Throwback Thursday: Catholic priest: “Go ahead and leave and NEVER COME BACK!”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 8, 2016 and has been revised.


This morning, I was listening to the “Fathers Know Best” show on EWTN radio featuring Catholic priest, Larry Richards (photo left). Larry is quite a high-strung and animated speaker and always makes for entertaining, although certainly not Scripturally-sound, listening.

Today, Larry was getting QUITE lathered-up while recounting for his radio audience how, as a brand new pastor, he threatened his parishioners to never leave mass before the final blessing.

Catholics are obligated to attend mass every Sunday. Not to do so constitutes a “mortal” sin, which will allegedly doom a Catholic to eternal damnation if not confessed to a priest, although 76% of Catholics routinely miss Sunday mass, anyway.

The remaining 24% of Catholics still take their Sunday obligation seriously, but some try to minimize the pain as much as possible – showing up late and/or leaving early. Some corner-cutting Catholics want to know exactly how much of the mass they are required to be physically in the pew to get credit.* While there is no official statement on required minimum attendance – the church obviously wants its members to be in the pews from start to finish – some lenient priests suggest that if you’re present for the gospel readings and the consecration of the bread wafer and wine you get full credit.

Priest Larry will have ABSOLUTELY NONE of that. In his very first homily, he told his parishioners that they MUST be present from start to finish of mass, unless they became deathly sick. The following Sunday, when some hapless parishioners had the audacity to start heading for the doors well before the final blessing, Larry lambasted them by yelling, “Go ahead and leave and NEVER COME BACK!” Justifying his rage, Larry said no one would think of leaving early if they were invited to dinner with the Queen of England so no one should leave early from the supposed “banquet of the God of the Universe!”

Oh, I am soooooooooooo grateful to my Lord for delivering me from the chains of Roman Catholic legalism and ritualism. There is no need for Catholic priests and their continual sacrifices. No one can earn their way into Heaven by trying to follow a religious to-do list. We are all unrighteous sinners and are totally incapable of making ourselves right before a Holy God. But God the Father loved us so much He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for all of our sins. I have no righteousness of my own. My Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God without one single blemish, has covered me with His imputed perfect righteousness.

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone today. No one is assured of a tomorrow.

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” – Romans 4:7-8. 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

*Note: You won’t want to be anywhere near a Catholic church parking lot near the end of mass on Sunday. About 5 minutes before the prison break…er…I mean, before mass ends, the parking lot transforms into the Daytona 500. At least that’s how it was in the “old days” when Catholic parishes were thriving.

36 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Catholic priest: “Go ahead and leave and NEVER COME BACK!”

    1. Thank you, Kent! The exacting inanities of Catholic legalism are sadly comical. I can imagine a parishioner after this episode with some type of personal emergency requiring them to leave mass early, but remaining in their pew out of fear of the short-fused priest.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That just to show who their god is and it seems its their priest. Hahaha. So many like that in this country. GOD bless you and your wife, Tom. Looking forward to the next LSH. But seriously, I like your joke; made me laugh.👍

        Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL! Thanks for the early-morning smiles, David! I can remember as a young Catholic parochial student how the nuns often referred to this question of what portion of the mass a person HAD to be present in order for them to receive credit for fulfilling their Sunday obligation. Legalistic religion always has these types of unresolvable rabbit hole quandaries.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late 👋🏼 Was over at my sister’s trying to set up her wireless TV. Still not done. Will have to finish tomorrow. BBQ sounds good. We had Chinese take out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yummy! I’m volunteering at the food bank and sitting down as there’s a lull. It’s outdoors and a member called last minute asking for help and I understand why now: it’s hot and few would help in this heat!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments and questions, Mandy!
      RE: Daytona 500
      Because Catholics were/are obligated to attend mass (and it was/is the same exact boring ritual week after week), most people couldn’t wait to get out and scrambled for the exits immediately. It was quite a change when we first began attending a Gospel church and there was sweet fellowship after the service.
      RE: confessions
      RCC sources report that only 24% of Catholics go to confession at least yearly, the minimum requirement. I imagine that the 24% is largely composed of older Catholics. Progressive Catholic bishops have stated that the RCC need to re-evaluate confession because the vast majority of members ignore it. Can you imagine confessing all of your sins yearly? I can’t remember my sins from yesterday let alone from 12 months ago.
      Thanks, Mandy! I appreciate the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Mandy. I was only vaguely aware of The Chosen. Your question prompted me to check out a few articles on the internet. One article said the director (Dallas Jenkins, son of Jerry Jenkins, co-writer of the “Left Behind” book series) receives advice on the script from both evangelical and Catholic Bible scholars. I’m guessing that, in an effort to appeal to both groups, interpretational differences are avoided. I don’t mean that as a put-down, but only that Jenkins will probably be vague about some of the details so as not to offend either group. Sorry! You asked a simple question and I’m responding with all kinds of anti-ecumenical suspicions, but I tend to see these types of projects from that perspective. Now that you’ve stoked my curiosity, I will watch at least the first episode. Have you watched the series?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey, Tom! Thank you for taking the time to write me this! Ok, so I had two very good friends recommend this series to me, both dedicated Christians. One is in FT ministry and the other is a layperson. After both recommend the series in like a weeks time, Nathan and I watched the first season in like two days. Tom, I am conflicted with this series because I will be honest, like my two friends, Nathan and I thought it brought the Gospel to life in a different way. As a Biblicist, I do not usually like when people take creative license with the Bible. The cast has different personal beliefs as well. The guy who plays Jesus is Catholic. It is hard to know if any of the other actors are believers. The show has been endorsed by MANY who would be on your list of ecumenical no-no’s. Do I think the show can open people to the Gospel and to discussions about Jesus/faith/salvation, yes. Do I have concerns when it comes to beliefs and agendas, also yes. If you and Corinne get some time to watch, I would LOVE to hear y’alls thoughts. I am sorry if I have led y’all down a rabbit hole, it was NOT my intention!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey, Mandy! Thanks for all of your good comments! I wanted to clarify that I’m not such an extreme “separatist” that I boycott every movie that is produced or directed by a Catholic. These Bible movies generally do try to stay in the “middle of the road” so as not to offend either Catholics or Protestants, but I wouldn’t automatically write off “The Chosen” because of that. The Lord actually used the 1970’s horror film, “The Omen” of all things, to pique my interest in the Bible and things spiritual.
        That said, I did a little more research and there’s a few bothersome things. Director Dallas Jenkins appeared on the Glenn Beck (Mormon) Show (interview below) to pump the series. VidAngel that is streaming the show is Mormon-owned. I see Jenkins has also given interviews to several Catholic outlets (one example below) to promote the show. That’s troubling. So, on the one hand, “The Chosen” could definitely be used to interest people in Christianity. On the other hand, Jenkins is confusing the genuine Gospel of grace with Rome’s false gospel and even the Mormon false gospel.

        All that said, you piqued my curiosity so I am definitely going to watch the first episode.

        Jenkins with Glenn Beck

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Tom, feel free not to post this. I have a strong aversion to Glenn Beck. I feel when he was at Fox he did more to divide people than unite. I am also fascinated by Evangelicals who quote Beck hand over fist yet he is Mormon. I had the same issues with Mitt Romney. When Christian organizations changed their statements to make it more sensitive toward Mormons rather than exposing them for the cult they are really ticked me off!

        Thank you for sharing this link! I didn’t think you were a “separatist.” For me it is a struggle in that I do not want to promote bad theology even if it gets someone to think. I know I have to trust God! In all honesty, I am really struggling right now with Christian music. I am VERY anti the NAR and a lot of the worship at my church is Bethel or folks from Bethel. Hillsong is big business. Brian Houston (founding pastor) doesn’t understand why people come after his church when the RCC has way more money. Should we really be singing these promoting their theology, even if it’s not mentioned in the song itself? As our culture spins more out of control, I just want to stay connected to the Vine, as I know you and Corinne do too! Sorry this is SO long. I am an out loud processer if I haven’t said that before!!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Seeing Jenkins pumping his show to Catholic audiences and appearing on the Beck show indicates to me he has little/no discernment. Beck appeared with Christian nationalist, David Barton, in 2016 on a TBN special pumping American patriotism. Argh! So much dangerous ecumenism around these days. Imagine a Charles Spurgeon or a Martyn Lloyd-Jones sharing a platform in Christian brotherhood with a Catholic or Mormon spokesperson. Both of them would die before that happened.

        RE: Hillsong & Bethel music
        I have the beginnings of a draft post explaining why Corinne and I made the decision recently to cut ties with the church we attended the last 4.5 years. There were MANY reasons and one of them was their use of Hillsong and Bethel songs (with the H or B logos sometimes featured on the corner of the accompanying videos). Below is a link to a post I wrote two years ago about a VERY troubling episode at that church. It ties in with your concerns about Hillsong and Bethel music being used at your church. I’m not suggesting you should change your church. Perhaps you can voice your concerns to a church leader? My friend, Lauren, at Tulips and Honey podcast had a good episode about H and B music seeping into otherwise solid churches. I’ve included a link to that podcast also.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Great article, I will check out this podcast! So, where I live you either have very closed fundamental churches or independent/nondenominational churches. We attend a contemporary nondenominational church. Taking my worship complaints/concerns to leadership would be unheard. Nathan and I struggle, the mega church needs sound people who can help new believers; however, me even more so than Nathan, there is nothing that feeds a mature believer. It’s very, very topical. Ecumenism isn’t an issue. BLM and politics are starting to creep in. Nathan and I talk all the time about switching churches but what that looks like in this time of Covid I don’t know, to be honest. I look forward to reading your post! I am so glad to know you are Corinne aren’t round pegs fitting into round holes, neither are myself and Nathan!!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Thanks, Mandy! Your concerns about your church sound somewhat similar to ours. Our church leaned very much toward the seeker-growth model and the teaching was very shallow on purpose. I need to write that post this weekend if I get the time.
        BTW, the podcast I intended regarding Hillsong and Bethel music was not the one I sent (although the notes looked like it was). There’s a lot of frivolity in the one I sent. She did a podcast with a worship leader regrading H and B music but I can’t find a link!


      1. The few times I’m at a Catholic Church was for weddings…most are mellow and only once we had an angry priest that kind of left everyone a bitter taste during the wedding.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, an angry priest is somewhat of an incongruity. The RCC officially teaches that Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and even atheists are also able to merit Heaven, so to get so lathered up and angrily scrupulous about liturgical rubrics is strange. Modern Catholicism must constantly deal with this dichotomy, i.e., taking it’s legalistic precepts seriously, while also holding to Universalism, e.g., “You MUST be baptized, although you don’t really need to be baptized.”

        Liked by 1 person

  1. With 7 children we made it to mass on time -the plan was always take kids up with us to communion( the ones that couldn’t have communion yet also -they needed to be blessed 😉) then keep walking down the outside aisle straight for the exit! It’s sad the whole RCC religion but it’s kind of comical how we tried to snake past the churches “rules”’not even thinking about what God may have thought! We were too worried getting busted by the priest and nuns!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Beth! I remember that many Catholics back in the day wanted to know what the “minimum requirement” was when it came to obligatory mass attendance. Catholicism was all about “cutting corners” when it came to their thick rule book. The Jesuits made a science out of it with their “Jesuitical casuistry” which is why so many preferred Jesuits for their confessors. Always letting people off the hook with some rule-twisting sophistry.


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