Can Ethiopian Catholics eat pork?

Since the Ethiopian Orthodox evidently cannot, I was wondering if the same was true for the particular Church in union with Rome.

Your Holiness, :slight_smile:

I believe Ethiopian Catholics likewise refrain from eating pork and observe the Mosaic fast law.

You raise a very good point about the tremendous amount of Judaism that one finds in the Ethiopian tradition. They even celebrate a family Passover during Holy Week and the Old Testament saints have a very high cultus (including Sts Abraham, Isaac and Jacob).

I was recently in an Ethiopian Orthodox church and I was mesmerized by its beauty - and its beautiful people.


They observe elements of the Mosaic Fast Law? I have no intention of insulting any Rite of Catholicism or Orthodox Church, but it was my understanding that Kosher has been out since Acts of the Apostles and Judaising was forbidden in the Epistles of St. Paul.

I really don’t know to what extent the Ethiopians may observe the laws of kashruth, but I’ll say this: pork is not eaten in Ethiopia.

In any case, one has to keep in mind that the laws of kashruth originated as a practical matter, mainly to avoid sickness. Up until some 40 years ago, trichinosis (mainly from undercooked or mishandled pork) was not uncommon even in the US.

In the Bible, the Laws of Kosher are part of the Mosaic Law given to the Jews after they whorshiped the golden calf when there was a distinction between “clean” and “unclean” animals in diet. In The Acts, God lifted this restriction and we are not bound by it.

"About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
Acts 10 (9-15)

Yes, but that’s the priestly interpretation. The real reason behind kashruth was truly practical.

I’m fairly certain that it is Church teaching. It would have been just as practical in the 1 Century AD as it had during the time of Exodus. In fact Julius Caesar caught what was thought to be epilepsy in Egypt from undercooked pork around the time. Why would God have lifted the ban if it was only a practical custom?

In the end, the custom in Ethiopia is that pork is not eaten. This thread is not about the laws of kashruth, so I’m leaving it at that.

Oh, if it’s a strictly Ethiopian (cultural) custom folowed by Ethiopian Orthodox, I apologize for being mistaken. It was my impression that it was due to the Law of Moses.

The Ethiopian Church places more emphasis on OT teachings than other churches. They follow dietary laws similar to the Jewish Kashrut. They don’t eat pork but they don’t follow all Kashrut laws, e.g. they don’t separate meat and dairy products.

They may have thought it was epilepsy. However I am actually epilpetic with frontal lobe epilepsy and you do not catch if from under cooked pork.

Caesar had what is now believed to be epilepsy before he went to Egypt.

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