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COMMENTARY: While public controversy focused on whether the government considered worship an ‘essential activity,’ the far more important question is whether the Catholic faithful consider Sunday Mass as ‘essential activity.’
By Father Raymond J. de Souza , EWTN News, December 27, 2020
For many years now, the Sunday obligation — observed by a minority of Catholics — was in the intensive care unit. It died this past pandemic year. A resurrection is not on the horizon. The Code of Canon Law is clear enough: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass” (1247). A minority of baptized Catholics observe that; in many countries, it is a tiny minority.
Leave aside those of the baptized who have had no religious upbringing or formation; it is likely they do not even know of the Sunday obligation. Yet many of those who would consider themselves practicing Catholics do not consider Sunday Mass to be a canonical obligation, much less mandated by the Third Commandment, which ranks higher in importance than “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” …
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