From a reader:
My pastor "canceled" Sunday Mass this morning due to an icy parking lot from a recent snow/ice storm. Needless to say, I live in a part of the country where we rarely have such weather. However, while protestant churches all over the city canceled their services, ours was the only Catholic Church in town that where Masses were "cancelled."
If you were in my neck of the woods, where I grew up in Minnesota, that would not fly.
But while we know there is an obligation for Mass in Sundays, when people face a significant burden … such as truly inclement weather… their obligation is mitigated.
People are not bound to the impossible, or the truly burdensome when it comes to this obligation. Many people are sincerely afraid to out when weather is like that.
In places where winter weather is not normal inexperience with driving conditions and, frankly, fear of incompetent drivers, seems to me a sufficient reason to attenuate the obligation.
The pastor, by canceling Mass, could have been trying to put people ease about their obligation. Of course I hope he said Mass anyway at the times scheduled for those who showed up all the same.