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Scottish archbishop affirms that missing Sunday Mass is ‘a grave sin’

Archbishop Cushley

Archbishop Leo Cushley has reminded his flock that “attending Mass on Sunday is a solemn and binding obligation”, and that missing Mass is a grave sin.

The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh made the remarks in a pastoral letter for Sunday’s feast of Corpus Christi, reported by the Catholic News Agency. The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh said that “If we deliberately fail in this matter, it is a grave sin and we must go to Confession before receiving Communion again.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes canon law: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.” But the Church’s teaching that missing Mass is a mortal sin is not always emphasised.

In 1679, Pope Innocent XI officially condemned the idea that missing Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is not a mortal sin.

However, as Archbishop Cushley noted, this does not apply if illness or some other grave cause makes getting to Mass impossible.