From a reader:
I have had a discussion with a good traditional Catholic that has told me going out to eat after Mass on Sundays, or for that matter any Holy Day of Obligation, is a sin against the 3rd commandment. I contended it is not and that Catechism specifically calls out restaurants. What is your take on this? Is it licit to go out to eat after Mass?
Article 2187 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church envisions the necessity – and propriety- of restaurants being open on Sundays in light of the 3rd Commandment of the Decalogue (that’s “The Ten Commandments” for people in Columbia Heights).
2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.
If one chooses to patronize a restaurant which remains open on Sunday, and one tips one’s waiter or waitress well, one is consistent with Catholic social teaching.
If one owns a restaurant and chooses to keep it closed on Sunday, giving the workers a day off (preferably paid), then one one is consistent with Catholic social teaching.
If one owns a restaurant and chooses to keep it open on Sunday, but makes provisions to ensure that workers have opportunities to attend Holy Mass and also have time for the due relaxation of mind and body, one is consistent with Catholic social teaching.
So, the next time you have a discussion with traditional Catholics, consider meeting after Mass at a restaurant for lunch and some discussion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.