Question.—Living 20 miles away from Church, am I obliged to attend Mass on Sundays? I must say that I have a motor-car and I am free.— A planter.

Answer.— I do not decidedly think that you are excused from attendance at Mass on Sunday. Positive precepts bind unless there is a "serious inconvenience." St. Alphonsus excuses people from attendance at mass who have to walk a distance that occupies an hour or more, when such walk may cause a "serious inconvenience." Now such distance to walk may not be of any inconvenience to young people, when, on the contrary it may be a great obstacle to old people and to persons of delicate health. Many are prepared to face greater distances and will not think them any "serious inconvenience" to walk five or six miles to and from the church. So the rule cannot be too rigidly applied and one must try to view matters in their right perspective and sense of proportion.
Modern improvements in the way of transport do not modify laws directly, but they do indirectly by lessening the obstacles to their fulfilment. A distance of 20 miles for a motorist is not considered as a long distance and cannot be the cause of "great inconvenience." Taking everything into account, 20 miles distance to a motorist is far less than 2 or 3 miles to a pedestrian and does not appear a serious obstacle to the observance of the precept.

- Malaya Catholic Leader,February 9th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp58)


Question.—Living 20 miles away

from Church, am I obliged to

attend Mass on Sundays? I must

say that I have a motor-car and I

am free.— A planter.

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