Friday Penance question

I choose to abstain from meat as my Friday penance. My question is, would it be a sin if I forgot or did not do my penance for that particular Friday? Sometimes, I forget and accidently eat meat. I wasnt sure about this one since abstinence from meat on all Fridays except if it was like Christmas or something was obligatory before Vatican II and a mortal sin.

Even if it is a Friday in Lent and you forget and eat meat, it is not a sin. You cannot sin without deliberately doing something. Without the intent, there is no sin.

so…that would mean prior to Vatican II, if you ate meat accidently it was not considered a mortal sin, right? But if you deliberately ate a hot dog, then it was considered a mortal sin, right? And, today, if I ate meat fully aware that it was Friday (outside of Lent), even though it is my Friday penance, would it be a sin? mortal, venial?

so…that would mean prior to Vatican II, if you ate meat accidently it was not considered a mortal sin, right? But if you deliberately ate a hot dog, then it was considered a mortal sin, right? And, today, if I ate meat fully aware that it was Friday (outside of Lent), even though it is my Friday penance, would it be a sin? mortal, venial?

Assuming you live in an area where the bishops’ conference has allowed for alternate ways of doing penance, then you can still eat the meat as long as you do Stations of the Cross or perhaps visit the local Tabernacle or something like that. If you were to say, “Man, I just won’t do penance of any kind today” then you sin.

Hope that helps.

As far as pre-Vatican II goes, as George Carlin used to joke, there are probably a lot in Hell because of the meat rap. “Hey, I thought it was retroactive!” won’t work for them, sorry. :frowning:

Venial, unless you are doing it to symbolise your rejection of the Church’s teachings. Mortal sin has to be grave matter.

However if you stop doing Friday penance then eventually that will create an attitude in which your general level of observance drops. There is another issue, however. Customs can die out.

The universal law of the church is to abstain from meat on Fridays, however, the USCCB requested that Americans may choose another form of penance, however, one may still abstain from meat as a penance. This is not widely known. No one in our Catechism class except the teacher, me, and a few other kids knew it. If one deliberately does not perform penance on Friday, he is not following the Code of Canon Law and is committing a sin. I find it very beneficial to follow Traditional Fast/abstinence days. Here is the quote from the **1983 (Current) **Code of Canon Law:

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

The rules were relaxed in 1966. But not really…

secondexodus.com/html/catholicdefinitions/fridayabstinence.htm

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