Religion: Sometimes on Saturday

An increasing number of U.S. Catholics consider compulsory Mass on Sunday an unnecessary chore as anachronistic as meatless Fridays. In a busy and mobile world, they would like a greater freedom of choice. In the West, where circuit-riding priests cannot easily reach scattered communities, many are simply never visited on Sundays. In season at resort areas, local churches are hopelessly jammed. In Europe and Latin America, some dioceses have won papal permission to hold the obligatory service on Saturdays instead.

Last week the National Conference of Catholic Bishops gave its blessing to the same procedure in the U.S. Gathered in Chicago, 230...

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