praying with noncatholics
#1
My wife has been invited to participate in Mothers' prayer group.  They are specifically praying for children in our public schools.  Our children attend public schools.  The group was spearheaded by three mothers: two Catholic (one from our parish and one from another) and one Lutheran.  When we asked for more information, they said it was NOT a Bible study, though some women do bring their Bibles and refer to them.  And sometimes they pray several psalms. 

I told my wife that I didn't think that Catholics traditionally prayed with non-Catholics.  Didn't it used to be forbidden?  I don't know if it's still forbidden and thought I'd ask this forum what the teaching really is.  And if it is forbidden, I don't know if it's my place to insist that she not go to this group, but I need to at least be able to inform her of the correct teaching.  Please help!
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#2
(08-29-2009, 09:33 AM)Louis Wrote: My wife has been invited to participate in Mothers' prayer group.  They are specifically praying for children in our public schools.  Our children attend public schools.  The group was spearheaded by three mothers: two Catholic (one from our parish and one from another) and one Lutheran.  When we asked for more information, they said it was NOT a Bible study, though some women do bring their Bibles and refer to them.  And sometimes they pray several psalms. 

I told my wife that I didn't think that Catholics traditionally prayed with non-Catholics.  Didn't it used to be forbidden?  I don't know if it's still forbidden and thought I'd ask this forum what the teaching really is.  And if it is forbidden, I don't know if it's my place to insist that she not go to this group, but I need to at least be able to inform her of the correct teaching.  Please help!

I can say from personal experience that the subject of catholicism VS protestantism will come up most likely. All one woman has to do is a slip the name Mary or a Saints name in there and the Lutherans will be all over her like white on rice.
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#3
(08-29-2009, 09:33 AM)Louis Wrote: My wife has been invited to participate in Mothers' prayer group.  They are specifically praying for children in our public schools.  Our children attend public schools.  The group was spearheaded by three mothers: two Catholic (one from our parish and one from another) and one Lutheran.  When we asked for more information, they said it was NOT a Bible study, though some women do bring their Bibles and refer to them.  And sometimes they pray several psalms. 

I told my wife that I didn't think that Catholics traditionally prayed with non-Catholics.  Didn't it used to be forbidden?  I don't know if it's still forbidden and thought I'd ask this forum what the teaching really is.  And if it is forbidden, I don't know if it's my place to insist that she not go to this group, but I need to at least be able to inform her of the correct teaching.  Please help!

According to Father Heribert Jone, it is not forbidden to privately pray with heretics, provided there is nothing objectionable in the prayers, and it does not give scandal to others (Moral Theology, p. 70).

Moreover, active public worship with heretics is forbidden, whereas passive participation (no praying or singing) may be permitted for a good reason.

Your wife seems to be taking part in a private prayer group only, not public worship. Therefore, it ought to be okay.
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#4
It may not be ok for Catholics to pray with Protestants, but I see no harm in Protestants praying with Catholics.  :)
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#5
(08-29-2009, 09:40 AM)SanctiDominici Wrote: I can say from personal experience that the subject of catholicism VS protestantism will come up most likely. All one woman has to do is a slip the name Mary or a Saints name in there and the Lutherans will be all over her like white on rice.

You said it.

Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos - encyclical on religious unity condemns it, at least as far as the whole false ecumenism thing goes: .......These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x...os_en.html

Other than that, sounds a bit like "Mothers' prayer group" is or has the makings of an interfaith meeting.

An interfaith meeting: a place where a Jewish rabbi, who does not believe in the divinity of Christ, and a Protestant minister, who doubts it, get together with a Catholic priest, who agrees to forget it for the evening. - Fr. Feeney
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#6
I would say go for it.It could be be a moment to witness for your Catholic faith! By acting in charity in your words, thoughts and actions, as well as providing a good example of how a Catholic should behave, you could win a convert to the Catholic faith!  :)
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#7
Suggest praying a Rosary or a Novena(is there one for St. Thomas Aquinas?). Then see what happens. Don't concede to the heretics, let them concede to you.
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#8
(08-30-2009, 11:16 AM)Heinrich Wrote: Suggest praying a Rosary or a Novena(is there one for St. Thomas Aquinas?). Then see what happens. Don't concede to the heretics, let them concede to you.

Bingo. That's almost exactly what happened with my sister in very similar circumstances. She asked......"OK, I'll come along but only if you'll pray a decade of the Rosary with me". When receiving the predictable response she said......" Well, you won't pray with me and I won't sit and listen to musings from your Protestant scripture, so this thing is dead on arrival.
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