[quote="The_Old_Medic, post:15, topic:231673"]
Once again, someone has posted incorrect information.
I came into the church well before Vatican II.
I did NOT mix up abstinence and fasting. If one has a legitimate reason, one is excused from abstinence. This was also true BEFORE Vatican II.
I was almost always provided a dispensation, for my first 20 years as a Catholic. First because I was the only Catholic in a non-Catholic family and it was felt that it would be unreasonable to expect them to make two meals, one for me and one for everyone else. I was excused from the requirement to not eat meat on Fridays, as well as during Lent and the minimal requirement that used to be there in Advent (either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day was a meatless day.
While in seminary, of course I both fasted and abstained, much more frequently than was required by the Church.
Then, I spent 10 years on active duty in the US Army. ALL members of the military are excused from both abstinence and fasting. They may CHOOSE to do either, but they are not required to. This was also the case before Vatican II.
If one has a medical reason why eating meat is necessary, then they are automatically excused from the requirement. And people that have disabilities, and the elderly are also excused from the REQUIREMENT. They are encouraged to abstain from eating meat, but they are NOT required to do so.
I happen to qualify as a disabled person, as an elderly person, and as a person with medical necessity.
Sure, anyone can be dispensed from either obligation for any number of reasons.
Canon Law imposes fasting only until age 59 but sets no upward limits on abstaining because, for the most part, abstaining from meat is not that onerous, even for the elderly.