Do Catholics eat

Do Catholics eat meat on Fridays??

Throughout the regular year, some do, some don’t. It’s a discipline and not a dogma. Throughout Lent, we are asked to refrain from eating meat on Fridays but again, it isn’t dogma. (I think. I’ve only been Catholic since 8-12-07.) It began when meat was considered a luxury and to forsake something special in honor of the day Christ was forsaken for our salvation, IMHO, is a good way to show our love for Him who died for us.

Now I do hope some more seasoned veteran Catholic can tell me if I misspoke. :smiley:

Except during lent, Catholics are not obliged to abstain from meat on Fridays.

Outside of Lent, Catholics should either not eat meat on Friday, OR do some work of mercy or penance instead.

In all cases, this is a discipline, and not a dogma.

The whole idea of abstaining from meat on Friday, or giving something up for Lent is to train ourselves to control our appetites (be they appetites for food, TV, movies, pleasure, or material things). Or at least that’s one reason :slight_smile:

If you can control small appetites, then move on to the big ones.

Thank you, I understand now. I thought it was something that you had to do.


If the Holy Spirit convicts you to abstain from eating meat on Fridays, then yes, you have to do it! But no, it’s not a requirement for being Catholic, nor does the Catholic Discipline Enforcement Squad clap you in irons and take away your membership card if you do not abstain. :wink:

This practice was changed in my lifetime. It was a long-standing thing for Catholics to not eat meat on Fridays.

Then, recognizing the basic philosophical notion involved, it was changed to doing a work of mercy or some other bit of self-denial. So many Catholics do eat meat on Friday. . . but are supposed to be doing something else instead.

Of course, the way these things work, in practical life this means Catholics eat meat but ignore doing the self-denial bit. Perhaps the bishops are more guided by philosophy than the average Joe. There’s a lot to be said for just following a rule; some people can’t handle the responsibilities that come with freedom.

I don’t.

The discipline is to either refrain from meat on Fridays or to perform an act of charity.

All optional, except in the eyes of my wife, who as head chef of Casa di Teflon has some say in the matter.


I’ve found that I do tend to lean towards abstaining on Fridays but I’m not at all dogmatic about it (at least not during Lent). Since I was Catholic in my heart for several months before I was confirmed, I thought it couldn’t hurt anything to start living like I would as a confirmed Catholic, kwim? Practice makes perfect and all… :thumbsup:

In england we a re required to abstain form meat or do some form of penance on a friday. Please correct me if i am wrong.:smiley:

You know, I hate to say it, but for me, personally, I have found that following rules like not eating meat on Sunday might initially seem childish or nonsensical, but in the long run, they are effective.

I know if I had to abstain from meat on Fridays, I might think it’s unscientific, nonprogressive, superstitious, etc. At least at first. Then, I think I’d start to recognize the logic of the rule, which is self-denial as a form of personal identification (quite slight it would be ) with the passion of Christ.

But as it is, I eat meat and forget to do anything self-denying: takes too much personal initiative.

Pixie, note that abstaining from meat is still required on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent including Good Friday. It’s not optional on those days, it’s a precept of the Church, binding on pain of sin.

Pete, as far as I am aware, in England you still follow the UNIVERSAL NORM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH and thus abstain on ALL Fridays.

In the U.S. we have an indult which releases us from the obligation to abstain on non-Lenten Fridays, but it is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that we either abstain, or choose another suitable Penitential practice on those non-Lenten Fridays as ALL FRIDAYS are still considered days of penance.

And Lily is right-- Lenten Fridays are Abstinence (unless one of the Fridays is a SOLEMNITY as was the case recently with the feast of St. Joseph --March 19 --OR if your BISHOP dispenses the obligation as often happens if a Friday is St. Patrick’s Day --March 17.)

You’d need to check with the UK Bishop’s Conference to find out what the norm is for Fridays outside of Lent.

Lucky for us Aussies our lovely Cardinal Pell will always put out a notice before Ash Wednesday each year reminding us all of the obligations to fast and abstain during Lent. He always sets out the rule (same as the US) for the other Fridays of the year at the same time. So we all know, unless we deliberately don’t pay attention, what our obligations are.

1 timothy ch. 4

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Yes the catholic church forbids priest to marry and it commands that members abstain from meats during lent.

Good point, Lily, and I just did. Actually it seems quite similar to the U.S. now.

Here you go. . .from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminter and the statement from the bishops regarding NON LENTEN FRIDAYS

Because each Friday recalls the crucifixion of Our Lord, it too is set aside as a special penitential day. The Church does not prescribe, however, that fish must be eaten on Fridays. It never did. Abstinence always meant the giving up of meat rather than the eating of fish as a substitute. What the Church does require, according to the new Code, is that its members abstain on Fridays from meat or from some other food or that they perform some alternative work of penance laid down by the Bishops’ Conference.

  1. In accordance with the mind of the Universal Church, the Bishops of England and Wales remind their people of the obligation of Friday penance, and instruct them that it may be fulfilled in one or more of the following ways:
    a) by abstaining from meat or some other food
    b) by abstaining from alcoholic drink, smoking or some form of amusement
    c) by making the special effort involved in family prayer, taking part in the Mass, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or praying the Stations of the Cross
    d) by fasting from all food for a longer period than usual and perhaps giving what is saved in this way to the needy at home and abroad
    e) by making a special effort to help somebody who is poor, sick, old or lonely
  1. The form of penance we adopt each Friday is a matter of personal choice and does not have to take the same form every Friday. Failure to undertake this penance on a particular Friday would not constitute a sin. However, penance is part of the life of every Christian and the intention to do penance on Friday is of obligation. We are confident that the faithful of England and Wales will take this obligation to heart in memory of the passion and death of Our Lord.

No, the Catholic Church does not forbid its priests to marry. Priests freely CHOOSE to be unmarried for the Kingdom, just as Scripture tells us was the case with St. Paul, and also that Jesus Himself spoke of those 'who would make themselves celibate for the kingdom. He who has ears to hear this, let him hear."

Neither, as is clearly seen from the post above, does the Church FORBID a food, but rather asks for penitential fasting and abstinence at PRESCRIBED TIMES–not forbidding a food for ‘good and all’–that LATTER practice being a gnostic innovation that St. Paul condemns. Ritual Jewish fasting and abstinence from a food, not because it was ‘bad’ but rather because it was ‘good’ or a luxury–is something Jesus HIMSELF observed.

Better cancel your car insurance and get ready for the Rapture then.

Please send those no-longer-needed IRA/401(k) funds to Catholic Answers—stat!

Thank you! I knew that lots of Catholics did abstain during the Lenten season, but I wasn’t sure how “required” it was. I do remember reading somewhere, though, that if you happen to get invited to dinner at a non-Catholic’s house during that time, and they, unaware of Lenten policy, have made a lovely roast, you are obligated not to lay a guilt trip on your host about it, in the interest of Christian charity, and you may eat it.

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