Can Catholics eat pigs and ignore the dietary laws, etc. in the OT?
Romans 14:14: “I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”
There is a passage in the book of Acts where Peter has this answered. The irony is, Peter is staying at the home of a tanner when this understanding of the promise for jews and gentiles is brought. The cleansing of the unclean animals is a metaphor for the cleansing of sinful man. After this revelation Peter is summoned to Cornelius.
Acts 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Acts 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
Acts 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
Acts 10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
Acts 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Acts 10:16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
Acts 10:17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,
Acts 10:18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
Acts 10:19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
Acts 10:20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
When Jesus said, “It is fulfilled”, He was referring to the Old Covenant (it seems among other things).
The New Covenant Church, while maintaining that we are “Children of Abraham”, are not subject to the Mosaic Covenant Rules. You’ll see Peter state this in Acts 15 dogmatically. James will impose a few restrictions further in Acts 15, but these are only disciplines, subject to the whims of the Church. How do we know this, because later in the NT, these restrictions are lifted.
The Catholic Church COULD re-impose those dietary bans, since She has the right to “Bind and Loose”, but I don’t think that would be considered a wise thing to do on Her part.
Do you really think the Catholic Church could re-impose the Jewish dietary laws that God, in Peter’s vision, so clearly freed us from? I don’t think the principle of binding and loosing is meant to be applied in such a way. That would be akin to saying that the Church could decide that the Eucharist, so clearly established by Christ as His Body and Blood, is really only a symbol, and we are bound by that. When God has clearly spoken on something, the Church cannot pronounce otherwise. It has no authority to do so.
Read Romans 14. Paul clears up dietary concerns. It’s not the type of food you eat that makes you unclean but your sins you inherited. Food will not give you any special privelege or cleanse you. God wants clean hearts not clean food. I fyou think you can escape judgement by not eating pig then you have been misguided. Salvation only comes through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ “Once and for all” there is no other sarcrifice required because "It is finished’. Trust in Christ. Go ahead and eat and give thanks to God. Peace.
Because dietary laws are considered disciplines, yes I do think the Catholic Church COULD re-impose them. Do I think they will, or even hope they will? NO, it would be disastrous. But yet, She does have the authority to do it. Look at our meatless Fridays, abstinence days. They are imposed because the Church has the Authority to do it.
The Eucharist analogy as an example doesn’t fly because it is Dogma, not Discipline.
If someone wants to refrain from eating certain foods go for it. If it helps with raising awareness of God’s grace and sacrifice in your own life then it’s beneficial for sure, that’s why Catholics refrain from meat during lent so that we acknowledge the meaning of sacrifice furing Lent leading up to Good Friday and finally Easter Sunday. If it was meant for our salvation then we would do that every Friday of the year or something. If the church ushers in a dietary law for whatever reason you can bet it is to allow ourselves to become more humble and aware of God’s grace. Amen.