Friday abstinence


#1

When determining Friday abstinence, what counts as ‘my’ parish?

The parish I live in is different from the one I work in, attend every day, and generally feel I belong to. I appreciate that in certain cases I would be required to get the permission of my territorial parish (e.g. if I wanted to marry), but how strict are the requirements for abstinence on a local solemnity, i.e. the solemnity of the particular parish?

There have been two occasions recently when our parish has had a solemnity on a Friday which was not a general solemnity. The first was for the patronal saint, when we had an automatic exemption from abstinence. The second was for the saint after whom the religious order who run the parish are named; in that case it was a solemnity within the community and the parish priest gave a general dispensation to everyone who came to celebrate with them.

In both cases I have chosen to abstain from meat, because it’s easier to not eat something when you’re not sure - it’s not as though meat eating is compulsory any day! But for the future, can I legitimately claim to belong to this parish and so participate in its solemnities even though it’s not where I actually live?

Although it says it by my username, I will point out that I live in England where Friday abstinence is compulsory.


#2

At first I was confused on your question, but I see now what you are asking: exemption from abstinence due to a holiday falling on Friday.

For example, some years St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday of Lent. There is always a ‘rumbling’ about if Americans are excused so that they can eat meat to celebrate the Irish Festivities. I think it generally comes down to dioceses, in that case. Thankfully, Cinco de Mayo is never during Lent, or people would grumble about that one, too.

Are you registered in either parish? Does the holiday/celebration always fall on a Friday?

I have no other answer than that.

The only ‘holiday’ here that I ever have to concern myself with is a ‘secular’ one (home opener for my local major league baseball team). Of course, most of the ‘regular’ hot dogs probably don’t have much to call ‘meat’ in them. Woe to me when it has fallen on Good Friday!


#3

No and no. The celebrations fall on particular dates but not always on a Friday, I was just wondering for when they did happen to be on a Friday. And we don’t have a system of parish registration in this country. You can sign up to receive information from the parish (sometimes, depending on whether they’re big enough to employ a secretary) but there’s no ‘registration’ in the sense of an official joining. I’m not sure that that exists anywhere outside the USA.

Good luck with the baseball/Friday situation :smiley:


#4

It might just be that it’s better to skip the meat-y parts of the celebrations then for those years it does fall on Friday.

Our home opener is on a Friday this year. Oh no…I just realized that I sold my husband on going to the pre-game party that has BBQ (which is a BIG BIG BIG deal locally) included…I see a possible confession in the future.


#5

How about asking your Confessor for a dispensation beforehand?

I have done that when I have had to attend to my close friend on a Saturday, and then go to the relative’s burial on a Sunday. They are not Christians and asked me about my going to church. They were very surprised at the understanding of our Holy Mother [Catholic] Church.


#6

I don’t know the answer to your question. I will just say that I don’t think local solemnities are all that well understood. Most people don’t seem to know that such days even exist. And because so few people know the rules, I suspect many members of the clergy prefer not to go into details for fear they will hopelessly confuse people. They just figure that if anyone eats mistakenly eats meat then it won’t matter because they don’t know better.

People like us who know just enough to ask questions are the troublesome ones! :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

For eastern Catholics, the rules of the particular church sui iuris apply. For ordinariates (such as Military) or those in personal parish, those rules apply. Normally it is based on residency:
Can. 12
§1. Universal laws bind everywhere all those for whom they were issued.
§2. All who are actually present in a certain territory, however, are exempted from universal laws which are not in force in that territory.
§3. Laws established for a particular territory bind those for whom they were issued as well as those who have a domicile or quasi-domicile there and who at the same time are actually residing there, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 13.

Can. 13
§1. Particular laws are not presumed to be personal but territorial unless it is otherwise evident.
§2. Travelers are not bound:

[LIST]
*] 1/ by the particular laws of their own territory as long as they are absent from it unless either the transgression of those laws causes harm in their own territory or the laws are personal;
[/LIST]

[LIST]
*] 2/ by the laws of the territory in which they are present, with the exception of those laws which provide for public order, which determine the formalities of acts, or which regard immovable goods located in the territory.
[/LIST]
§3. Transients are bound by both universal and particular laws which are in force in the place where they are present.


#8

Hmmm. That’s why I think regulations regarding local solemnities are confusing–they vary from parish to parish. Most regulations would consider territory to mean diocese but for local solemnities can they mean parish? Is permission to meat on days that would otherwise require abstinence automatic for local solemnities or must the bishop declare it so?

Must one reside in the territory of a parish celebrating a local solemnity to be able to eat meat on a Friday? Is it OK to eat meat on a Friday if one is dining on the grounds of a parish celebrating a local solemnity but not when one goes back to one’s home within the boundaries of a different parish? If one belongs to a parish celebrating a local solemnity can you eat meat if you go to dinner at a restaurant outside of the parish boundaries? If one decides to spend the night in a hotel within the boundaries of a neighboring parish which rules regarding local solemnities apply?

It’s easier to just not eat meat but there must be some rules for how such things work.


#9

Hello,

I would think the parish (or diocese) in which you have a domicile (or quasi-domicile) is the one that “counts.” That is your parish and that pastor your parish priest (see canon 107). If we don’t depend on this territorial requirement, I don’t know standard what we could use and still retain some sense of order/rationality. If it’s only a matter of where you happen to be, a person could “parish hop” and so, in some larger cities with a substantial number of parishes, get out of a lot of Friday penances. To me, that seems to miss the mark both on the letter and spirit of the law.

Dan


#10

Hmmm. That’s why I think regulations regarding local solemnities are confusing–they vary from parish to parish. Most regulations would consider territory to mean diocese but for local solemnities can they mean parish?

Yes. Remember that a parish is a territory.

Is permission to meat on days that would otherwise require abstinence automatic for local solemnities

Yes.

or must the bishop declare it so?

No.

Must one reside in the territory of a parish celebrating a local solemnity to be able to eat meat on a Friday?

No. The release from the law applies to those who live in the territory and those who are actually present in that territory. So, a visitor to a parish celebrating a solemnity is exempt from the required abstinence. (note: I underlined the words “must one reside” if the question were phrased “may one eat meat?” the answer would be yes).

Is it OK to eat meat on a Friday if one is dining on the grounds of a parish celebrating a local solemnity but not when one goes back to one’s home within the boundaries of a different parish?

Yes. I know it might sound a bit legalistic, but the answer is still yes.

If one belongs to a parish celebrating a local solemnity can you eat meat if you go to dinner at a restaurant outside of the parish boundaries?

Yes. When a law “looses” (releases you from an obligation) that release from the law “follows you” (that’s a term in canon law meaning that you carry the release with you).

If one decides to spend the night in a hotel within the boundaries of a neighboring parish which rules regarding local solemnities apply?

It’s complicated.
In a case like that, one is considered a “traveler.”
Laws that loose apply to both those who reside there, and those who visit there, so if the place where you visit is exempt from the Friday abstinence, you are likewise exempt.

On the other hand, local laws that bind (laws that impose an obligation) apply only to those who live there, and do not apply to visitors. That’s with regard to a local law (one that applies only in that territory).

It’s easier to just not eat meat but there must be some rules for how such things work.

Yes. There are rules.

Universal rules apply to everyone. The law of Friday abstinence is a universal law, which applies to everyone in the Church (excepting children, elderly, sick, but that’s not the topic here).

Some vocabulary:
Laws that loose are laws that release someone from an obligation.
Laws that bind are laws that impose an obligation.

A traveler is “loosed” by the laws of the place where he lives and by the laws of the place where he visits.

A traveler is “bound” by universal law, but is only bound by local law when he’s present in that territory–meaning his home territory. Local laws that bind do not bind travelers who are visiting that place.

**In order to understand how these laws work, it’s essential to understand the difference between the 2 types of law, those that bind (impose an obligation) and those that loose (release from an obligation). **


#11

This is important, so I separated it from the rest.

No. Parish membership is determined by territory. If you do not live in the parish territory, then you cannot claim membership in that parish.

Parishes are territories. You cannot claim membership in a parish other than your own any more than you can claim “membership” in Norfolk if you actually live in Suffolk.

(exception is “personal” parishes—but that’s not the issue here).


#12

OK. That makes sense.

I think it was the definition of “traveler” that had me confused. I understood the concept of laws that loose and laws that bind as they apply to travelers.

But I hadn’t quite wrapped my head around the idea that one could be a traveler for the few hours of the day that one stepped into the boundaries of a nearby parish.


#13

CIC

Can. 100 A person is said to be: a resident (incola) in the place where the person has a domicile; a temporary resident (advena) in the place where the person has a quasi-domicile; a traveler (peregrinus) if the person is outside the place of a domicile or quasi-domicile which is still retained; a transient (vagus) if the person does not have a domicile or quasi-domicile anywhere.

Can. 101 §1. The place of origin of a child, even of a neophyte, is that in which the parents had a domicile or, lacking that, a quasi-domicile when the child was born or, if the parents did not have the same domicile or quasi-domicile, that of the mother.
§2. In the case of a child of transients, the place of origin is the actual place of birth; in the case of an abandoned child, it is the place where the child was found.

Can. 102 §1. Domicile is acquired by that residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there permanently unless called away or has been protracted for five complete years.
§2. Quasi-domicile is acquired by residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there for at least three months unless called away or has in fact been protracted for three months.
§3. A domicile or quasi-domicile within the territory of a parish is called parochial; within the territory of a diocese, even though not within a parish, diocesan.


#14

Regarding universal and particular laws and their binding force (cf. canons 12-13), does the question of this thread have anything to do with particular law? It seems the only pertinent law is the universal law which is stated in canon 1251: whatever the Friday penance is, it does not apply when a Solemnity falls on a Friday. That is the law everywhere and is in force everywhere, is it not?

If the answer to this questions is yes, then the question of being a traveler and what law applies (cc. 12-13) is not relevant. Canon 12.1 is all that matters.

Dan


#15

Yes. That’s not how we usually use the word “traveler.”

Nevertheless, it does still apply.

The Church does not say that one must travel a certain distance in order to be defined as a traveler–that’s not the criteria. The criteria is simply to be in a territory other than the territory where he actually lives.

Let me give a practical application to illustrate:

Say that I live in a diocese close to Los Angeles California (within driving distance).

Now, January 1 (Solemnity of Mary) is a universal Holy Day of Obligation. It applies to everyone in the whole Church. For many years now, it’s been typical for the bishop of LA to dispense his diocese from the obligation on that day.

So, what we have is a universal law; but the people of a given territory are dispensed from the obligation. (This is important because it is NOT what we often hear “it’s not a holy day in LA”)

Early in the morning on January 1, I drive to Los Angeles. My plan is to spend the day there, then return home (certainly not to take up residence there). Now, I know that today is a Holy Day of Obligation, so I try to find a Mass. But I can’t. None of the churches have Mass scheduled for that day (aside: let’s leave it at that, for the sake of discussion, please. I know that parishes have Mass anyway, but for the sake of illustrating the point, let’s say they don’t).

Now, rather than say that I must fulfill an obligation that is nearly impossible to fulfill, the Church law says that I am exempt from the obligation. Why? Because the bishop dispensed his diocese from the obligation. So, unless the bishop says “this dispensation does not apply to visitors” (which would make no sense anyway) the fact that the territory which I am visiting has been “loosed” from the obligation means that I am likewise loosed while I am there.

It does not matter that at the end of the day I’ll be back home. What matters is that at the time, the dispensation applies to me.


#16

Thank you for clearing that up. It helps.

I live in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles so I am quite familiar with the annual dispensation. It caused a bit of consternation amongst the clergy and parish staff a couple of years ago when the official notice for the dispensation was not received until the last minute --long after the deadline for the printing of bulletins had past and --if I recall correctly-- not until after the Saturday anticipated Mass preceding the Solemnity.

In any case, we have covered who is bound and who is not bound by abstinence from meat when a local solemnity is celebrated.

I still find the rules regarding what constitutes a local solemnity to be confusing but that is probably a topic for another thread.


#17

What causes so much confusion for Los Angeles (meaning conversations about the calendar) is that what is happening is often misunderstood (and often mis-represented).

It is not that the day is “not a Holy Day of Obligation” (as many will say) but that it is a Holy Day, but one from which the bishop has dispensed the diocese. Every year on CAF there are the seemingly obligatory threads about what to do on January 1; either for those who go TO the L.A. area or those who go somewhere else FROM L.A. It’s become an annual ritual on CAF :smiley:


#18

I had to re-read your post there to see the point at the end–that’s why I underlined a section. What makes this different is that the OP is asking about a local solemnity, not a universal one. If it’s a universal solemnity (like Christmas) then if it falls on a Friday, it’s not an abstinence day—therefore yes, the location would not matter.


#19

But , “Not a Holy Day of Obligation in the Diocese of…” is so much simpler and doesn’t use that scary “dispensation” word! :rolleyes:

Yes. A CAF holiday tradition. Just like the threads which which debate whether allowing children to believe in Santa is an evil lie that will cause them to stop believing in God. It doesn’t seem like Advent or Christmas without them. :smiley:


#20

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