From a reader:
Can you give insight regarding All Saints not being a Holy Day of Obligation? This was announced at a Mass my husband attended today in our diocese. It is also posted on Diocese website. There isn’t elaboration. I looked it up an apparently our American Bishops decided in 1991 to “abrogate the precept” to attend Mass for All Saints if it falls on a Sat or Mon.
My question is, does this abrogation make it no longer a Holy Day of Obligation? Second, why did they do that?
If I were Pope, I would wonder to myself whether it is a good idea allow the shifting of feast days (e.g., Ascension Thursday Sunday). I would wonder if it was a good idea to give people the impression that they only have to be Catholic on Saturday Evening and Sunday by eliminating the obligation to participate at Mass on other important feasts… feasts important for our identity as Catholics.
I think ALL SAINTS is important for understanding who we are as members of a Church Militant, still connected to the Church Triumphant.\
Apparently it is an undue burden to oblige Catholics to make room in their oh-so-busy lives for the worship of God and worthy reception of the Eucharist.
At the same time, I believe that bishops can, in their own dioceses, maintain the obligations. Perhaps a canonist can help, but I believe that to be the case. Conferences can’t bind bishops in their diocese.