The End of the Dispensation

The End of the Dispensation

Today, Bishop Doherty posted the following statement on the diocese’s website:

Lifting of the Dispensation from the Obligation of Mass, Effective 11 June 2021

May 21, 2021

Today, the Bishops across all five Indiana dioceses have issued the following statement on the lifting of the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass:

The celebration of the Eucharist at Mass is the source and summit of our life and mission as Catholics.
As of March 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Roman Catholics throughout the entire Province of Indianapolis, which comprises all five dioceses of Indiana, have been dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.  However, with the decrease of cases in our state, the widespread availability of vaccines and following the guidance of public health officials, we are now able to safely accommodate more parishioners for Masses.  Therefore, effective June 11, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass is hereby lifted throughout the state of Indiana. 

Except for the unique situations as described below, those who are otherwise healthy are obliged to return to Sunday Mass by the weekend of June 12-13, 2021:

–Those who are seriously ill, exhibit flu-like symptoms and/or may have a contagious disease (including quarantine due to exposure).

–Those who are unable to attend Mass through no fault of their own (e.g. transportation issue).

–Those who are homebound and/or incapacitated due to age, infirmity and/or medical restrictions.

–Those who have compromised health conditions and/or at high risk of contracting the virus.

–Those who are caretakers of person who are sick or of persons at high-risk of serious illness if they contract Covid virus.

If you have any questions about any specific needs, concerns or protocols, you are advised to contact your parish directly.  Your pastor, who has the authority to dispense in individual cases, may be helpful in addressing individual fears and concerns.

The obligation to attend Mass is a joyful one, reflecting the very character of who we are as Catholics.   

Phase D guidelines (from June 26, 2020) will continue to be followed in our pastorates until further recommendations have been issued.

What are your thoughts, readers? Have you returned to Mass? What will it take to transition people back into regular participation in Mass?

14 Replies to “The End of the Dispensation”

    1. We truly have reached the limit of America’s ability to defend truth, beauty, and goodness. Our country was founded on enlightenment philosophy and protestant rebelliousness. We were only ever going to make it as a society by clinging to the natural law and as much of Catholic truth as our majority protestant sects could stomach. These were the supports that held up the whole structure. With a majority of Americans now abandoning these things, our founding philosophies have reached their inevitable ends: Enlightenment-thinking leads to a place without God and protestant rebelliousness leads one to create a new god that bends to your own will. Our founding philosophies have turned into a toxic cocktail of neo-paganism. Can anyone seriously dispute that this is where we are now? American “values” are now shifting sands.

      That this madness has infiltrated the Catholic Church in America is no surprise. Very compromised men largely run the church at present and feel quite liberated by the culture to continue as they are. Until our bishops act like bishops, the faithful will continue to be marginalized and left to defend themselves in an increasingly hostile world. The fight will be worth it of course, but it could have so different if those bishops had just a smidgeon of supernatural faith.

      – Matthew 17:20

  1. “What will it take to transition people back into regular participation in Mass?” I can only hope that our church leadership sincerely asks that question. Otherwise, they might as well keep the covid-scam theatre open for business while they await government orders for what to do next.

    Faithful Catholics already returned to mass last summer once our cowardly bishops begrudgingly unlocked the doors and let our priests be priests again. Faithful Catholics don’t need a member of the clergy to tell them to go to mass and frequent the sacraments. Faithful Catholics go to mass and frequent the sacraments because they are preparing for death, fear God’s judgment, want to obtain Heaven and escape hell.

    The real question is not just how to attract the marginally Catholic back to mass after they were driven away by the bishops, but also how to rebuild trust with the faithful that are already back, because make no mistake: trust has been broken. It remains an open wound. Last year the faithful watched with despair as their Holy Mother Church was closed and declared “non-essential” by the state. They watched bishops fall over like dominos to fulfill the dictates of a godless government. They watched their dear priests ordered not to administer the sacraments under pain of suspension. Parents had to agonizingly explain to their children the real reason why the family couldn’t go to mass or confession: That our shepherds have abandoned us and that we are in God’s hands now. The bishops can pretend all they want that they were only acting in the interests of public health, but what the faithful painfully witnessed was that when the bishops had a choice of obeying either Caesar or God, they chose Caesar.

    There is no “transitioning” back to mass, whatever that means. What justice demands is an apology by the bishops both individually and as a body as they lie in sackcloth and ashes. They need to publicly apologize to God and to the faithful for their grievous errors in judgment in closing churches, cutting off access to the sacraments, and putting the faithful through the humiliation of “covid-measures”. If they really care about the souls they’ve lost and hurt, they need to apologize and resign because the trust that has been broken is not with the individuals currently holding the high office of “bishop” but with the office itself. The only way to restore trust is for the current occupants of the various bishops’ chairs to apologize, resign, and let their successor bishops prove in their actions that they will never let something like this happen again.

    Come, Lord Jesus.

    1. Oh Facepalm Catholic, you sure did say well what I’ve been feeling since all this covid theater started last March with the closing of our churches. Way to go! Thank you for voicing it perfectly. An apology, resignation and sackcloth & ashes…exactly what should happen. That’s why we searched out faithful, brave priests from other dioceses to “watch” Mass during the closure. We invited a faithful (foreign missionary) priest over to hear our confessions in our home. Tried to get our own parish priest to hear confessions in our parish parking lot, but he wouldn’t do it. Now our parish is doing a project with a time capsule sitting on the narthex table so we parishioners can write down our feelings, frustrations and memories from the Covid year. Those written comments are being collected on pretty colored paper and will be put in the capsule, blessed and buried somewhere on campus on our Saint’s feast day this summer. Wow, just wow…I’m so impressed with this great use of time and resources. That will SURELY bring back the parishioners lost during the dispensation. I just know it will! Not.


      Essentially Phase D says:
      No singing or choirs, but a cantor is allowed.

      At least one Mass for the disobedient (those who are vulnerable but insist on coming to the holy sacrifice of the Mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist anyway) must be said each weekend where masks are required but socially distancing is not.

      Masses may have masks optional if social distancing is enforced.

      Nothing is allowed in the pews including hymnals and missals

      Electronic aids may not be used (no use of cell phones or smart devices allowed to follow along with the Mass because….COVID???)

      The responsorial psalm must be spoken from the Ambo because…COVID???

      The entrance procession may include clergy and servers, but the Book of Gospels is not allowed.

      Holding hands during the Our Father is suspended (big loss there)

      The people must use hand sanitizer immediately before communion without touching ANYTHING after applying the hand sanitizer.

      This is the short list…the full document (linked above) goes on for 10 pages.

        1. Don’t worry about missing these restrictions. The Covid Rite will continue at what will be the “vulnerable” masses at many parishes. It’ll be like 2020 never ended. You can wear as many masks as you want, flash your Vax-passport at the door, bathe in holy hand sanitizer as you walk in, negotiate a maze of roped-off pews, stay 50-feet apart from other humans to demonstrate your virtue, not hear a single note of music, and flash peace signs to the camera during the sign of peace since you’re the only one at mass and everyone you know who used to go to church is watching mass on TV (actually they’re not watching, they left the faith, but you won’t know this and they won’t tell you).

  2. A dispensation for well over a year due to Covid is a joke and shows the sorry state of affairs in today’s hierarchy. I wonder what the pious priests and bishops of the past are thinking about it, as they were willing to submit to torture and death to bring Mass to the faithful. We have a faithful priest in our parish who said today that those staying away from Mass due to the dispensation were using it as a “crutch”. Well said! Too bad that the bishops coddled the parishioners by making that crutch available for 15 months.

  3. I fear we lost souls back when the Bishops locked us out of Church and refused to administer the Sacraments. They won’t come back. They’ve been told that none of it is important.

  4. It doesn’t contain the rigamarole abut masking and social distancing. But this is what should have been dispensed in the first place last year. So in effect we have indefinite dispensations of one form or another that continue to breed fear over faith and courage.

    It is a continued affirmation that our mollycoddle bishops are running the Church like a business in fear of liability, yet without concern for the liability that matters most – souls.

    I just want them to say and believe that the Mass matters more than anything else. More than my physical safety. More than my mental health. More than my emotions. More than my own life. More than my death. Even Satan knows the value of just one Mass. Do they?

  5. At least they are admitting that the general “dispensation” was a sham since this contains the exact same guidance on who is dispensed as the original order/extensions. Plus, unlike courageous Successors like Bishop Jugis in Charlotte, no definitive statements like these: “No more masks or social distancing required.”


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