Skip to comments.MEATLESS FRIDAYS and the Official Church Law (Surprise!)
Posted on 02/28/2006 10:01:19 AM PST by NYer
The National Conference of Catholic
(American) Bishops - NCCB
The vast majority of Catholics today do not know that there is an existing obligation to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. While it is true that the Code of Canon Law allows for the substituting of another penitential practice, authorized by the NCCB, one has not been defined. As a consequence the abiding custom of the Church has been set aside. Neither bishops nor priests, with rare exception, inform the faithful of their obligations. Laxity and indifference have become the rule throughout most of the American Church in all matters of faith and morals. The congregations are being led straight into Hell.
Laxity and indifference are particularly notable in relation to human life. As the value of life expands in its deterioration, the bishops continue their practice of public posturing. As noted in the news article following the quotations from the Code of Canon Law, the bishops are now consideringg the possibility of reintroducing that which is, in essence, already the existing law of the Catholic Church.
If the average Catholic were asked if they abstain from meat on Fridays, they would say no. If asked what penitential practice they have substituted in place of not eating meat, they would commonly say none.
Bishops, and the priests in their jurisdictions, have long neglected to teach about the obligatory requirement of either abstaining from meat on all Fridays of the year, or of substituting another observance. They have sinned by omission. It should be noted that even Pope Paul VI's variance in Paenitemini of 17 February, 1966 did not abrogate (terminate) the obligation to at least substitute another form of penitential practice.
The bishops are proposing to possibly have Catholics -- do what they were commonly supposed to be doing anyway (NOTE: Most Catholics no longer believe in condemnatory sin and consequently do not go to obligatory confession when in grave sin. It is probable that today there are more Catholics with non-Catholic beliefs than there are Protestants.) -- express their concerns in regard to abortion and euthanasia by abstinence (not eating the meat of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fowl). This might to some seem an improvement to expressing the need for prayer in regard to the multitudes of innocent people daily being slaughtered by Godless people. During the seven month period of time intervening between making the proposal to discuss and actually possibly discussing the proposal their will have been between one-half million and over five million people legally murdered in America. Obviously they do not consider this to be a matter of grave concern.
What else could be said or done?
Speak for yourself!
I asked what the repercussions were to eating meat.
Of course, real fasting is NOT EATING AT ALL -- a far cry from this convenient food-group-specific practice, which is more similar to the Muslim 'fasting' during Ramadan wherein they can eat all they want after dark.
I remember I when I was at the Archdiocese and I tried to discuss this self same discipline (it had been covered by Fr. Corapi the night before) with a Priest who I was friendly with (awesome guy btw) and he told me "don't believe everything you hear on EWTN"
I was disappointed, he doesn't promote any heterodoxy and is a great guy, but still.....
is "real fasting" defined in scripture, or are you trying to make men slaves to your definition?
Does yout definition mean no water and no milkshakes (you did say eaing nothing at all)?
A person dies without water for 40 days - did you know that?
Did Jesus go without water for 40 days?
Was Jesus fully human?
Thank you for the handy link. I have a hobby of getting into email debates with anti-Catholic website owners. I typically use the website "Biblical Truths for Baptists" (http://members.aol.com/uticacw/baptist/bibletruth.html), but this will add another weapon to my arsenal.
To willfully eat meat when the authorities of the Church asks us to abstain as a communal penance is a mortal sin of disobedience to the lawful authorities in the Church, who must answer to God for the state of our souls. They have enacted a law for our benefit, and it is our duty to understand the law and follow it to achieve the divine benefits of what it commands and proposes that we might receive in return.
"Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow ... Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief. For this is not expedient for you." (Hebrews 13.7, 17)
Those who will not "hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican." (St. Matthew 18.17). The disobedient will be cut-off as performing works of the flesh "enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects" (Galatians 5.20).
LOL! You can always just glue a pre-cooked block of romin noodles to a sheet of red construction paper and say it's souls writhing in hell. Of course that's not salvatory either, but maybe it's something.
Fasting has two parts - to reduce overall intake (fasting proper), and to abstain from items of luxury in what we do eat (abstinence) for necessary sustenance during the fast.
which is more similar to the Muslim 'fasting' during Ramadan wherein they can eat all they want after dark.
The Catholic fast is traditionally limited to one small collation after noon time that is less than half of what you would normally eat (i.e. instead of a sandwich and apple and sode for lunch, just an apple and a cup of water), and one regular meal at night. No breakfast, no snacks, and no real lunch. Additionally, during the fast, various foods are completely done away with (meat, broths, cheese, eggs, etc.) for the duration of the fast period.
There is no gorging on food and luxuries after dark.
Just a clarification.
Who are these guys:
The National Conference of Catholic
(American) Bishops - NCCB
I've heard of the USCCB, but not of the NCCB.
"those infidel Douay-Rheims translators"
I don't know. Compare your contribution:
Now the Spirit manifestly saith that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy and having their conscience seared, forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful and by them that have known the truth. -- I Timothy 4:1-3
with the actual Douay-Rheims translation: (subtitled "Lying teachers")
Now the Spirit expressly says that in after times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of devils, 2 speaking lies hypocritically, and having their conscience branded. 3 They will forbid marriage, and will enjoin abstinence from foods, which God has created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by the faithful and by those who know the truth.
Realizing how hard it was to remember to do penance on Fridays, my hubby and I decided to go back to the meatless Fridays. I like it because the need to do something different reminds us why we are doing it - to commemorate Jesus' sufferings, and keep them fresh in our minds.
These little signs are (or ought to be) signals to ourselves and others of our personal committment.
And that is a good thing.
He established the Catholic Church to teach in His name
His Body and Blood builds upon and transforms our nature making us partakers of His Divine Nature
2 Peter...By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world
*Your good nature can be perfected by the Grace of Jesus in the Sacramental System in the Church Jesus established as His Ark of Salvation.
Have a Blessed Lent, brother
Odd. Is there more than one version of the Douay-Rheims? All of these sites concur with what I posted:
Dude, you are on a roll!
And that is precisely the spirit in which this abstinence was developed. It is such a small share in the sufferings of our Lord - a gnawing reminder of what He accomplished for us as well as a grateful acknowledgement.
The USCCB used to be the NCCB. Changed the name about 5-10 years ago.
Will this mean the return of tha Baloot boys to the streets of Manila?
Every Friday you could hear their cries....Baaaloooot! BaaaLooot!
Balot is a ready to hatch chick which though meat is an egg and legal on Friday in heavily Catholic Manila.
Nice post, NYer! I've given up meat again too for the past several years when I finally actually read the entire discipline of the NCCB (which was totally ignored). A cheese sandwich on Fridays and the fish or veggies on Friday night sure focus my mind on the memorial of Good Friday! So do the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
Here again, we are following the lead of our Lord and Savior who prayed to His Father for those who had been entrusted to Him. They, in turn, prayed for those entrusted to them down through these 2000 years. The forms of prayer are so beautiful and varied. For the past several months, I have been praying the Maronite Divine Office. Like the Jewish tradition it followed, it begins with the evening prayers of Ramsho and culminates with the morning prayers of Safro . These include the praying of Psalms and readings from Scripture.
It only takes 20 minutes to follow these beautiful prayers. They put a smile on my face in the morning and enfold me with their warmth in the evening.
Now see here! I can understand the motivation - denial of something pleasurable - but you could not have picked a worse time to absent yourself from FR. During Lent, the postings are often spiritual in nature, drawing you closer to God. It's your call - and other have done this as well - but, trust me :-) - Lent is when we pull out all the spiritual stops and try to rouse christians in their Lenten practices.
You may want to check in periodically to see if there are any important posts such as the pope's Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. Last year when JPII was so ill, it fell upon the shoulder of (then) Cardinal Ratzinger to lead the stations. When he reached #9, his comments drew instantaneous media attention. This is what he said:
V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
From the Book of Lamentations. 3:27-32
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust - there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25).
Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
Eia mater, fons amoris,
And this was before he was elected pontiff! Imagine this year!
Thanks but I give more credit to those catholics who seek to unite themselves to the suffering Savior.
I've heard that the capibara is also OK to eat on Lenten Fridays. It is basically a giant hamster but it spends most of its time in the waters of the Amazon river.
Yes, it is odd. Thank you for the many links, all of which seem to have the save version, one publishd by John Murphy Co. in 1899 . I've learned a lot this evening. The catholicfirst.com lists in its introductory notes: "This revision [Challoner] became the 'de facto' standard text for English speaking Catholics until the twentieth century. It is still highly regarded by many for its style, although it is now rarely used for liturgical purposes."
from drbo.org: "The DR Bible was photographically reproduced from the 1899 edition of the John Murphy Company, Baltimore, Maryland, by Tan Books in 1971. The Challoner revision  of the Douay-Rheims Bible ... became the standard Catholic Bible in English until the mid-20th century (when the Confraternity Bible was published). It continued to be called the "Douay-Rheims" because of its similarity to the original Douay-Rheims Bible."
The verses posted to you are from The Holy Trinity Editon published by The Catholic Press, Inc. Chicago, Illinois, (1951), where introductory remarks state: "The New Testament is the Confraternity revision of the Challoner-Rheims version."
I understand perfectly! The tv is off in my home for similar reasons. Rest assured of my prayers for a blessed Lent! Look forward to your return at Easter.
I finished a few years ago, but I have a sister and brother in religious-ed classes. It seems that as time went on in my parish, the quality (and actual religious instruction) of said classes has decreased considerably.
Our Lord was crucified on a Friday. To remember and honor His ultimate and perfect sacrifice, we are reminded by the Church He founded to do this small penance weekly. This weekly reminder that it was OUR SIN that crucified Our Lord is there to help us on our path to sanctity. Our Lord encourages us to "Go and SIN NO MORE". We ought to listen to Him, don't you think?
About a year ago, my pastor started talking about this subject. I think the new bishop had something to do with this. We must abstain from meet on all Fridays during the year.
Also abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday!
From what I can figure out from the first paragraph of the article, meat on Friday => laxity and indifference => straight to hell.
There are alot of things in Catholic tradition (long or short term) that could be misunderstood when taken out of context. Lent for example is much more than not eating meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday (which apparently happens to be the minimal ammount of fasting in cannon law). It also requires increased prayer, penance, almsgiving, works of mercy thoughout the whole 40 days. Personally I look forward to lent for all these things as a whole, and yes I have a better relationship with Jesus Christ for it.
I suppose the discussion about the meatless Fridays and Ash Wednesday gets a disproportionate share of the discussion on Lent because in cafeterias around the world Catholics are refraning from eating flesh-meat, and their co-workers/students instantly do a double-take and spark up a conversation.
Jesus fasted before his death...And Fasting is especially encouraged during Lent..Fridays and Ash Wednesday are the minimum, but obviously we can fast daily if we desire - just like Muslims do during Ramadan
' I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.' Mattew 26:29
I can only hope that you're kidding. If not, do you really believe that God would sentence someone to an eternity of suffering, just for being lax and indifferent?
This may help you to understand:
These little signs are (or ought to be) signals to ourselves and others of our personal committment.
I couldn't agree more.
Oops. I guess I didn't express myself very well. I think for so many years no meat was not a sacrifice. Now, that people have put more meat into their diets, it has become a sacrifice again. That's a good thing.
Well, to begin with, the context of your citation from 1Timothy 4 puts St. Paul's observation about abstinence from meat in the "last days." Lent, as a practice, goes back to near the very beginning of the Church, so, contextually, he's evidently *not* equating the temporary abstinence involved in Lent with what he's talking about in the passage.
Second, note that Lent is, by its nature, a *temporary*, penitential abstinence from meat and other things, for the good of the soul. The passage is referring to those who will teach, as a matter of doctrine, the forbidding of all meats or certain meats (as was and is, for example, the practice of Jews and Moslems with regard to pork, and other religions regarding meat in general) on a *permanent* basis.
Third, the more modern version of Lent, at least among Catholics, is highly truncated in it dietary regulations compared to former discipline, and is barely penitential at all. Unless one personally desires to self-impose a tougher fast all through Lent (recommended still by many), one is only *required* to abstain from meat during Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent, and further, to "fast" on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This "fast" is pretty minimal, allowing one full, meatless meal and up to two "smaller meals" to maintain strength, as each person's situation warrants. How tough or really restrictive is that? And even *this* only applies, in the fullest sense, to those between 18 and 59! One is certainly free to be more demanding on oneself, but what I've stated is the minimum "required." Not too tough at all!
Finally, no Catholic or other Christian who incorporates Lent as part of their denominations' tradition *ever* violates the spirit of verses 4 & 5 (which you conveniently omit), since, the rest of the year (and even during the Sundays within Lent!) we acknowledge, as the verses say, that "everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." In short, I plan, as an individual Catholic, on having beef, pork, lamb and the rest on Sundays during Lent, and throughout the year outside of it. And I will be plenty thankful to God for His bounty, as St. Paul recommends.
Please tell me how this counters what he says in 1Timothy 4:1-5 in its proper context.
This guy has a few comments on Catholic Lenten practices and Scripture:
Lent should be a time for deeper meditation on the word of God, which will lead to conversion and to concrete acts of charity, said Pope Benedict XVI.
"Lent stimulates us to allow our lives to be penetrated by the word of God and in that way to know the fundamental truth about who we are, where we come from, where we are going and what is the path we must follow in our lives," the pope said March 1, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent in the Latin-rite Catholic Church.
Speaking at his weekly general audience, held under a light rain in St. Peter's Square, the pope urged Catholics to allow themselves to be "nourished with the abundance of the word of God" during Lent.
In his main audience talk, sprinkled with explanations not contained in his prepared text, the pope looked at the two phrases used when distributing ashes: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return" and "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."
The first, he said, is a reminder that people have fallen and have limits, and it "is meant to urge us to place all our hope in God alone."
Lent is a time of "fasting, penance and vigilance over ourselves, knowing that the struggle against sin never ends because temptation is an everyday reality, and fragility and disillusionment are experienced by everyone," the pope said.
The admonition to "convert and believe in the Gospel," he said, "places firm and faithful adhesion to the Gospel at the foundation of personal and communal renewal."
"The Christian life is a life of faith founded and nourished on the word of God," he said. "In the trials of life and before every temptation, the secret of victory consists in listening to the word of truth and decisively refusing falsehood and evil.
"This is the real program of the Lenten period: to listen to the word of truth, to live, speak and act in truth and to refuse falsehood, which poisons humanity and is at the root of all evil," the pope said.
One who follows the truth, meditates on the Gospel and draws closer and closer to God, he said, also "sees others with new eyes. He discovers his brothers and sisters and their needs."
"Because the truth of God is love, conversion to God is conversion to love," Pope Benedict said.
The "climate of Lent," he said, "is precisely the climate of love for our brothers and sisters" because it is a time for learning to see others with Christ's eyes.
Pope Benedict said because conversion includes a growing realization of the obligation to demonstrate love for one's neighbors charity and almsgiving are central to the Lenten practice.
That sounds terrible. Do you really mean this, or are you being sarcastic?
If I didn't have a personal relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ, I would not want to live!