Sure, but when I returned to it, I did notice this was ten years old. But then again, everyone should realize our Church does work at a snail’s pace.
Below is a copy/paste from trosch.org/for/the/abs-main.htm There is more than what I copied so it would be worth while going there and reading the entire article.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1997 MOBILE REGISTER 7A
Catholic bishops to study return to meatless Fridays
By IRA RIFKIN
Religion News Service
WASHINGTON – Roman Catholic bishops Monday voted to study bringing back “meatless Fridays” to express the church’s opposition to legal abortion and other “attacks against human life and human dignity.”
“Our people are waiting for a way in which they can publicly affirm their faith” and “show their opposition to the culture of death,” said Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop of Detroit.
In asking for the study as they opened their annual fall meeting here, the bishops specifically mentioned the widespread acceptance of abortion, growing support for euthanasia, the continuance of war and rising drug abuse.
The church leaders asked that committee reports on the proposal be ready for final action at their June 1998 meeting.
In Mobile, the Rev. Christopher Viscardi, theology professor at Spring Hill College, said, “I think attacks on human dignity are all over the nation … Attacks are so rampant that we’ve gotten used to them. Anything that will help raise consciousness would be a good idea.”
The Rev. Joseph Jennings, who served at Saint Pius X and Our Savior Catholic churches before retiring and who is filling in at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Semmes, lauded the suggestion of prayer and sacrifice that such a move would indicate.
“There’s a need for prayer and a need for sacrifice. We have not had emphasis on it in recent times,” he said. “I like meat like anybody else, but the fact that we give it up or make a sacrifice – that has a value.” Abstaining from eating meat was a standard church practice intended to remind the faithful of Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion until Pope Paul VI allowed the bishops to establish their own dietary guidelines following the liberalizing Second Vatican Council, which ended in 1965.
Prior to that, the church insisted on meatless Fridays as an act of penance in preparation for confession and receiving communion. Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston said whether the bishops would again insist on the practice or only institute it on a voluntary basis was yet to be determined.
Some church leaders said avoiding red meat would be insufficient.
“A day without meat is hardly a day of penitence when one can always substitute a good lobster meal,” said Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, archbishop of Philadelphia.
Bevilacqua and others urged that the study be expanded to include the possibility of asking Catholics to fast every Friday. Other bishops said, however, that would be too difficult for most Catholics and would undercut the effort.
About 280 bishops are in Washington for the four day meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and its social policy arm, the U.S. Catholic Conference.
Speaking to the gathering earlier Monday, Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland, president of the NCCB, called for a greater “spirit of reconciliation” among Catholics.
“The first imperative for reconciliation surrounds the way in which some public discussion of issues takes place within the church,” Pilla said. “Across the spectrum of church opinion there are some very angry voices who apparently feel justified in using a rhetoric of violence toward whoever disagrees with them.”
Outside the Capitol Hill hotel where the meeting is being held, several dozen Catholics demonstrated in support of and against the bishops’ Oct. 1 pastoral letter urging parents of homosexuals not to personally reject their children even as activities stemming from their sexual preference are condemned by church doctrine. At times, the two sides angrily confronted each other.
In other action Monday, the bishops voted to continue indefinitely their annual collection to help rebuild the church in the former Soviet Union and other ex-communist European nations.
The bishops also voted to hold their fourth “Encuentro,” a national gathering designed to enhance the church’s outreach to Hispanic Catholics, in the year 2000.