Monday, January 01, 2007

What the #$% were they thinking?

Today, January 1st, is the Solemnity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. It is the fundamental Marian feast day. It is one of the holy days of obligation in the Universal Church. It should be observed as a holy day of obligation in the Church in the United States. (Remember, there is no such thing as the American Catholic Church.) But it isn't this year because it falls on a Monday.

Well you may ask how did such a thing come to pass. For several decades the liturginazis have been waging war on holy days of Obligation. (There are even some that want to remove or transfer the Sunday obligation.) About 10 years ago, they managed to persuade to bishop's conference to allow provinces to move Ascension Thursday to Sunday. (STUPID, A-HISTORICAL MOVE #1.) At the same time they decreed that if certain holy days fell on a Saturday or a Monday then they wouldn't be obligatory. (I think they must have read a Weekly World News story about people who go to Mass two day in a row bursting into flame -- Spontaneous Ecclesial Combustion.) Heaven forbid that people have to go to Mass two days in a row; o the horror! I suspect that the real reason was whiny priests complaining about the burden of celebrating all those Masses. The effect is yet more people being confused about the Holy Days. And in my diocese, add the fact that our former bishop would automatically dispense with the January 1st obligation when it fell on a day it should be observed. I once heard this justified by the fact that many people just don't go. Can't let the little darlings sin can we? So we remove the obligation. Heck, lets just get rid of the 10 commandment while we are at it, then there wont be any sins at all. (I actually heard of a nun during the felt banner CCD years saying that if the kids weren't taught the commandments, they wouldn't sin.)

As I have commented before, this is yet another step on the road to the marginalization of Catholic religious practice. It began with Saturday night fulfilling the Sunday Obligation. It continued with the abrogation of the Lenten fast, meatless Fridays, ember and rogation days. And now it is the Holy Days of Obligation. Unless it is stopped and reversed it will end with religious practice safely in the closet.

Well, not having a mitre and crosier, I can't do much about this. But in my parish we observe the holy day Mass schedule regardless of the day it falls on.
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