Do I have to refrain from serving meat on Friday?

I’m expected to help with a fundraiser spaghetti dinner this Friday. I was able to convince them to make a meatless sauce in addition to their originally planned meat sauce. I know of at least one non-practicing Catholic that I am afraid will order his dinner with the meat sauce. It is meant to be a pick-up type dinner, but some may eat there. Since there will be only one other person besides me handing out the dinners, I am very likely to either be the one serving his meal, or at the very least, will know when he orders his. Please advise me on my obligation if I end up needing to serve a meat dinner to a non-practicing Catholic.

There is no obligation for Catholics to refrain from serving meat under such circumstances on a Lenten Friday, even to other Catholics who are not following their obligation to abstain. In fact, assuming that this isn’t a Catholic fundraiser (in which case meat certainly should not be served), I’d say you went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure a meatless option. If you know the non-practicing Catholic well enough to pull this off in a light, friendly fashion, you might say, “We do have a meatless option if you are observing the Lenten abstinence today,” but this is not required – particularly if you only know this person on a professional and not a personal basis. If he says he wants the meat sauce though, you’re free to dish it up. The responsibility for not observing the abstinence is his.

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