Catholic Musicians in Protestant Churches
  • Which would you prefer? Look it up. Copy the first few words, click on google and it will take it right to each of them.

  • The first is not a new development. "Simultankirchen" have existed since the 16th century in parts of Germany and can still be found there and elsewhere. They are actually shared churches, not just Catholic churches rented out to Lutherans or vice versa. The rite itself, rather than the church in which it is celebrated, is either Catholic or not. The question remains whether Catholics can actively take part in non-Catholic worship without 1) breaking the first commandment of God, or 2) compromising their Catholic identity.

    The second example you have given of a Catholic funeral for a non-Catholic is a Catholic rite authorized by legitimate authority, so I don't see what the problem would be.
  • Here's Cardinal Arinze's take on the issue:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4qyL4pR0Rk

    He articulates the opinion that it is lawful for a Catholic musician to play for a Protestant congregation only for a special occasion, not as a regular, ongoing engagement, and when it is clearly understood as a musical performance and not active participation in worship. That's pretty restrictive.
  • I've already stated that I believe as much as well - however - in the interest of intellectual honesty - here's the problem with quoting Cardinal Arinze: All that he has is an opinon, just like me and everyone else.

    People love to quote him as though he speaks with infalliablity. He doesn't.
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  • here's the problem with quoting Cardinal Arinze: All that he has is an opinon, just like me and everyone else.


    So, whose authority do you recognize? I haven't heard you agree with anyone's sources other than your own yet. You'd listen to the Pope, you said, but doesn't he have opinions too? Or, they're worth more because he's the Pope. Then why shouldn't the opinion of a Cardinal Bishop count for something? If I keep going, everything can be reduced to opinions.
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  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    everything can be reduced to opinions


    That's what's called "indifferentism," and that happens to be condemned by the Church.

    What is true will always be true, of course, but the enemies of Truth would be very pleased to label Truth as "opinion."

    One more thing: it IS wrong to judge the state of someone's soul, but it is NOT wrong to judge their actions. In matters of sexual practice, "actions" are rarely carried out openly, so judgment should be reserved, in prudence. Flaunting is not sexual activity, any more than wearing obscenely low-cut dresses. Yes, those are signals--but they are not 'sexual activity.'

  • So, whose authority do you recognize? I haven't heard you agree with anyone's sources other than your own yet. You'd listen to the Pope, you said, but doesn't he have opinions too?


    When possible, it's best to not use opinions at all, but definitive documents, laws, and teachings.

    I would happen to hold the Pope's opinions in a pretty high regard, of course, as should any Catholic. I made this same argument over at PTB a long time ago when Fr. Anthony talked about Pope Benedict's opinions on the Liturgy. I said that I would think that a priest would hold the Holy Father's opinions as pretty definitive.

    I don't have a beef with Arinze. I agree with much of what he says. But a lot of what he says is only his opinion, and to use him as some "proof," as I see many do, is misguided.
  • He [Cardinal Arinze] articulates the opinion that it is lawful for a Catholic musician to play for a Protestant congregation only for a special occasion, not as a regular, ongoing engagement, and when it is clearly understood as a musical performance and not active participation in worship. That's pretty restrictive.


    So, did the Cardinal Bishop say something that contradicts the documents, laws, or teachings? If so, I'd like to see a citation please. My point is that you can always use the argument "it's just your opinion." That's how the 2% club gets rid of Gregorian Chant and Latin. You want to do Gregorian Chant because a church document says that's what She wants? That's just your opinion.


    Calm yourself down.

    He gave an opinion, which is just that. His opinion doesn't contradict anything, but neither does it have the force of law. It's his opinion.

    There's nothing in the law or magisterial teaching that says that a Catholic musician can't work in a protestant church. Cardinal Arinze and I share the same opinion that, for various reasons, it should be avoided.

    Were someone to ask me, as was asked here, if it's OK or not for a Catholic to do so, I would point them to the official documentation, and then I would give me opinion, at which time I would be careful to label my (and Cardinal Arinze's) opinions as just that - OPINIONS.

    Now - your comparing this to the arguments to get rid of Gregorian chant is a strawman and a fallacy, since documents DO explicitly call for the inclusion of Gregorian Chant in the liturgy. There's no getting around that. That's not my or anyone else's OPINION, but FACT.

  • Now - your comparing this to the arguments to get rid of Gregorian chant is a strawman and a fallacy, since documents DO explicitly call for the inclusion of Gregorian Chant in the liturgy. There's no getting around that. That's not my or anyone else's OPINION, but FACT.


    Yes, I acknowledged that in my previous post:

    (we all know it's not in that case, but reducing your evidence to the level of opinion in the eyes of others is an effective way of your opponents to manipulate what your evidence says, and reduce its meaning).


  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    CharlesW wrote:
    There you go with that medieval Latin hairsplitting again.


    If distinctions between venial sins and mortal sins are only a Western concept, then why does the on-line catechism of the Moscow Patriarchate say:

    Every sin, depending on its gravity, is for the soul either a small injury, a deep wound, sometimes a serious disease, or perhaps even a fatal illness.


    And why does the on-line catechesis of the Orthodox Church in America say:
    Not every sin requires the necessity of formal penance through sacramental ritual. This is obvious because Christians are never completely without sin. Certain grave sins or the prolonged separation from Holy Communion, however, do call for the act of sacramental penance.


    These statements of Eastern Orthodox doctrine, from authoritative sources, make me question how well informed is the scoffing about "Latin hairsplitting".
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Yes, there are differences between serious and less serious sins, but all sins are serious. This seems to often be forgotten.

    When I refer to hairsplitting, I am reminded of definitions from earlier times concerning indulgences and penance times assigned to specific sins, and all the "penitential" baggage that went with the whole subject. I am quite glad the western Church has gotten away from some of the excesses from earlier times.

    Also, it was a perfect opportunity for some good natured needling of another poster. All in fun and not so serious - sorry, neither mortal nor venial. ;-)

    Let's see, serious would be 40 days in a hairshirt and bread and water. Venial requires how many days of indulgences? LOL.
  • Well, you say that "tolerance" is synonomous with "promotion," and I'm not sure that it always is. Certainly there are probably people who use the word in that manner in a sort of "code."


    Indeed! The word doesn't need to mean promotion, but it commonly is anymore, in much the same way as "they" is a singular pronoun (as in, "everyone has a right to their own opinion"). Your use of the term in our earlier exchange clearly indicated to me that promotion is what you meant by tolerance. The fact that you accused someone of hate speech solidified that impression. If I misunderstood, I'm sorry that I jumped un-necessarily. In my defense, it was a reasonable misunderstanding.

  • Could employing a Protestant for work in a Catholic parish be a form of evangelization?
    Yes.
    Could applying for a Protestant position be a form of evangelization?
    On the part of the applicant, no. On the part of the employer, possibly.
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  • Have we got to the point where we can discuss children trick or treating as vampires and how that is inappropriate....or did I miss that boat already?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    [purple] I am handing out wax vampire teeth for haloween. [/purple]
  • WendiWendi
    Posts: 633
    As long as they don't sparkle, I don't have a problem with children dressing up as vampires. Or witches, trolls, goblins, etc...Frankenstein was what the tall kids all used to go as. It beats dressing up like Beyonce or Miley Cyrus.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    OK... I will have to tell you what my son did three years ago for his costume. He was... the invisible man.

    I sewed a pair of cotton stuffed gloves onto a shopping bag with the fingers wrapped around the handles. Then we strung fishing line into each glove and brought it up to a 10 foot long black carbon pole (sort of like a fishing pole, but stronger). We then put a walkie talkie in the bag. My son would approach a door and stand to right, sometimes in the bushes if there were some, and dangle the bag in front of the door at just the right height for an 'invisible man'. When the door opened, I would be 50 feet off in the distance with the other walkie talkie, and I would start the conversations. One guy dropped a five dollar bill into the bag. What was really creepy is when other kids would be walking down the street and we would hide behind a car from the curbside and dangle the invisible man in the street next to the car (over the roof). Kids would scream. Ahhhh... so much fun, so many scares!

  • Could applying for a Protestant position be a form of evangelization?

    As someone else already mentioned, only on behalf of the employer. I'm having some issues with this currently, as I am one of those disgustingly sinful people who took a job at a Protestant church. Hey what can I say, I needed grocery money and my kids needed clothes and supplies and tuition to continue attending their private Catholic school. But yes, this can be an issue. Some people seem a little too eager to invite me and my family to attend their church functions, and I politely decline or say I have other plans. Does it make me uncomfortable? Yes. Am I so weak in my own Catholic faith that these people have a chance of pulling me in? Hell no. I've been on their side before and have no plans to return.

    With regards to this thread I've mostly been

    image

    But it's gotten me to thinking about my own imperfections and the many, many others who share them. As a convert to Catholicism, I'm probably considered imperfect by all of the "cradle Catholics". I know I'm never gonna live up to those standards and I'm not interested in trying. Oh yeah, I also married a non-Catholic, go get your torches and a big stake. Hey, he wasn't all that far away, geez-o-Pete his father is a retired Episcopal priest. So he married me, a Catholic, and wants to become one now because our children are being raised in the Church. He goes to our church more often than most of its long-standing members, and also volunteers at the school and in the music ministry. Oh and we can't forget the extra fun stuff he gets to do along the way thanks to his CRAZY KNIFE-AND-CHEMICAL-THROWING-EX-WIFE! Yeah, my husband was married briefly to a woman who tried to kill him, couple of times actually. Our case is being reviewed and thanks to our priest, who informed us that an annulment for this sham of a "marriage" would not be necessary because my husband is converting, we don't have to go through the horror of contacting Crazy Psycho and all of the rest of it. It's still a long process, but we are committed to "getting right with God", or at least securing the necessary paperwork.

    I also vote Republican.

    Life isn't perfect, y'all...I get up every day and do the best I can do with whatever God gives me, and I just try to trust Him and keep the faith, even if things seem positively impossible.

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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    FWIW, a lot of us here are "transfers" rather than cradle Catholics!
  • I personally don't like the term "cradle Catholic," especially because in my area it is a term of self-deprecation or is applied in a derogatory manner, indicating that one was born to the faith, but doesn't know anything about it, and also implies a state of not really living one's faith as well. We have a lot of Protestant converts that go through RCIA, and then start spouting off that they know more than those "cradle Catholics" and how they are "more Catholic than most Catholics" because of it. It makes me wonder where they get that notion from. I prefer to state that someone was "born into the faith" instead. For converts, I prefer "returned to the faith." Nobody knows everything about the faith, and comparing oneself to others in terms of knowledge of the faith is not something Catholics do anyway. I've never had a Catholic tell me they are a "better Catholic" than I am because of some ignorance I had or some perceived superior insight they believed they had. I have, however, had Protestants tell me that they are "better Christians" than I am because of the aforementioned reasons. Long story short: we can't compare ourselves to each other by way of our faith, our knowledge of faith, or the depth of our relationship with Christ. It is a personal journey, but it is also our duty to help each other get there.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    I think too much is made of the "cradle Catholic" thing. I know some of those whose religious education stopped at 8th grade, and their current understanding of the faith is that of a child. They never matured in it. I also know some converts who brought with them every obnoxious trait that they had when they were Protestants. Some of them seem to do more harm than good to anything they are involved in. I am Byzantine working in a Latin parish and I can tell you those Latins can occasionally seem more strange than Protestants. LOL. However, cradles and converts can be some of the best people you will encounter, since it depends on the individual, not the association. It all seems to work out in the long run.

    As was said, life isn't perfect, and we often do what we have to do. I have worked in Protestant churches and am none the worse for the experience. I think we both learned a lot from working together. It is unfortunate that Catholic parishes often don't value musicians, don't pay them a just wage, and in general don't value them as some Protestant bodies do. For someone who needs the money and has a family to support, my advice is don't worry about what someone else thinks. Do the work and take the money, giving thanks to God for providing you with work.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,027
    If all this time spent discussing was spent practicing... ;-)
  • Practice? What's that? *purple bold*
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    If all this time spent discussing was spent practicing... ;-)


    We don't need no stinkin' practice (PURPLE BOLD). Don't I wish...
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  • It still makes more better reading than another thread on how to argue against praise music, or a spirited debate, no matter how vigorous, on the merits of Solemnes vs. historical interpretation.
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  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,027
    It still makes more better reading than another thread


    OHHHHH THE IRONY/HUMANITY
  • Could I dare to suggest that no one is born into the Catholic faith, we are all baptised into it - born again - some sooner, some later.
    Furthermore, strictly speaking, according to the instruction that comes with the Rite of Baptism where I am, it is incorrect to refer to protestants who become catholics as converts. Conversion is the point at which one becomes a Christian, marked by baptism, something which a protestant has already done. He or she might be received into the Church, but he or she is already converted to Jesus as a protestant.
  • OHHHHH THE IRONY/HUMANITY


    HA! I will grant you this one. Sometimes I type too fast for my own good!
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  • Spriggo
    Posts: 122
    If all this time spent discussing was spent practicing...

    Practice?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM
  • Change the words "practice" to "rehearsal" and "game" to "mass" and this perfectly sums up the attitude of some of my paid choristers over the years.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Well, given our proximity to San Francisco, I was called upon by the schola membership to initiate a referendum on what occurs Wednesday eve's, what Iverson elocutes as "PRAK-tice!?", in other words to sing or not to sing, that was the question.
    Overwhelmingly they voted to park themselves by the nearest TeeVee, and lucky for them because normally schola rehearsal busts up about the time Pablo caught the game winner! No Bumgarner for schola last night!
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,027
    I now approve of this thread, seeing as this page has experienced both a double negative AND an AI video!
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  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    I'm not sure what Iverson is talking about in the video, can someone clarify?
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  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,142
    He's talking about practice, not a game.
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  • When you live near the university that I do, you pretty much give up on football after a while - at least, the past few years or so . . . :(
  • Since Tiller, its been downhill.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    I don't even want to see YOUR LUNCH on my facebook page!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    What about here?
    image
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  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    image

    Except mine was Meat Trio
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    my preferred lunch
    1500 x 1000 - 134K
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    This is a fairly useless opinion thread, so I'm not spending more time on it than it deserves.

    Please stop or avoid:
    - misrepresenting other people's points of view
    - ramping up the level of irritation
    - accusing other people of having bad motives

  • We have a lot of Protestant converts that go through RCIA, and then start spouting off that they know more than those "cradle Catholics" and how they are "more Catholic than most Catholics" because of it. It makes me wonder where they get that notion from. I prefer to state that someone was "born into the faith" instead. For converts, I prefer "returned to the faith."


    Maybe it's my naturally introverted personality, but eleven years into this I still feel as self conscious as I did the first day of RCIA sometimes. Ridiculous but true. I never thought of conversion as "returning to the faith", but in many ways that makes sense. My grandmother was Romanian Orthodox, but she stopped attending when she got married and instead went to my Methodist grandfather's church. She was very pleased when I converted and always enjoyed coming to church with us. So, I guess in some way I did return, just two generations late!

    I am honestly surprised that I didn't get flamed to death for my comment here, which says a lot about the wonderful people that participate on this forum.

    Seems to me that Pp Francis has it right: the Church is a hospital for sinners.


    I thank God for this every day. *getting all teary and sentimental now*
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    I am going to spend a few minutes throwing away everything in this post that does not relate to the **original** topic.

    Well, I'll leave some of the goofing-around comments.
  • The Forum Etiquette Guidelines (peace be upon them)
    remind us to criticiz[sic]e errors, not people.


    Since it seems difficult to distinguish the errors from the people, let's return to the original theme of this conversation: Catholics playing in Protestant churches (though it may be equally difficult to distinguish error from person).

    There is absolutely no harm in playing for Protestant churches providing one is strong in one's faith, and (difficult for me) doesn't mind spending one's talent in less than the real thing, namely, Catholic liturgy. (I may even be pilloried for this last bit of spiritual bias [grant that I may be preserved from spiritual pride, or religious snobbery!].) To elaborate:

    I spent 15 wonderful years (1969-1984) as choirmaster and organist at a large, historic, downtown Lutheran parish in Houston, graced with a nice 50 rank Holtkamp and a devoted choir of between 30 and 50 people at any given time. I never played, taught, or directed a piece of junk, I taught them greater respect for their liturgical heritage and music than some of their own would have, and every step of the way tried to make them more conscious of the Catholic aspects of their heritage than the evangelical Protestant influences which attracted some of them. Every step of the way I became more convinced in my own Anglo-Catholic faith and in the Anglican journey to full communion in the Catholic Church. So, the Lutherans and I were a mutual blessing to each other in that we both contributed positively to the other's 'faith journey'. And, I had one of the finest liturgical relationships with my superior, the pastor of that parish, that I have ever had anywhere. Certainly more rewarding was it than that with any Catholic priest under whom I have served (which is not at all to suggest that all the Catholic priests were awful or indifferent, just some of them), and will always remember him as one of the most loving and Christian men with whom I have ever had a working relationship. The choir did everything from plainchant to polyphony, to Vaughan Williams and Howells, as well as, of course, of all the great German composers, from Schutz, to Bach, to Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Distler, et al. The church had a 24 bell carillon which I taught eager schoolboys how to play. On great feasts our choirs were supplemented with brass quartets and kettle drums from the Houston symphony. (And, between services I would send them high up into the tower to play Gabrieli and such for the whole neighbourhood!) We never did awful hymnody, and the people sang gloriously whatever was put before them. I continue to have no doubt that our Lord God heard their (our) praises and was pleased with them. Once in a while I was disappointed when we had to do a 'made-up' service instead of The Liturgy, but even then, it was tasteful. One cannot say this much about many Catholic parishes, nor, of course, would this be universal in the Protestant world, Lutheran or otherwise. The over-riding point in all this is that this was a positive faith experience both for me and my Lutheran friends. Only for a very brief period at the very beginning did I think twice about becoming one of them. But, never, really, for an instant, did I think that I would ever be anything, ultimately, other than a Roman Catholic with an Anglican heritage. And, somehow through it all, I truly believed that, somehow, an Anglican entity of some description would come to pass in the Catholic Church. I am grateful for those years, which were richly rewarding musically, liturgically, spiritually, and developmentally.

    And so may it be for some others who find themselves in Protestant relationships. We can all be so very, very, thankful that the XVIth and XVIIth centuries with all their mutual hatreds and slaughterings are behind us. We can be human to one another, share our faith, and even enrich one another without compromising our own spiritual realities. The most difficult aspect that I could envision for some would be the pain, the angst, of preparing all that wonderful music and not gracing the mass with it. That can hurt. And, that is a very sad statement about liturgy in our own very imperfect Church! So, think of your Protestant services not as a stand-in for the mass, but, say, as a form of matins or vespers - maybe high-morning prayer or a form of evensong. (And! You never know: they just might be more appreciative of Latin and incense than many Catholics.)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    So, think of your Protestant services not as a stand-in for the mass, but, say, as a form of matins or vespers - maybe high-morning prayer or a form of evensong.

    Of course! Many Protestant congregations rarely or never conduct a service of Holy Communion.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Where you are located is relevant to where you can work. A large city will have many churches, of course, so your choices are greater than in a small place. I can remember when there were three Catholic churches in my city. To work in one of them required waiting for someone to retire or pass on. There were and are plenty of Protestant churches. If you want or need to work in music, a Catholic parish may not be available.
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  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    This is old, and I don't know how I came upon this thread, but I do want to comment on this:

    singing in the choir or playing the organ is hardly comparable to merely sitting in the pew silently.


    ..which was saying that the former was more of a form of active participation than the latter.

    I was part of a professional (both sacred and show-) choir as a summer gig - one specifically belonging to a Methodist retreat center, but the group had multiple functions; concerts, the "home" church's services, and then singing at other churches' (mostly Baptist or Methodist) services, in addition to tours throughout the Southeast (I guess maybe there was a praise/worship band that was around when we weren't, because we didn't do every Sunday). Man, was it a challenge to do research on Catholic churches in/around the various cities and to find ways to get to them each weekend!
    I also, as an instrumentalist, played at a number of Protestant churches during college, just as gigs, like many of us have/do.

    I think that many Protestants (especially in churches where guest artists are common) are much less likely to think that musicians are actually part of their church/faith than they would someone sitting quietly in the pew. I never felt the need to explain to anyone why I wasn't going to receive "communion" at their church (it really is such a rarity, anyway), but when all the other members of our singing group sheepishly got up and went to receive, I sat firmly in my spot and that was that.
    Any time someone was preaching, I kept my head down, hands folded and prayed a Rosary, with an occasional jump if it was at a Baptist Church because they like to thump their bibles/podiums. During "readings" I would either compare what they were saying with how the Douay Rheims is translated, or I'd have my folder open, looking over my music. When they said "let us pray," I usually kept my head up (I know, rude, right?) and sang the upcoming songs in my head.
    Regardless of the way I got through their services (trying hard to not be actively engaged in any way), there was no doubt in my mind that our singing was a performance, as that was what I was being paid to do. There were multiple atheists in the group, but even they were much more active than I.
    Even when playing my oboe at church gigs, I'd always sit in the front and run through the piece in my head, fingers moving, and not stand/sit with everyone else. I doubt congregants were confused.

    Had I been someone sitting in the pews, I don't think I or those around me would consider my presence anything other than condoning/taking part in what was going on.

    Sadly, it seem that many/most decent Catholic musicians have to get gigs elsewhere because they'd like to actually get paid for their expertise. I know this subject comes up often, and it's really unfortunate. Really, though, most of the Catholics that I know of who work/sing in protestant churches are extremely lax/liberal and it doesn't bother them one bit - I'm not certain they make sure to get a Mass every Sunday, or if they think whatever "liturgy" they sang at that day was good enough (not judging, pretty serious).
    For me, I came in concert black for the one thing I was hired to do, made no point to look as though I belonged there, and got out asap. In some cases if they paid me upon arrival, I'd ask if it was ok to leave after I had finishes, which was usually ok. I wasn't wanting to stay around and hear whether or not my playing somehow lifted their worship experience, etc.

    Anyway, I wouldn't take a permanent job in a protestant church, because that's about as active in participation as you can be, but individual gigs make no promises besides your expertise as a musician, and therefore don't bother me (unless it requires choir robes, because I just can't do that, and it makes it really hard to pretend to not be part of their church).
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    I haven't worked in a Protestant church for more than 15 years. But I don't worry so much about any of that anymore. I figure if popes and cardinals can make a career of kissing Protestant butt, who am I to judge? Take the money, if you need it. There are many worse things you could do for a living. YMMV.
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  • the Church could remedy the issue of Catholics working in Non-Catholic communions with one thing: PAY YOUR MUSICIANS!

    I spent about 7 years working for the Episcopal Church as a staff singer and associate DM, because #1. Catholics don't pay, and #2. Catholics sing horrible music.

    I needed to support my (growing) family, as well as (I know this sounds cheesy) feed my soul. I know that objectively I was doing that in the Catholic Church with the grace that comes from the Sacrament, but there is something within me, as a musician, that needed to express my love for the Almighty in song; that needed to hear an organ actually being played; that needed to be in a beautiful building. I was, unfortunately, unable to do that in the Catholic Church until recently.

    There was always an understanding with the rector and the DM at those churches that I was a Catholic, and didn't intend to change that. I was respected in that manner, and never forced or coerced to commune. They were happy to have me around the church, and I saw it as an opportunity to evangelize. I can't tell you the countless times I was able to remedy a confusion over Catholic practice and belief in my time there, and I have them to thank for my very desire to work in Church music.

    What I would have given to be able to go to one service on Sunday, rather than to the Protestant Church, and then rush to the Catholic Church to make my obligation! But, alas, too many pastors don't see the need to invest in a solid music program. They're content with sub-par music and sub-par worship.

    I'm very fortunate now, as a group of traditional Catholic musicians in our Church went to bat for me to our current pastor. They must have said some nice things, as he basically asked me what it would take to get me to leave the Protestants. I am quite thankful for that.
  • I figure if popes and cardinals can make a career of kissing Protestant butt, who am I to judge? Take the money, if you need it. There are many worse things you could do for a living.
    It's been announced that the current occupant of St. Peter's chair will be leading non-Catholic worship next year to mark the 500th anniversary of the so-called Reformation. As an atheist friend of mine commented, "I often get the feeling with this pope that he's playing for the other team." Sure, the historical circumstances are different today than they were under Nero, Diocletian, or Elizabeth I, but is the lack of open persecution and martyrdom enough to justify common worship with non-Catholics? I daresay most Catholic musicians who are willing to perform for Protestant services would do similarly for Unitarians, Mormons, or Jews. If mosques or the temples of the various eastern religions had need of professional organists or choirs, perhaps they would also consider this work unobjectionable. If not, they should ask themselves whether the sacrilegious and invalid administration of sacraments might not be objectively more offensive to the Holy Trinity than prayers to a false deity. I consider this a serious matter meriting serious discussion, not flippant dismissal.