My family and I are members of the territorial parish that we live near, attend Mass regularly there, and are involved in social events in the parish as well. On occasion, however, we attend Mass at the parish in the next town over, because we are friends with the priest there and enjoy seeing him every so often. Additionally, we go to this other parish almost exclusively for Confession because the time at which it is offered is more convenient (it would not be impossible for us to attend at our territorial parish, just inconvenient).
Are we violating any of our obligations to our territorial parish by occasionally attending Mass elsewhere for what amount to social reasons, and receiving Confession elsewhere for the sake of convenience?
Not in the slightest.
All Catholics are members of a parish, either by virtue of their domicile, or by their ethnicity or other characteristic (if the diocese has established personal parishes for identifiable groups).
No Catholic is required to attend his canonical parish. No one is required to register as a “member” of his canonical parish.
BTW… registering at a parish – filling out a form or card – doesn’t do much except smooth out many questions and procedures when something is needful. You don’t lose your status at your territorial parish just because you filled out a card at another parish. One of these days, however, this matter of territories will need some rethinking.
Pastors, parish priests, need occasional reminders that their obligations extend to all their parishioners, registered or not. Pastors should not refuse the sacraments (that includes baptism, marriage, anointing) to those who are not “registered” in the parish. Pastors should instruct their secretaries not to turn away phone calls from parishioners who are not registered who want to know about funerals or other needful services.
That also means that pastors need to know the boundaries of their parishes!
Finally, remember that if you are receiving benefits and services at a parish, you should support that parish financially and/or by other means. We have an obligation to see to the material support of the Church and her entities that touch our lives.