Is missing Sunday Mass a mortal sin?

Sts. Peter and Paul Catechism Ministry
Sts. Peter and Paul Catechism Ministry

An exchange between me Godwin Delali Adadzie and Catholic apologist Mark Joseph Bonocore some years ago when I was still learning more about the Catholic faith. It was formerly hosted on my Catholic apologetics ministry’s site Sts. Peter and Paul Catechism Ministry.

Please I want to know whether missing the Sunday High Mass is a Mortal sin or not. I went to confession some time ago and I asked my Parish priest about this issue and he said continuous missing of Sunday Mass can lead to Mortal sin. What’s the Official Church view on this.

As a matter of canon law, to intentionally miss Mass on a Sunday is a mortal sin. But this must be intentional, and when Mass is available. If Mass is not available in a certain place, and so there is no Mass to attend, then it is of course not a person’s fault if they do not attend Mass, and so not a sin. Also, if a person is seriously sick, then it is not a sin if they miss Mass, since they are sick. Or, if some important emergency arises, and a person must miss Mass because of the emergency, then, again, it is not a sin. It is only a sin when a person can attend Mass and freely chooses not to do so that it is a mortal sin. If your priest says otherwise, then he is wrong and not teaching what the Church teaches. Look at the Catechism sections 2180 and 2181.

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