Parishioners in the Diocese of Salt Lake City were shocked to learn that the Solemnity of Mary, celebrated on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, was abrogated by their bishop, Most Reverend Oscar Azarcon Solis.
A weekly bulletin for the diocese states: "Tuesday, January 1, 2019, Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God, is not a holyday of obligation in the Diocese of Salt Lake City. In the Diocese of Salt Lake City, the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God has been abrogated."
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, with the approval of the Vatican, has long-standing permission to move feast days to Sunday when the holy day falls on either a Saturday or a Monday. In 1991, the USCCB issued a decree regarding Canon 1246 §2, stating:
Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.
This decree of the Conference of Bishops was approved and confirmed by the Apostolic See by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops (Prot. N. 296/84), signed by Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation, and dated July 4, 1992.
The Solemnity of Mary for the year 2019 falls on a Tuesday, so according to both the decree and Canon Law, it is not abrogated. It is unclear why the bishop abrogated the Solemnity, and all attempts to contact the diocese went straight to voice mail. We did not receive a response.
The abrogation of the holy day was brought to the attention of The Lepanto Institute by a parishioner in the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Johanna D. said she heard about the abrogation during the announcements after Mass on the last Sunday of Advent.
"The priest making the announcement about the abrogation really got my attention when he indicated that he was making the announcement under command from his pastor," Johanna said. "Normally, he would just make the announcement without qualification."
Johanna also said that she was confused by the announcement because it came with no explanation as to why the obligation to attend Mass on this holy day was abrogated.
Read the rest at The Lepanto Institute.