Catechism,  Commentary

Conscience and the Sunday Obligation

When the pandemic hit the United States earlier this year, bishops across the country made the necessary but unprecedented decision to dispense the faithful from their traditional obligation to attend Mass every Sunday. Six months later, we are slowly beginning to see some bishops lift that dispensation, making physical attendance at Mass an obligation once again. This comes while we are still in the midst of the pandemic, and as talk of lifting the dispensation has increased, so have concerns from faithful Catholics who do not feel safe attending Mass. Many Catholics are genuinely worried that when the Sunday obligation is imposed they will risk committing a mortal sin if they don’t attend. Does the Lord really ask someone to risk their health and safety to attend Mass?

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Photo credit: Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Paul Fahey is a husband, father of four, and professional lay person. He writes for Where Peter Is and Diocesan.

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