Are prawns okay on Fridays?

I live in the UK so we still have meatless fridays. Is scampi (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scampi) okay too?

Well, they are fish so in one sense they are perfectly OK.

On the other hand, they could possibly be called a luxury, so don’t quite fit in the penance bracket. Not quite so outrageously out of the spirit of the thing as lobster, though.

You do know that the bishops have said that eating or not eating meat isn’t a matter of mortal sin, by the way.

The reason for abstaining from meat on Fridays is to deprive yourself of something good so if you adore prawns (as I do), you’re not really fulfilling the requirements. The Church doesn’t require you to eat fish as a replacement though. You can have any kind of meatless substitute as it is about abstaining from meat. The Church does still recommend abstaining from meat on Fridays but even if you don’t, she requires you to substitute another type of penance. We’re not being reminded of that anymore.

This is not correct.

The requirement is to abstain from meat. Prawns are not meat. We abstain from meat because Christ gave up his flesh for the life of the world.

In the UK, it is abstention from meat-- the bishops reinstated this recently and do not allow a different penance as substitute as is the case in some other countries.

Prawns, scampi, etc, are not meat. They are seafood.

The substitution of another type of penance when eating meat on Friday is still being taught in both RCIA and CCD. It is also in the Catechism.

As it shoud be in the US, where you are.

The OP is not in the US. The OP is in the UK. Different particular laws in different bishop’s conferences.

Here is the relevant canon, note it is up to the Episcopal Conference whether another penance may be substituted, etc.:

Can.* 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Just as a piece of information here though that the OP had mentioned but that some might not be aware of, it is now binding in England and Wales that meatless Fridays are to be observed without substitute.

A very good idea I have to say. After all, when given even the slightest possibility of laxity it always gets out of hand or is badly misunderstood, just de facto of our fallen nature. It seems to be a great judgement from their bishops to encourage this the way they are doing.

EDIT: I was too slow!

You’d be surprised by the number of Catholics (where I live) that think that eating fish on Fridays is the rule… rather than abstaining from meat. It’s just one of those subtle shifts, (probably promoted by the seafood industry).

I understand that to be a reason but the first and literal reason is to quiet the fleshly desires. St Thomas Aquinas wrote…

“Fasting was instituted by the Church in order to bridle the concupiscences of the flesh, which regard pleasures of touch in connection with food and sex. Wherefore the Church forbade those who fast to partake of those foods which both afford most pleasure to the palate, and besides are a very great incentive to lust. Such are the flesh of animals that take their rest on the earth, and of those that breath the air and their products, such as milk and eggs.” (ST II-II, q. 147, a.8)

As someone in the US who abstains from meat on Friday, I can say that while it might seem that eating prawns/shrimp isn’t truly in the spirit of things, it’s not quite correct. Every Friday I get cravings for burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, etc. While I love seafood, on Fridays I love meat more.

You don’t have meatless Fridays in the UK. It is strongly recommended to abstain from meat but it is not obligatory. Any form of penance will suffice.

However, prawns would not be counted as meat, even if abstaining from meat was required.

Below is the Church definition of meat.

MEAT. The flesh of animals and birds eaten by human beings, as understood in Church law. Its prohibition on days of abstinence and fast has a spiritual value, going back to the Old Testament and practiced since apostolic times. “The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat” (Pope Paul VI, Paenitemini, Norm III, 1).

Welcome to the club. I love fried calamari but this Friday I did not enjoy them as I normally would because I really liked the idea of something that I should not eat (e.g. italian cold cuts sandwich).

My local grocery always has specials on chicken and other meats on Fridays, as if they’re not aware they’re located 3 blocks from a Catholic church.
Or maybe it’s that many Catholics don’t observe meatless Fridays.
I find it a good reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us, and every weekend evening I have to stop and think: is it Friday?

Really? Has this statement, of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales, been reversed? “the Bishops’ Conference wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance. The Bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat. Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake. This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.”

Hmm… is this a relevant quote, though? In the context you’ve cited, Thomas is answering a different sort of question: for those who fast, and who take only one meal a day during their fast, should they abstain from meat in that little meal? That’s a different sort of question than the one we’re considering, isn’t it, since we’re only asking about abstinence, not fasting, per se… :hmmm:

Thanks for all your replies :slight_smile: It made me laugh, how some people didn’t believe me when I said ‘we still have meatless Fridays’ in the UK. The thing is I am at university, in catered accommodation and one friday out of three on the menu there is a choice of scampi, beef faggots, or pasta which is either a bit cold or :mad: really spicy so I’ll go for scampi.

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