UK Bishops: No Mass Obligation at Christmas. Concentrate On Turkey, Trimmings & Fun!editor
From Catholic Herald (with editorial comment from Catholic Truth)…
The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days will not be restored in time for Christmas because of the continuing threat from COVID-19.
Editor: Gimme a break. Any “threat” is limited to the very old, and even then only those with other underlying conditions are at any risk. Gerragrip.
The bishops of England and Wales wanted to bring back the obligation by the First Sunday of Advent but have conceded that the pandemic meant it was still too dangerous to expect vulnerable people to go to church.
Editor: Conceded? To whom? Lazy lay Catholics-in-Name-Only? Lazy episcopal or clergy Catholics-in-Name-Only? There’s nothing to “concede” – the alleged vulnerable (elderly, e.g.) are never obliged to attend Mass. It’s the rest of us who are obliged, as if you don’t know that. Some of us haven’t missed a single Sunday Mass since the churches were re-opened (thanks to the 27 Protestant Ministers who challenged the Scottish Government in court – and won.) So, stop trying to pull the wool. We’re onto you. The lot of you.
Canon Christopher Thomas, the general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said the prevalence of the virus and the potentially deadly risk of infection meant that many people were still not free to attend Mass.
Editor: Nonsense. To repeat: that’s no reason to ditch the obligation for everyone else. That didn’t used to happen. Priest: Old Mrs Smith isn’t feeling well this week, so the rest of you can stay home / support the sports & leisure centre / save your local shops.
It means that this year there will be no obligation for Catholics to go to church either during Advent or on Christmas Day.
Editor: Disgraceful. I can’t find the words to express my shock. But read on – I’ve found some…
When asked at a London press conference (pictured) if it would be a sin not to attend Mass on the Nativity of the Lord, he replied: “No.”
Editor: Pity nobody asked if the bishops were guilty of sin by belittling the Sunday obligation to worship God… or something. There has to be an episcopal sin in there somewhere, surely?
The bishops are encouraging people who are not vulnerable to make going to Mass a higher priority on Sundays than “sports or shopping”, however.
Editor: That’s priceless. The perfectly healthy are “encouraged” (not obliged) to put Mass over sports or shopping. Shucks. Talk about lowering the bar. I don’t drink, but if I could find a bar right now, I’d order a stiff whisky or ten.
“The Sunday Eucharist is a gift,” the bishops said in a statement called “Honouring Sunday” at the end of their autumn plenary meeting in Leeds, the first they have attended in person since the pandemic that has killed 144,000 people in the UK.
Editor: Oh for the email address of that lucky fly on the wall – assuming (perhaps uncharitably) that their meeting in Leeds was held at some posh venue, nice meal(s) etc. I wonder if they discussed where they’d be spending Christmas, their preferred
pronoun main course (turkey, chicken or, let me think.. goose).
“As God’s holy people we are called to praise and thank God in the most sublime way possible,” they said.
Editor: That means the Traditional Latin Mass.
“When the Church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love.
Editor: Attending Mass is a tad more than that, to quote the Catechism of the Council of Trent: “… it must be taught without any hesitation that, as the holy Council (of Trent) has also) explained, the sacred and holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not a Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving only, or a mere commemoration of the Sacrifice performed on the cross, but also truly a propitiatory Sacrifice, by which God is appeased and rendered propitious to us. If, therefore, with a pure heart, a lively faith, and affected with an inward sorrow for our transgressions, we immolate and offer this most holy victim, we shall, without doubt, obtain mercy from the Lord, and grace in time of need; for SO delighted is the Lord with the door of this victim that, bestowing on us the gift of grace and repentance, He pardons our sins. Hence this usual prayer of the Church: As often as the commemoration of this victim is celebrated, so often is the work of our salvation being done; that is to say, through this unbloody Sacrifice flow to us the most plenteous fruits of that bloody victim.” Ends.
“At this time, we recognise that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass,” they continued. “The pandemic is clearly not over. The risk of infection is still present. For some, there is legitimate fear in gathering together.
Editor: Except, it seems, for sports, shopping and other leisure and social activities.
“As your bishops, we recognise that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to attend freely Sunday Mass.”
Editor: at the time of this announcement, the prevailing circumstances included fewer hospitalisations and deaths. No need for any fear. Never has been, of course.
“We now encourage all Catholics to look again at the patterns which they have formed in recent months with regard to going to Mass on Sundays,” the bishops added. “This would include consideration and reflection about what we might do on Sundays, such as sports or shopping, or other leisure and social activities.
Editor: er… if folks are so fearful of “the virus”, this deadly virus from which almost 100% of those who become infected recover, surely they won’t be gathering for sports, shopping or other leisure and social activities – although the bishops fail to point that out – just sayin’
“This review, and the decisions which arise from it, fall to every Catholic and we trust this will be done with honesty, motivated by a real love for the Lord whom we encounter in the Mass.”
Editor: Notice that the talk is all about the love of the Lord, with no mention of the importance of a healthy fear of the Lord. That’s because the bishops don’t appear to have any.
From the early days of the pandemic many churches and cathedral (sic) in the UK have broadcast live Masses over the internet, and such live-streaming permitted many people to practise their faith differently, including by making acts of “spiritual communion”.
Editor: Isn’t it odd that spiritual communions are not good enough for those living in manifest public sin – they must be admitted to sacramental Holy Communion – but now that it makes episcopal and clergy life easier, spiritual communions for all and sundry are all the rage.
The bishops said they wanted to make a statement about the importance of Sunday Mass as people “begin returning to more regular patterns of parish life”. Source
Editor: “…the importance of Sunday Mass”… yeah right. The entire statement is saying precisely the opposite.
Meanwhile, north of the border…
Scotland’s bishops likewise want everyone to enjoy a God-free Christmas. Seems a bit extreme, right enough, to drag religion into everything, even Christmas. They have chosen 2nd January, to reinstate the obligation. Click here to read their equally weak – and revealing – Pastoral Letter on the subject.
I can’t see a sudden rush of Catholics keen to observe the once-sacred Sunday/Holy Days’ obligation breaking down their local church doors any time soon (or perhaps more accurately, ever again) – do you? I think removing the obligation will prove to have been the own goal to beat all own goals. Personally, I know of at least two people, previously attendees at the Traditional Latin Mass, who haven’t been back since the obligation was removed. I doubt if they’ll ever return. The original goats in the award winning production The Sheep & The Goats. Any Catholic who is so terrified of this virus and, by extension, possible (albeit very remotely possible) death, is about as Catholic as the nearest Jehovah’s Witness. And if they’re NOT terrified of a “Covid-related death” and have just gotten used to a relaxing Sunday without the hassle of getting to Mass, then, again, they’re about as Catholic as… you’ll get my drift.