To The Editor:
On page 8 of the 11/20/07 issue of the RI Catholic, you have an article entitled "Holy Day of Obligation."
The term "obligation" does connote an inevitable conclusion that if the said "obligation" is not kept then one must suffer some type of dire consequence.
Not so long ago, well, at least it does not seem long ago if you were a teenager like me in the forties and fifties, the dire consequence for not keeping the "obligation" of attending Mass on Sundays and Holy days, was considered a "mortal crime" classified as a "serious sin" which put one on the fast track to hell.
One may attempt to play semantics and say that it was a doctrine of the Catholic faith; however, we all know that it was taught as a doctrine of faith in our Catholic schools, preached as such from the pulpits and threatened as such in the confessional.
If, as the present statistics clearly point out, only approximately a third of our 60 percent so-called Catholic population of Rhode Island attend Mass regularly on Sundays and less on Holy days, then the road to hell must surely be jammed.
In lieu of being so consistently negative and coercive, wouldn't we be better off to simply state something like, "On December 8 we will celebrate The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
This is a great Holy Day for [us] Americans, whose country is dedicated to her. What a marvelous opportunity for us to celebrate another wonder of our faith. Let us honor Our Lady, Our Patron by gathering to celebrate the Eucharist!
John P Lynch