- Does a person have to be a Catholic to belong to a Catholic parish?
A. No. However, any such non-Catholic should respect the beliefs of Catholics and do nothing publicly that opposes those beliefs.
- Could a Lutheran, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, etc. be a member of a Parish)?
A. Yes. However, the same caveat as in item 1. above applies and it seems unlikely that the beliefs of some of these religions could be reconciled with those of Catholicism.
- How about sinners, like convicted felons, belonging to a parish?
A. Yes. We are all sinners in one-way or another. However, even sinners should respect the Church’s teachings about the Ten Commandments and other beliefs and not do anything to publicly oppose them. It would be heresy for someone to try to have it both ways and it would be hypocritical for the Catholic Church to allow such disagreement.
- Should elected public officials who vote against the Church’s beliefs be allowed to belong to the parish and to receive the sacraments?
A. Yes, as to belonging to the parish, but there is no clear answer as to whether they should be allowed to receive the sacraments. The Church seems to be divided to some extent on this. At a minimum, it would seem that such persons should be encouraged privately to avoid situations where they are publicly exploiting this issue.
- How about people who were married in the Church, but have now remarried outside the Church?
A. Yes, as to belonging to the parish, but no as to receiving the sacraments, unless of course, their marriage is a chaste one.
- Can openly gay (homosexual) people belong to the parish and receive sacraments?
A. Yes, as to belonging to the parish, but no to receiving the sacraments, unless they are chaste and not engaged in homosexual behavior. This is a very personal and individual issue.
- Can a person who is openly gay and married in a civil ceremony to a person of the same sex belong to the parish and receive the sacraments?
A. Yes, as to belonging to the parish, but no as to receiving sacraments in public. If they have a chaste relationship then they could receive the sacraments, but not in public.
- Can a person who was baptized as a Catholic, but has not practiced his or her religion, belong to the parish and receive the sacraments?
A. Yes, as to belonging to the parish, but no as to receiving the sacraments unless they chose to become a practicing Catholic. There could and should be other types of people to list, but perhaps the best way to deal with that is an analysis of the abnormal characteristics inherent in humans. Abnormal here is defined as statistically abnormal.