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  #1  
Old Feb 22, '07, 6:17 am
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JamieMc JamieMc is offline
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Default Why isn't fish meat?

I asked this in another thread and fear it got buried. Some friends on another forum were asking and I couldn't answer. Why isn't fish considered meat when it comes to fasting? The only answer I got was that it wasn't warm blooded? Is this correct? What difference does it make?
  #2  
Old Feb 22, '07, 6:23 am
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

What was there plenty of in the Bible? FISH! Fish was a food that was obtainable by even the poorest of people. What food was brought out in celebration? The fatted calf, the lamb, the goat...

For myself, I find that it is one more thing that helps me to remain focused on the Lenten season if I must think before I put something in my mouth. The focus continues to be placed back on Christ.

God bless you,

Kelly
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Old Feb 22, '07, 6:37 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

the orginal fasting disciplines of the middle ages were stricter, but when they were relaxed to allow eggs and fish and flesh of cold blooded animals it was because that was food accessible to the poor. The poor fasted from meat, except for some fats and "waste" portions (innards, head, etc.) most of the year because the sources of meat, including domestic cattle and animals for hunting in the forest, belonged to the lords who owned the land and the poor rarely had access to meat except at times of surplus, butchering time etc. The penance of abstaining from meat affected the rich more, as it was intended to do. In fact, the diet prescribed in monasteries was supposed to reflect the diet of the poor, which is why it was generally austere (until the disciplines became abused).
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Old Feb 22, '07, 6:45 am
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
the orginal fasting disciplines of the middle ages were stricter, but when they were relaxed to allow eggs and fish and flesh of cold blooded animals it was because that was food accessible to the poor.
Ironic, considering that today, fish costs a fortune. Even on sale, it's more expensive than meat that's not on sale.
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Old Feb 22, '07, 6:48 am
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Question Re: Why isn't fish meat?

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
The penance of abstaining from meat affected the rich more, as it was intended to do.
Why do you say that? (I know the Church, at least today, often invokes the preferential option for the poor, but I do not think that is morally equivalent to targetting the rich?)

tee
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Old Feb 22, '07, 6:56 am
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

the canon that talks about not eating meat uses the latin verb, carne. Fish is not considered carne.
Here is the english translation. I couldn't find the latin translation online.

Canon 1251 Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Canon 1252 All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.

Can. 1253 It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
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Old Feb 22, '07, 7:03 am
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

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Originally Posted by tee_eff_em View Post
Why do you say that? (I know the Church, at least today, often invokes the preferential option for the poor, but I do not think that is morally equivalent to targetting the rich?)

tee
there is a rather recent thread on the topic of fasting which gives quotes from church sources on the topic and indeed, it was preached that the rich needed the disciplines of fast and abstinence more, because their spiritual need was so much greater, since the poor already were fasting by virtue of their condition, and hence, closer to becoming poor in spirit in the gospel sense.
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Old Feb 22, '07, 7:10 am
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Cool Re: Why isn't fish meat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-Man916 View Post
the canon that talks about not eating meat uses the latin verb, carne. Fish is not considered carne.
Here is the english translation. I couldn't find the latin translation online.
[edit: I ought to have provided my source so you can find it online next time*: Codex Iuris Canonici]

(* You know what they say: Teach a man to fish, and he'll be able to eat every Friday. )

Can. 1251 - Abstinentia a carnis comestione vel ab alio cibo iuxta conferentiae Episcoporum praescripta, servetur singulis anni sextis feriis, nisi cum aliquo die inter sollemnitates recensito occurrant; abstinentia vero et ieiunium, feria quarta Cinerum et feria sexta in Passione et Morte Domini Nostri Iesu Christi.

Can. 1252 - Lege abstinentiae tenentur qui decimum quartum aetatis annum expleverint; lege vero ieiunii adstringuntur omnes aetate maiores usque ad annum inceptum sexagesimum. Curent tamen animarum pastores et parentes ut etiam ii qui, ratione minoris aetatis ad legem ieiunii et abstinentiae non tenentur, ad genuinum paenitentiae sensum informentur.

Can. 1253 - Episcoporum conferentia potest pressius determinare observantiam ieiunii et abstinentiae, necnon alias formas paenitentiae, praesertim opera caritatis et exercitationes pietatis, ex toto vel ex parte pro abstinentia et ieiunio substituere.


tee
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Last edited by tee_eff_em; Feb 22, '07 at 7:16 am. Reason: source provision
  #9  
Old Feb 22, '07, 9:56 am
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

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Originally Posted by CarolAnnSFO View Post
Ironic, considering that today, fish costs a fortune. Even on sale, it's more expensive than meat that's not on sale.
When I first became Catholic, that is part of what made the Lenten rule a mystery to me. I didn't know why we had to eat fish! It was so expensive, too. It took me a bit to figure out I could just go vegetarian. I don't think it helps that the calendars they give you all show a picture of a fish on them for Friday.

(Back then, the word "fish" to me did not mean tuna in a can, nor did it mean a fish stick, a thing I'd never eaten. Fish meant a piece of fish to me.)
  #10  
Old Feb 22, '07, 10:31 am
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Wink Re: Why isn't fish meat?

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I don't think it helps that the calendars they give you all show a picture of a fish on them for Friday.
Shhhh!

I keep trying to convince people that the little pictures of fishes on the calendar mean that I am obliged to eat anchovy pizza. Yum!


tee
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  #11  
Old Feb 22, '07, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

Very simply, fish is meat. Our Church view of what is & is not allowed during lent as meat (or not meat) dates way back to the attitudes that Aristotle taught about food groupings.
Food history is a fascinating topic that lets us understand ourselves as a culture a bit more clearly. And laugh at ourselves a bit too
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  #12  
Old Feb 22, '07, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

It is my understanding that the capybura, the world largest rodent, was declared to be a fish for religiuos purposes. Meaning the natives in South America were free to eat them on Fridays, seeing as they are semi-aquatic and all.
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Old Feb 22, '07, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

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Originally Posted by quasimodo View Post
It is my understanding that the capybura, the world largest rodent, was declared to be a fish for religiuos purposes. .......
Holy Mackeral I can see the connection based on your general discription of the critter, but that still has be going I wonder what else has fallen in & out of accepted list over the years I think it'd be fun to know. But like I aluded to before ... I love food history.

Thanks for the point of info. It was fun
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  #14  
Old Feb 22, '07, 2:14 pm
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

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Originally Posted by tee_eff_em View Post
I keep trying to convince people that the little pictures of fishes on the calendar mean that I am obliged to eat anchovy pizza.


Are the anchovies gone yet? Is it safe to come out?
  #15  
Old Feb 22, '07, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: Why isn't fish meat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pug View Post
When I first became Catholic, that is part of what made the Lenten rule a mystery to me. I didn't know why we had to eat fish! It was so expensive, too. It took me a bit to figure out I could just go vegetarian. I don't think it helps that the calendars they give you all show a picture of a fish on them for Friday.

(Back then, the word "fish" to me did not mean tuna in a can, nor did it mean a fish stick, a thing I'd never eaten. Fish meant a piece of fish to me.)
For me, "fish" usually means canned tuna (white albacore in water, or any kind in olive oil), preferably when it's on sale for $1 a can or less.

I just think it's amusing that I can get quality beef and pork for $2 a pound or less at one of my local supermarket's mega-sales, but the cheapest fresh fish ("the food of the poor" ), even on sale, is $4 a pound.

The one exception is Maine shrimp, which are inexpensive, and really good ( they're the ones that are pink when raw), but they are tiny, and I'm not always in the mood to do all that peeling.

Fish sticks ceased to be fish, in my opinion, when the manufacturers started making them out of that metallic-tasting "minced fish", instead of actual slabs of fish.
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