[quote="The_Old_Medic, post:10, topic:240110"]
A "Required Act of Penance" is absolutely meaningless.
Penance must be voluntary to have any real meaning. That's exactly why meatless Fridays were abolished, because most Catholics did not consider it to be penance, it was just a requirement of the church.
Requiring that all Catholic refrain from eating meat on all Fridays will quickly become another superstition. It will just be a meaningless ritual that they all have to go through, with little (if any) personal meaning at all.
And sadly, all too many will simply ignore this "requirement".
I vividly remember the old days. I knew very few Catholics (including Nuns, Brothers and Priests) that ever considered meatless Fridays to be an act of penance. In fact, many of us looked forward to Fridays, because we got some delicious non-meat treats to eat, like cheese enchilada's, etc. It was just something that Catholics did, not a real act of penance at all.
Um, with respect. . .how do you feel about going to Mass for the "Sunday obligation"? Attendence at Mass is required. I.e. not voluntary. It's not an act of penance (well, setting aside a few Masses we've sat through in the last 40 years or so) but it is a required act.
If a good act like Mass may be (and is) required, what is so all-fired special about penance (also a good act) that it may NOT be 'required' but MUST be voluntary --and where is that listed in the catechism?
I also remember 'the old days'.
You know, the great Catholic laity were not the ones responsible for the 1965 Indult. And it wasn't because meatless Fridays were 'meaningless'. If they were, how come we kept the 'Lenten Friday abstinence'. Gee willikers, if it's so involuntary as to be 'meaningless', why require IT?