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?