New Sherwood

Pope Francis, skipping Mass, and the Sunday obligation

The Holy Father is reported to have said in today’s General Audience:

“If you do not feel in need of God’s mercy, if you do not feel you are a sinner, then it’s better not to go to Mass, because we go to Mass because we are sinners and we want to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, to participate in His redemption, His forgiveness.”

Before you get too excited about this papal permission to skip Mass on Sunday, please recall the unchanged teaching of the Catholic Church:

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”117 “The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.”118

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2183 “If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families.”120

2192 “Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church” (CIC, can. 1246 § 1). “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass” (CIC, can. 1247).

Furthermore, the Church teaches that deliberately skipping Mass is a mortal sin:

390. Is it a mortal sin not to hear Mass on a Sunday or a holyday of obligation?

A. It is a mortal sin not to hear Mass on a Sunday or a holyday of obligation, unless we are excused for a serious reason. They also commit a mortal sin who, having others under their charge, hinder them from hearing Mass, without a sufficient reason.

Is one excused from the Sunday obligation if he does not “feel the need of God’s mercy”? Absolutely not. Attending Mass on Sunday is an obligation that falls upon all Catholics, no matter how they happen to be feeling about God’s mercy. Indeed it is even more important to attend Mass if one doesn’t feel himself to be a sinner, or especially in need of God’s mercy, because the graces of the Mass can move a soul to contrition. Sinners have been converted at Mass by means of the homily, the readings, even the words of the liturgy itself – not to mention the presence of Christ and the prayers of the faithful. Catholics who don’t feel themselves to be in need of God’s mercy should be all the more encouraged to attend Sunday Mass, not to commit a mortal sin by staying home.

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February 12, 2014 - Posted by | Catholic Faith, Pope Francis, The Catholic Crisis

40 Comments »

  1. Sound advice. I will pass it along to all my N.O. friends. ;)

    Like

    Comment by sarmaticus2013 | February 13, 2014 | Reply

  2. Jeff, I think it is clear from the context that the Holy Father was merely saying we are all sinners. We go to Mass because we are sinners. He wasn’t advocating or saying people don’t have to go to Sunday Mass-he was saying we are all sinners in need of forgiveness-therefore we all DO need to go to Mass. I have heard this contradictory style of making a larger point many times and have in fact used it myself in parenting (but not with respect to the Mass). I am not saying it is particularly effective. Just my opinion. Jim

    Once again, I have to use my wife’s email address below because wordpress won’t let me use mine because at one time I started to open a wordpress account. Jim

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    Comment by Jim Curley | February 13, 2014 | Reply

  3. Jim, I wish I could agree with you that the Holy Father was “merely saying that we are all sinners” – although that was certainly a part of his message. The problem is that he said much more than that, and what he said was wrong. Even the Catholic Herald picked up the rest of his message and helped promulgate this error to millions.

    The fact is that we do not attend Mass, primarily, because we are sinners, but because we are men with the obligation of worshiping God. Contrary to what Pope Francis is reported to have said, it doesn’t matter how we feel about God’s mercy or whether we feel our own sinfulness: all Catholics are obligated to worship God and to attend holy Mass on Sunday, because God is God and we are His creatures.

    Look, Pope Francis is part of the Novus Ordo world and always has been. The Novus Ordo world stopped talking about skipping Mass as being mortally sinful decades ago. It seems likely that Pope Francis is not much different than 95% of parish priests today who don’t really think skipping Mass is that big of a deal. Furthermore, his words are consistent with his frequent criticism of rules and “legalism” as harming the Church.

    I understand what you mean about making a point using contradictory language, and like you I have also done this. It does seem that the Holy Father was employing the same style. But think about it this way. Let’s say you wanted to encourage your son to respect his elders. Would it be right for you to say to him, “Fine, if you really don’t feel any respect for your elders, if that’s how you truly feel, then don’t worry about showing them outward respect because that would be hypocritical! Better to just be your true self!”? No, you wouldn’t, because showing respect to one’s elders is the right thing to do whether or not one feels particularly respectful. Likewise, attending Mass is the right thing to do whether or not one feels especially in need of God’s mercy.

    It doesn’t seem right to always be “interpreting” the words of Pope Francis. We should assume, whenever possible, that he says what he means and means what he says – especially when what he says is consistent with the overall message of his papacy. In Evangelii Gaudium, he wrote: “The centrality of the kerygma calls for stressing those elements which are most needed today: it has to express God’s saving love which precedes any moral and religious obligation on our part …” In other words, for Pope Francis, man has no moral or religious obligations until he has an experience of “God’s saving love”, which obviously includes feeling the need for God’s mercy and the feeling of one’s sinfulness. As has been noted by many observers, Pope Francis is really all about the Christian *experience*, and is impatient with any “legalism” (e.g., moral and religious obligation) that he perceives to be divorced from that experience.

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    Comment by Blogmaster | February 14, 2014 | Reply

    • Jeff-I agree that especially a few months ago it seemed everything Pope Francis said had to be “explained”, which isn’t good, I agree. However I don’t think this is the case. The context seems very clear. I also understand what you say about going to Mass to worship God-but the Mass is big enough to have multiple reasons. I think it is clear the Pope wants to emphasize our need for God’s mercy-which is in and of itself a recognition of our need to worship.

      Regarding the “Novus Ordo world” , you paint with too broad a stripe: 95%??? Not around here. Sure there are still some crazy parishes, but times have changed, Jeff. The TRUTH is being taught in a lot of places. For at least 18 years now I have been seeing some solid, orthodox, mortal-sin-believing (if you will), priests being ordained in our diocese (and we haven’t always had a great bishop).

      Regarding Evangelii Gaudium, I haven’t had the patience to read it online. I have ordered a copy and should have it early next week. I will withhold my comments and judgments til then. A whole lot of people in both camps are critical. Enough said.

      God bless the Culbreaths!

      Jim

      Like

      Comment by Jim Curley | February 14, 2014 | Reply

  4. Not to mention the fact that we have a duty to go to mass because we have a duty to worship God. It falls under the virtue of justice, giving to each his due. So in the end, it does not matter what our feelings are regarding sin, mercy, forgiveness, or our own version of “immaculateness.” We owe God worship, and it is a grave sin of omission to not give God His due.

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    Comment by alan stemp | February 14, 2014 | Reply

  5. It seems Pope Frances often speaks with the need for clarity. His statements have caused confusion among the faithful. I wish he would give it a rest and think of the dire consequences of his remarks.

    Like

    Comment by Robert A. (@Abob8620) | February 14, 2014 | Reply

  6. JMJ what will the media latch onto? Exactly what every luke warm person on this planet wants to hear. The Pope Says we don’t have to go to Church! This modernest double speak of the Pope has to stop when souls are concerned the language has to be as precise as a brain surgeon, as precise and simple as Pius XII

    Like

    Comment by Tim | February 14, 2014 | Reply

  7. I attend daily Mass to worship God and to receive Him in Holy Communion. Yes, I am a sinner but regular confession helps to keep my soul as clean as possible. To attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to be one with the Son who offered Himself to the Father. We adore, we pray, we give thanks, and we present also our needs.

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    Comment by Magdalene Prodigal | February 14, 2014 | Reply

  8. Intentionally thickening your skull doesn’t help your cause. You might as well rebuke Jesus for blaspheming against the Fourth Commandment when He said you must “hate your father and mother.”

    Grow up. The Vicar of Christ isn’t telling anyone to forsake the Sunday Obligation.

    Like

    Comment by Daniel O'Connor | February 14, 2014 | Reply

    • “You might as well rebuke Jesus for blaspheming against the Fourth Commandment when He said you must ‘hate your father and mother.’”

      That’s nonsense. In the context of Luke 14:26, “hate” means only to be ready to renounce for Christ’s sake. As every orthodox exegete will tell you. There is no evidence that anyone present understood Christ’s words to mean “hate” the way we use the word in everyday English.

      “The Vicar of Christ isn’t telling anyone to forsake the Sunday Obligation.”

      Then please do explain what the words “if you do not feel you are a sinner, then it’s better not to go to Mass” really mean.

      Like

      Comment by Blogmaster | February 14, 2014 | Reply

  9. The excuses which the defenders of this man constantly have to come up with, in order to explain away his clearly heretical words, are getting comical. The writing has BEEN on the wall as to what this man is all about for some time, enough with the excuses already. If it walks like a duck and quack likes a duck……

    Like

    Comment by arwiv | February 14, 2014 | Reply

  10. In one of Pope Francis’ interviews, he was asked who is Jorge Bergoglio. His reply, “I’m a sinner.” It is so obvious that what the Holy Father is saying here is that going to Mass without admitting your sinful nature is useless, that you will gain no graces from it, so why even go? Going through the motions, no matter how good it looks on the outside, means nothing if our hearts are not right. Think of the parable of the pharisee and the publican. The pharisee goes before God and tells him how grateful he is that he is not like other men, he does all the right stuff. The publican can’t even bear to lift his eyes to heaven, but just beats his breast and says, forgive me.

    Thinks of I Cor 13, which says we can do all kinds of wonderful things – give our bodies to be burned, give everything we have to the poor, etc., but God sees it as nothing if we don’t have love for one another. It is what is in our hearts that counts, nothing else. That is why we can’t judge one another.

    I honestly don’t know why some people find it so hard to understand Pope Francis. I almost think some people don’t want to understand him.

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    Comment by Mary Griffin | February 14, 2014 | Reply

    • Mary Griffin, I understand him just fine. You seem to understand him too. If you don’t feel you are a sinner, don’t go to Mass. Maybe you can explain that to some of your friends around here, who think Pope Francis didn’t mean what he actually said.

      Thanks for proving my point, by the way. The Pope himself has confirmed you in a dangerous error. What times we live in!

      Like

      Comment by Blogmaster | February 14, 2014 | Reply

      • No, I still don’t think you are getting it at all. Pope Francis is not telling people not to go to Mass. He is saying that going to Mass while not admitting that you are a sinner in need of God’s grace is as good as not going to Mass at all, so why even bother. Do you think that the devil benefits at all from going to Mass? An unrepentant, hardened sinner who will not admit to his sinfulness will not receive any benefit from Mass whatsoever. That is the message from Pope Francis. Is that really so hard to see?

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        Comment by Mary Griffin | February 14, 2014

      • “why even bother?”

        Because Mass is not all about you, Mary Griffin. You “bother” because God commands it and you owe it to Him. Do you imagine that Our Lady didn’t bother with holy Mass because she wasn’t a sinner? Please.

        Your thinking really typifies how modern Catholics approach liturgy and virtually everything else: Man, not God, is the center, the overriding priority. If it doesn’t directly benefit man in some tangible way, if it isn’t done primarily for man’s sake, then it isn’t worth doing or believing.

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        Comment by Blogmaster | February 15, 2014

  11. I think we are all aware of what the Holy Father meant. Its really sad that these so called “Traditionalist” are so toxic and blatantly dishonest. I mean really. Read the statement in its totality. Here is POPE BENEDICT”S statement. August 28, 2012 In his Angelus address Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Judas’ betrayal of Christ, saying that Judas’ problem was failing to leave Christ when he no longer believed – a “falsehood,” said the Pope, “which is a mark of the devil.”“Judas,” said Pope Benedict, “could have left, as many of the disciples did; indeed, he would have left if he were honest. Instead he remained with Jesus. He did not remain because of faith, or because of love, but with the secret intention of taking vengeance on the Master.” POPE BENEDICT XVI. Its so funny how the the extreme Liberals and Traditionalist are great bedfellows,They never cease to slander twist the meaning of The Vicar Of Christ. I will NOT SERVE is their Mantra. Not to leave out that they’re a bunch of Gossipy old Hens.

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    Comment by rosebud1939 | February 15, 2014 | Reply

    • Thank you, Rosebud. You stated my sentiments exactly.

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      Comment by Mary Griffin | February 15, 2014 | Reply

      • Yep. I’ve noticed a trend in Jeff’s complaints. Frequently he appears to read his own words into Francis’ statements, even explicitly so (see the “pope of experience” post). And quite often, he takes sections like the one cited here, which is clearly a minor rhetorical point to emphasize a more important point, out of its context and then rants. Not healthy for the soul. If he is really trending toward SSPX, this doesn’t bode well. Not at all. Pray for him.

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        Comment by Sine Nomine | April 28, 2014

  12. You just are not getting it, and I don’t know why. Mass is absolutely essential, I try to go several times a week and I would not think of missing on Sunday without a very good excuse. The Holy Father is telling us, basically, that an unrepentant, hardened sinner could go to Mass 10 times a day, but if his heart is not right, he will receive no graces from it. We must be in a proper state of mind when we go before our Lord. It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect or even in a state of grace, but we must be aware of our sinfulness, or we will not receive any graces whatsoever.

    Look at the quote you provided: “If you do not feel in need of God’s mercy, if you do not feel you are a sinner, then it’s better not to go to Mass, because we go to Mass because we are sinners and we want to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, to participate in His redemption, His forgiveness.”

    There is no participation in the graces of redemption without realizing that we need those graces. How is that thinking a “modern Catholic approach”? I will ask you again, do you think it does the devil any good to attend Mass? We can go to Mass, say the Rosary, do all the things that normally lead to sanctification, but if they are not done with a humble, repentant heart, as shown by the publican who bowed his head and asked for forgiveness, all of our outward actions will do us no good at all. All of the graces we could receive will be like water off of a duck’s back, none of it will get through to us.

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    Comment by Mary Griffin | February 15, 2014 | Reply

    • Mary, you are the one who is not getting it.

      I’m glad the Holy Father is emphasizing the need for humility, repentance, and the grace of God. That’s all to the good. I hope that’s what most people take away from his message.

      When you say “an unrepentant, hardened sinner could go to Mass 10 times a day, but if his heart is not right, he will receive no graces from it”, that is pure hyperbole, because it isn’t necessarily true – God acts first in the conversion of hardened and unrepentant sinners – and yet I do know what you’re getting at and will not argue with you.

      The problem is that Pope Francis said much more than this. He said that one who doesn’t feel the need for grace, who doesn’t think himself a sinner, should not go to Mass. There’s no way to finesse this, no way to make it sound orthodox or prudent. It doesn’t make any sense as hyperbole, either. There are many reasons to go to Mass that have nothing to do with how one feels about God’s mercy or one’s own sinfulness.

      Here are just a few reasons, off the top of my head, why Christians who don’t admit their own sinfulness or their need for God’s mercy should still be encouraged by the Vicar of Christ to go to Mass:

      1. To give God the worship owed to Him; i.e., the Third Commandment.

      2. To be in the presence of God.

      3. To be exposed to the homily, the readings, and the words of the liturgy.

      4. To be converted through the graces of the Mass. St. Thomas: “The Mass obtains for sinners in mortal sin the grace of repentance.”

      5. To pray for contrition if one doesn’t have it.

      6. To set a good example for one’s children or spouse.

      7. To accompany one’s children or spouse.

      8. To encourage others to attend Mass because of the benefits of religion.

      9. To be in the company of good Catholics who will pray for you.

      10. To pray for others.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Blogmaster | February 15, 2014 | Reply

      • Blog master, you in many ways are a prime example of what Pope Francis is talking about. Pope Francis is telling us that humility, which is seeing ourselves as we really are, i.e., sinners, is essential when we attend Mass. That means being able to say that we don’t know everything, and being open to the Holy Spirit, who will come only to a humble and contrite heart. I notice that one of the links on your blog is the SSPX. That alone tells me that humility is not one of your main attributes because we have been told by the Magesterium that the SSPX is in de facto schism, and yet you still promote them. Your insistence on telling us that the Holy Father doesn’t know what he is talking about and that you are, for all intents and purposes, more “Catholic” than he is shows very little humility on your part. I do pray that you will one day see the great truths that our Holy Father is giving us.

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        Comment by Mary Griffin | February 15, 2014

      • In other words, Mary, you have absolutely nothing to say in response to the content of my last comment. I’ll take that as a tacit admission that you are out of arguments. As for my personal lack of humility, we agree on this. Thank you for your kind prayers. Let’s save the SSPX topic for another day.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Blogmaster | February 15, 2014

  13. It is erroneous to claim that the primary/sole purpose of our attendance of Mass is the honoring of a strict duty that a creature owes to the Creator. If that assertion were true, then we would need to continue attending Mass in heaven; yet we will not – no more signs, no more Sacraments in heaven, just the direct vision of God’s essence without medium. The Mass is in itself perfect worship of the Father indeed – I cannot imagine going a day without it – but it is a mercy that we are given the honor of attending it, and indeed it is for mercy that we must attend it.

    Furthermore, the duty to attend Mass each Sunday arises not directly from Divine Law, but from Human Law (Canon Law is human law, even though it often pertains to Divine Law.) Therefore it cannot itself be a strict derivation of the nature of the duty a creature owes to its Creator.

    Theology aside (I would, by the way, highly recommend you enroll in a good orthodox M.A. program in Theology) – please go ahead and traverse the world looking for a single person who was attending Mass faithfully each Sunday, but chose to stop doing so because of these words of Pope Francis. You will not find a single one. Please go find an abortion mill to pray outside of instead of embarking upon these foolish crusades that do not build up one ounce of treasure in heaven!

    Like

    Comment by Daniel O'Connor | February 15, 2014 | Reply

    • Daniel, you couldn’t be more wrong. The primary reason for our attendance at Mass is precisely divine law, namely the Third Commandment. That’s where you’ll find it in the CCC, under the Third Commandment – as anyone with an M.A. in Theology ought to know. Please see the link in the original post, which I provided for your convenience. You’re welcome.

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      Comment by Blogmaster | February 15, 2014 | Reply

      • I am well aware that our attendance at Mass is adherence to the Third Commandment; my point is that the *Sunday Obligation* is itself a human law – one that we indeed sin by neglecting, but far from itself a direct dictate of the Divine Law. Please refer back to your own quote; CCC 2192 references Canon Law, not Scripture or Tradition.

        And let me reiterate the final paragraph in my last comment.

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        Comment by Daniel O'Connor | February 15, 2014

      • Daniel, with all due respect, I think you need to get your money back from wherever you obtained your M.A. in Theology. The Sunday obligation is of divine origin, made known to us through both Scripture and Tradition, long before there was such a thing as canon law.

        Again, the CCC:

        “2174 Jesus rose from the dead ‘on the first day of the week.’ Because it is the ‘first day,’ the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the ‘eighth day’ following the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:

        ‘We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.’ – St. Justin

        2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:

        ‘Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.’ – St. Ignatius of Antioch

        2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship ‘as a sign of his universal beneficence to all.’ Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.”

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        Comment by Blogmaster | February 15, 2014

  14. You are reading your own interpretation into the Catechism’s words. Here are the words of someone with more training than myself – the Benedictine Theologian Fr. Manuel Garrido:

    “The obligation of hearing Mass on Sundays, being a precept of the Church, could be altered or changed by the competent hierarchy of the Church; but the Church has not done so. On the contrary she has been over-generous in offering facilities for its fulfillment, and by simplifying the rites and offering a greater abundance of biblical and liturgical texts, she has exhorted that the eucharist be celebrated with the maximum power of pastoral efficacy. All the existing problems were studied by the bishops in the Second Vatican Council. Nevertheless in n. 106 of the constitution “Sacrosanctum Concilium” Sunday has been underlined as a day in which the faithful gather “so that by hearing the Word of God, and taking part in the eucharist, they may call to mind the passion, resurrection and glorification of the Lord Jesus, and may thank God.” And they add: “Hence the Lord’s Day, is the original feast day and it should be proposed to the faithful and taught to them in such a way that it may become in fact a day of joy and freedom from work.”

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/OBLIMASS.HTM

    I fully agree that it is a mortal sin to deliberately skip Mass on a Sunday. I fully assent to all that the Catechism teaches on it. But it is simply not true to insist that the Sunday Obligation *itself, inparticular* is a direct dictate of the Divine Law. It is a precept of the Church. It is Canon Law. It finds its foundation in Divine Law. It is not itself the Divine Law. The Church is free to alter any of her precepts – but she is never free to alter the Divine Law.

    If nothing else, pray for the 7th Gift of the Holy Spirit. If you pray for and are open to that gift, you will find yourself criticizing the Holy Father far less (if ever).

    Like

    Comment by Daniel O'Connor | February 15, 2014 | Reply

  15. No matter what,,,,,all of these commentaries are causing deeper thought about what we think we know, and what is actually True. No one is yawning – that’s for sure. This Pope keeps everyone sharp and on their toes. He has made everything about what we believe a conversation of millions. It’s never a hand wave and a “yeah yeah yeah whatever.” So consider the results, not what you want to hear. The guy who walked away from the Church hears what the Pope says and it has a different interpretation than those who go to Church out of obligation. There is brilliance in this work.

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    Comment by Wedding | February 15, 2014 | Reply

  16. Reading through the above comments, I find it amazing how judgmental N.O. types can be. “Judgmental for me, but not for thee”. And with respect to humility, it’s as if the N.O.churchmen have cornered this particular market. Or maybe it’s that they think they discovered (or maybe I should say “invented”) it. No humility outside the conciliar church, if I understand correctly.
    As far as the statement “There is brilliance in this work” referring to the bishop of Romes’ off the cuff musings,… charity demands that I leave this without comment. But take for example the above comments. We finished this thread just as confused at as we were when we started commenting. Therefore, one side is definitely in error. With no resolution in sight. So where is the “brilliance” in that?

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    Comment by sarmaticus2013 | February 16, 2014 | Reply

  17. What about those that seek Gods mercy,seek a relationship with him but he refuses to have anything to do with you? Are you still bound to attend even when it further seperates or highlights Gods rejection of you and your contrition?

    Like

    Comment by jeffrey dixon | March 21, 2014 | Reply

  18. Going to church should not be anything else but as AN ACT OF THANKSGIVING TO OUR GRACIOUS, LOVING & MERCIFUL GOD.

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    Comment by tilinski | November 17, 2014 | Reply

  19. The Holy Father was simply saying “Do not make a mockery of the mass.” It was very plain and simple language.

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    Comment by Catholic Philadelphia Outreach | November 21, 2014 | Reply

  20. you know, whether it’s Mass, or this, or that, man hates rules. man doesn’t like the rules of the household, and he rebels as a child, he doesn’t like the rules of society, his employer, rules of road, etc., and surely it rears its head in religion, hence all the denominations. so he disobeys. no matter how you sugarcoat it, man will always find a way to ‘squirm’ out of responsibility, and make excuses, while having the gall to blame the head of any institution for not bowing down, giving in to the personal wiles and whims of the individual. how dare man do this! so getting back to going to mass, again, the same applies in that situation.

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    Comment by Thomas Bohrman | October 11, 2015 | Reply

  21. In the u.s. the bishops have made it abundantly clear to everyone that this sunday obligation is more about the collection plate than our souls.

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    Comment by Jeffrey | October 16, 2015 | Reply

  22. […] if you also share the pope’s heterodox opinions on the first and greatest commandment, or attending Mass on Sundays, or the salvation of pagans through the rites of their pagan religions. We can’t help but […]

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    Pingback by Please don’t quote Pope Francis in your homilies « New Sherwood | November 12, 2015 | Reply

  23. is the pope catholic.

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    Comment by thomas fannon | January 4, 2016 | Reply

  24. I just want to know if because I miss church because I was ill and didn’t attend mass I couldn’t take thy holy eucariist without confession

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    Comment by Juanita | January 10, 2016 | Reply

  25. Its helpful to embraced and acknowledged the presence of God in our life everyday we attend mass.I will continue to proclaim the good news ro others to hear.

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    Comment by Victor | January 31, 2016 | Reply

  26. I attended Catholic schools in NZ from 1951 to 1959, and in Brisbane for 3 years after that. We were almost always taught by nuns and brothers. In Religion we were taught that Lenten fast and abstenance, and attending mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation were only “required” between the ages of 7 and 70. Also attendance at mass was not required if you lived more than 4 miles from the nearest church. Of course “encouragement” was given outside these parameters. These were reiterated by the (lay) Assistant Principal at our children’s catholic school as late as 12 years ago, and again earlier this year in discussions with some old friends from the Catholic society at our University in NSW from 50 years ago. When evening masses were introduced, if a Holy Day of Obligation fell either side, the priests said we could attend the one appropriate evening mass to satisfy both days, though again we were encouraged to attend twice. So these teachings have been longstanding and widespread in Australasia. (The teachings received by our children have been much more liberal, to the point I have raised issues with the Church, but to no avail.)

    Another point to note is where mass is held in small churches or at Christmas and Easter, and where the congregation spills outside and virtually cannot see or hear anything.

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    Comment by knowledge2success | August 13, 2016 | Reply

  27. I have heard that receiving the Eucharist while in the state of mortal sin actual does damage to our soul. In his way, I think this is the point Pope Francis was making. “It is better not to go to mass” implies receiving the Eucharist in this state is not profitable to that particular soul until the soul begins to understand the need for God and His mercy.

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    Comment by Mary | September 17, 2016 | Reply


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