Fasting rules for non-US citizens? Please help!


I asked in “ask an apologist” forum, but got no reply…
Many times I’ve seen on this forum the statement that there are only two obligatory fasting days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). And so without worrying I’ve been eating meat on fridays. But after some search I figured out that friday fast was only cancelled in US and all Apologists answers about fasting rules were in fact related to US… so may be I’ve been sinning all this time?! I need to know the true rules of fasting, fast! - because I need to know, do I have to confess or not…
Thanks in advance!


First of all, you can’t sin “accidentally”; sin is deliberate. So whatever fasting rules apply to you, if you were unaware of them, there was no sin.

On Fridays (in the U.S.), if we eat meat, we are supposed to do some other act of penance or charity of our own choosing. I prefer to abstain from meat because it’s easy to remember and do consistently every Friday.

I don’t know what the rules are in Russia. Can you ask a priest or a knowledgeable Catholic who lives there?


Remember also the rules will be different for you if you are a LATIN Rite Catholic who happens to live and worship in Russia, even if it isn’t at a Latin Rite Church, as opposed to if you actually belong to an EASTERN Catholic Church or Rite (for example being a member of the Russian Catholic Church or something).

Your priest, or at least the local bishop of whichever rite you belong to, will be able to tell you what the rules are on fasting that apply to you, in any event.


The no need to abstain from meat on Fridays is not limited to the US. It is applicable in most countries.


I have often wondered too, does it apply only to U.S. citizens, or also to someone who is only visiting the U.S. or to a citizen who is not physically in the U.S at present?


I asked a priest today and he said that bishop conference in Russia didn’t announce anything official yet about fasting rules - so we “follow the traditions”.
I feel bad about it now, because I didn’t care about eating meat on fridays for some years. And when I checked this forum, I was satisfied by apologists answers and didn’t figure out that they were applicable to US, but not Russia…


You’re being too hard on yourself. You cared enough to try to find out, which is more than a lot of people would do, it’s just that you didn’t know that different rules applied in different places, that’s all. :shrug:


There is too much being made of a very simple discipline. I’m going to share from my experience as a missionary and a member of an international order.

The rule is simple, you follow the rules of the local Church. If you are a Latin Rite Catholic, you follow the rules of the Latin Rite Church in the country where you reside or the the Eastern Rite if you are an Eastern Rite Catholic.

If you are a visitor, you have the option of following the local Church or your own Church in your place of residence.

This was done orginally for religious who belong to international religious orders. Today, more and more lay people also travel across country or to other nations. The rules are the same as those that apply to religious.


JR :slight_smile:


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