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Nicene Creed in Mass
Question from Hans and Moniqe Brinkhaus on 2/16/2007:

Dear Fr. Levis,

Is it permissable to substitute the Apostles Creed for the Nicene Creed during Mass? Is is permissable to attach a "mission statement" to the Creed? In the past, our local Church parish has used an abbreviated form of the creed with a mission statement which is said during Mass by the congregation in place of the Nicene Creed. It has included statements like "we are a Church Parich dedicated to the service of God and to each other." This particular Church parish also offers retreats through their spirituality center focusing on zen, christian yoga, and the theories of Carl Jung just to name a few. Although this parish is under the Jesuits there are often advertisements for their retreats in other bulletins in our diocese. The only thing listed is the title of the retreat which is very misleading. I only discovered what the retreats were really about when I went to their website.These advertisements are in some of the bulletins in the most devout parishes in our diocese. Although we changed church parishes many years ago we are still confronted with questions as to why. Is any of this permissable? Is it permissable to advertise a retreat center which is known to sponsor such retreats? Would this be considered answering the Church's call to unity by reaching out to this Parish and retreat center? If this is not permissable what should be done?

In Christ, Hans and Monique Brinkhaus Sunset, Louisiana

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 2/17/2007:

Dear Hans and Monique, Obviously you are members of a liberal parish which stresses the new and different. I am of the judgment that nothing in the Mass may be changed, tinkered, omitted, etc. YOu can be sure that the local parish authorities will encourage other liberal activities, like lectures and retreats, in other sections of the country. I can do nothing about all this, but be sure the local Bishop is aware since only he is the chief shepherd of all these people. Fr. bob Levis

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