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Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash. Acolyte, Mass

By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Sept. 14, 2020

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. …

Starting this coming Sunday, it will be a serious sin for a Catholic in the Milwaukee archdiocese to miss Sunday Mass without a serious reason. Last week it was OK. It’s still OK in most other American dioceses and archdioceses.

Can we expect ordinary Catholics to understand this situation? Can we expect them to come back to Sunday Mass, after a six-month hiatus? Having used their authority to stop lay Catholics from attending Mass, can bishops now invoke their authority to bring them back? Will this genie go back in the bottle?

Milwaukee’s Archbishop Jerome Listecki has ended the blanket dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday, and warned the faithful of his archdiocese: “Those who deliberately fail to attend Sunday Mass commit a grave sin.”  …

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