The Catholic faithful shouldn’t believe a misleading newspaper ad that says Sunday Masses are being held in a hotel room in the city of Colombo, the Archbishop of Colombo has said.

The ad appeared on the first page of the late City Edition of the Daily Mirror June 9. It was titled “Celebrating Women in Ministry” and said there was a Mass every Sunday in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo warned about the ad in a letter to his parish priests, saying it “has nothing to do with the Catholic Church” and “is not in any way to be canonically considered equivalent to the Sunday Mass celebrated by the Church.”

He emphasized that Mass is “celebrated only by a priest duly ordained to that ministry by a bishop of the Catholic Church.”

Cardinal Ranjith cautioned the faithful not to be misled by the ad’s claim that its religious service was equivalent to a Eucharistic celebration in Catholic churches.

He added that all the Catholic faithful are obliged to attend a Sunday Mass celebrated by validly ordained priests.

The cardinal also urged the Daily Mirror to publish a clarification about the matter; the paper responded to his request and published his clarifications June 10.

His clarifications said that in the canonical and liturgical understanding of the Mass, it is celebrated not by lay persons but by the ordained clergy only.