t have.

Highest Worship: The Mass, established by Jesus at the Last Supper, is the highest form of worship. It’s Jesus offering Himself to the Father—a spiritual gift that Protestant services can’t match.

Inviting Protestants to Mass: Absolutely, Protestants are always welcome at Mass. It’s a chance for them to see and experience Catholic traditions firsthand.

So, What’s the Bottom Line? While it’s perfectly okay to attend Protestant services for special occasions, remember that the Mass is irreplaceable and should always be your priority as a Catholic. And don’t hesitate to invite your Protestant friends to join you at Mass—they’re always welcome!

Key Takeaway: The Mass is a unique and profound form of worship that Catholics should cherish. We have the best thing ever, so why would we leave?



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Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.