"Decrees" of Council of Jerusalem: Why can we eat blood?

“Council of Jerusalem” (Acts 15:28-29)

'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell."

Eastern Orthodox Church follows this apostolic rule by abstaining blood even today. However, it is allowed (e.g. eating blood sausages, black pudding etc.) in the Catholic Church (Roman Rite, I don’t know about Eastern Rites). Does anybody know the historical development and the theological arguments, why this apostolic decision forbidding blood eating can be ignored today in the Latin Church?

Blood is very sacred to the Jewish people, still today even. It is the very life of a creature. Abstinence from the consuming of such goes back to early Israelite practices. The Jews believe that the only Gentiles who will be in the New World will be those that have lived in adherence to the Noahide Laws, one of which prohibits the comsuming of blood. This is deeply depraved in their minds.

I for my part am a happy vegetarian and we wouldn’t run into this problem if you guys joined me. (JK!) :smiley:

Does it still stand? I see no reason why one, knowing the reverence in which lifeblood has been held both now and in the past, by the Semitics and others, would WANT to consume it, and I would advise you not to as a general rule. Is it still in effect for Western Catholics? No idea, I’ve heard no mention. For Eastern Catholics, probably.

“You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.”–Genesis 9:4-5 (Keep in mind this statement as presented PREDATES the Law, making it seem more like a moral law.)

If you want to see visually just how revered lifeblood is to a Jewish person, watch the Passion of the Christ, the scene in which Mary mops up the blood of her son. It is also the reason a Jehovah’s Witness refuses transfusions.

Hope this info helps some. Bring it up with your spiritual director or google it or something.


Thanks for the invitation, but I am a happy omnivore who thinks that if meat was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me. I won’t ask you to join me, though, as I respect your right to abstain from meat as you please.

Thanks for the invitation, but I am a happy omnivore who thinks that if meat was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me. I won’t ask you to join me, though, as I respect your right to abstain from meat as you please.

Don’t be ridiculous. Jesus didn’t eat meat! :wink:

…Or…was that Saint Francis…? :shrug:

Donkeys and sandals were also good enough for Jesus, by the way.

(The whole deal is really subjective; I don’t claim vegetarianism is a biblical matter, save maybe Rom. 14:2-3, 14, but I can’t take the mass abuses, or the thought of killing really. I’m very Franciscan in that way, but I have a friend who’s an avid hunter and I gave him the names of the two patrons of hunters for his confirmation name, so I say, To each his own.)

Both did.

Google does not help much. This is one of the few references I was able to find:

The Biblical Prohibition from Eating Blood
by Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher
Chalcedon Report 1995


Does that mean Eastern Orthodox does not believe the Eucharist is the BODY and BLOOD of Christ?

he certainly ate the Paschal lamb, which would have been prepared according to Jewish food laws, namely completely drained of blood before cooking. Was Paul writing to new Christian converts from Judaism, or to gentiles? I believe the topic at issue in this passage was what should Hebrew Christians be doing. the entire debate in Acts over what practices of the Jews should carryover to be binding on all Christians including gentiles settles the issue, that Jewish law as regard to such disciplines (as opposed to universal moral law in the 10 commandmetns) is not binding on gentiles. the support for this is in Acts and related passages in the the rest of the pastoral letters that touch on these issues.

I’m filipino and in my country the philippines, there is a delicious recipe called “dinuguan” or blood soup. but dont worry about this… The answer comes from a decree from the 17th Ecumenical council or Council of Basle… please read

It firmly believes, professes and teaches that every creature of God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because according to the word of the Lord not what goes into the mouth defiles a person, and because the difference in the Mosaic law between clean and unclean foods belongs to ceremonial practices, which have passed away and lost their efficacy with the coming of the gospel. It also declares that the apostolic prohibition, to abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled, was suited to that time when a single church was rising from Jews and gentiles, who previously lived with different ceremonies and customs. This was so that the gentiles should have some observances in common with Jews, and occasion would be offered of coming together in one worship and faith of God and a cause of dissension might be removed, since by ancient custom blood and strangled things seemed abominable to Jews, and gentiles could be thought to be returning to idolatry if they ate sacrificial food. In places, however, where the christian religion has been promulgated to such an extent that no Jew is to be met with and all have joined the church, uniformly practising the same rites and ceremonies of the gospel and believing that to the clean all things are clean, since the cause of that apostolic prohibition has ceased, so its effect has ceased. It condemns, then, no kind of food that human society accepts and nobody at all neither man nor woman, should make a distinction between animals, no matter how they died; although for the health of the body, for the practice of virtue or for the sake of regular and ecclesiastical discipline many things that are not proscribed can and should be omitted, as the apostle says all things are lawful, but not all are helpful.

Of course not, the real presence was clear also for the apostoles of the Council of Jerusalem who gave this decree in the first place.

Thanks. It seems that this text originates from “Cantate Domino” — Papal Bull of Pope Eugene IV (The Council of Florence)

Does that mean Eastern Orthodox does not believe the Eucharist is the BODY and BLOOD of Christ?

Si! But it is MORE than his Body and Blood, but also his Soul and Divinity–his whole Self. He offers himself to us as a person. He offers us himself in all his entirety, not just in part, and we receive him in his entirety, not just in part. Aside from that, the One we partake of is risen and glorified, and when partaking of him, he partake of the Divine Nature, as well.

So why do you abstain from meat when you eat the flesh and blood of Jesus every time you receive the Eucharist?

Yes, council of basle is also called the council of florence

Ah, Das Blutwurst smect gut, ya! :slight_smile:

You mean Die Blutwurst smeckt gut, ja!

Yet another departure and innovation against the canons of the ancient (real) Ecumenical Councils, Quintisext c. 67:

The divine Scripture commands us to abstain from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Those therefore who on account of a dainty stomach prepare by any art for food the blood of any animal, and so eat it, we punish suitably. If anyone henceforth venture to eat in any way the blood of an animal, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed; if a layman, let him be cut off.

Since the “Ecumenical” Council of Florence okd blood and things strangled, what about fornication?:eek:

By the way, in the Ecclesiastical History this is mentioned from time to time, e.g. where martyrs are protesting the accusations of murder saying “we don’t even eat blood.” If I remember correctly, St. Jerome’s martyrology of Helvetia (I think) also mentions it.

If someone served you human flesh, would you eat it?

After all, (I’m assuming) you eat the flesh and blood of Jesus.

Btw, the Orthodox firmly hold to it (rather Him) being Blood in the Eucharist, saying before Communion “this is truly Thy Precious Blood.”

Compare the sentence of the Fifth Ecumenical Council:

On this account we besought his reverence to fulfil his written promises; for it was not right that the scandal with regard to these Three Chapters should go any further, and the Church of God be disturbed thereby. And to this end we brought to his remembrance the great examples left us by the Apostles, and the traditions of the Fathers. For although the grace of the Holy Spirit abounded in each one of the Apostles, so that no one of them needed the counsel of another in the execution of his work, yet they were not willing to define on the question then raised touching the circumcision of the Gentiles, until being gathered together they had confirmed their own several sayings by the testimony of the divine Scriptures.

And thus they arrived unanimously at this sentence, which they wrote to the Gentiles: “It has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no other burden than these necessary things, that ye abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication.”

But also the Holy Fathers, who from time to time have met in the four holy councils, following the example of the ancients, have by a common discussion, disposed of by a fixed decree the heresies and questions which had sprung up, as it was certainly known, that by common discussion when the matter in dispute was presented by each side, the light of truth expels the darkness of falsehood.

And the Apostolic canon
Canon LXIII.

If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the sacerdotal order, shall eat flesh, with the blood of the life thereof, or anything killed by beasts, or that dies of itself, let him be deposed. For the law has forbidden this. If he be a layman, let him be excommunicated.

So are you saying John Paul the Great would not have eaten kiszka, or would have been wrong to do so?

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