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You know, technically no one has to go to mass. The bishops have said that in order to remain in good standing that one must attend mass each week, but in reality no one [i:1ej0zitp]has[/i:1ej0zitp] to go.
See, what is nice about Catholic theology is there is room to make your own choices. Albeit there are consequences for actions you make like in any decision in life, but you are really free to make your own choices. Some people have this weird perception that the Catholic Church traps people or you can’t be free because there are so many rules, but in fact it is that way in anything you do. You are free to do whatever you want in your life, but if you want to be a member of something you have to follow the rules.
I think the magesterium made these rules of obligation for the benefit of the people and not to be a burden. It is just that it is a little more demanding that what some people would like, but doesn’t the Lord deserve that? Doesn’t God deserve at least an hour each week if not more? I think people that whine about having to go to mass are really missing the point of the mass – which I believe is at least 50% of the Catholic population.*
*Note: This is not scientific, just my personal observation. Feel free to disagree and post otherwise from my opinion.
I do agree that this is a bit distressing, but I think it takes the rest of the faith community to pray about it and to inform people about why the mass is so special.