Catholic Christmas Calculus

Roman Catholicism is an intricate religious labyrinth with 1752 Canon Laws and 2865 numbered paragraphs in its official catechism. Sometimes, the exacting rules and regulations get so complicated that a Mathematics PhD couldn’t anticipate all the contingencies. Case in point is the news story below. But first, a little background.

Roman Catholics are obligated to attend mass every single Sunday as well as the six yearly Holy Days of Obligation (HDO). If they miss even one required mass, they commit mortal sin and are doomed to hell. Depending on the year, some HDOs may fall on a Saturday or a Monday and in those cases, a dispensation may be granted that allows Catholics to fulfill both obligations when they attend mass on Sunday. Always nice when they let you double-dip!

Are you following along so far? Okay, let’s take a look at the article below.

Christmas is an HDO and it falls on Monday this year, so Catholics are obligated to attend mass on both Sunday and Monday. Because Christmas is such an important day for Catholicism, a dispensation will NOT be granted.

What about the shrewd Catholic who says to herself, “I know how to beat the system! I’ll go to Saturday afternoon “vigil mass” on December 23rd to fulfill my Sunday obligation and then go to mass Sunday morning to fulfill my Christmas obligation, leaving Christmas day free and clear.”

Or some other Catholic eager to “beat the house” might rationalize, “I’ll go to midnight mass on the evening of Sunday, December 24th and fulfill BOTH my Sunday and Christmas obligations.”

Not so fast, my Catholic friends. According to the article below, the U.S. Catholic bishops have stipulated that, “the Sunday obligation for Dec. 24 can be fulfilled on Sunday, or anytime after 4 p.m. on Dec. 23, and the Christmas Mass obligation can be fulfilled on Monday, anytime after 4 p.m. on Dec. 24.” Also, “When consecutive obligations occur on Saturday-Sunday or Sunday-Monday, the faithful must attend Mass twice to fulfill two separate obligations.”

Did you catch all of that or is your head still spinning?

Despite the threat of eternal damnation, church statistics reveal only 20% of Catholics attend obligatory mass every Sunday and only 12% attend all HDOs. What percentage of Catholics will actually attend obligatory mass on both the 24th and 25th? The vast majority of Catholics would rather risk eternity than sit through one boring liturgical service, let alone two in a row. And since pope Francis says even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their conscience, they think they’ll be just fine by staying home.

The works-righteousness treadmill of the Catholic church with all of its rules and regulations offers no hope. Salvation is not calculus. The Gospel is so simple even a child can understand it. I’m so grateful the Lord freed me from religious chains and opened my eyes to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone! You’re a sinner like me and you need the Savior, too. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone.


Catholic Bishop: Go to Mass on Sunday and on Christmas

What is the gospel?


13 thoughts on “Catholic Christmas Calculus

  1. I seem to recall a few laws in the Torah (and the New Testament)… And I seem to recall Christ explaining the importance of interpreters (in that case, the Pharisees) being obeyed.

    But you just want to mock and claim superiority – you do not care to understand. So I won’t try to explain.

    I am going to be doing a post on some of your articles soon, Tom. Just a heads up. I invite you to comment when the time comes – I’m not afraid to dialogue… Are you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “dialogue”

      Thanks. I’ve participated in many lengthy debates/dialogues in the past, but I must be a good steward of my time rather than get caught up in the same endless disputes with defenders of works-righteousness religion. You are committed to your false gospel, and that’s your choice, but there are others out there who are genuinely searching for the Lord and it’s to those people that I devote my time and energy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for allowing my comment through.

        Frankly, I think you live in an echo-chamber full of the ghosts of bad memories-turned-caricatures. I welcome your attempts at disproving that.

        You are right to worry about endless disputes – but you should consider that with regards to the free-for-all model of Scriptural exegesis which Protestantism (etc.) forces. We certainly have many laws and doctrines – and yet how many thousands of words are there in Scripture? You are on your own in figuring them out… and everyone will claim that God is telling them the truth.

        Peace to you…


      2. Evangelicals may differ on some secondary beliefs, but we are united in our salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Catholics are united in their legalism and ritualism, which saves no one. Or are they? Many pious Catholics view the current pope as a heretic, so what exact brand of Catholicism are you affiliated with? The pope’s or one of the conservative cardinals’?


  2. Wow I bet most Catholics don’t even know the specific requirements of all the mandatory masses and its implication for Catholic soteriology especially with the fine print. I’m glad you shared this and what a juxtaposition the official teachings is in contrast to what the Pope has to say, which goes to show that for all those who argue you need a pope for clear doctrines, this current Pope provides all the self-defeater for that view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of Catholics – say 80% – could not speak with any proficiency on the Holy Days of Obligation. Yes, in line with my post from a few days ago, the pope and Catholicism have their exacting official salvation system, Plan A, that would drive a lawyer crazy, but non-members can use Plan B, aka “just be good.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl, actually the recovery of the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone by the Reformers was a GLORIOUS movement led by the Holy Spirit! Millions upon millions of people have accepted Christ by faith alone since the Reformation. No one is led to salvation by the standard theology of Roman Catholicism with its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.


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