Meat on Fridays


Does anyone know wheather or not you can eat meat on Fridays in the UK?



From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales:

In accordance with the mind of the universal Church, the Bishops of England and Wales remind their people of the obligation of Friday penance, and instruct them that it may be fulfilled in one or more of the following ways:
a) by abstaining from meat or some other food;
b) by abstaining from alcoholic drink, smoking or some form of amusement;
c) by making the special effort involved in family prayer, taking part in the Mass, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or praying the Stations of the Cross;
d) by fasting from all food for a longer period than usual and perhaps giving what is saved in this way to the needy at home and abroad;
e) by making a special effort to help somebody who is poor, sick, old or lonely.


Thankyou very much :slight_smile:


You’re welcome. :slight_smile:


I wish the US bishops had been this clear. :confused:


Right. The exact same thing applies in the US, but the US bishops failed to communicate it as clearly as the English bishops quoted above. As a result, very few US Catholics know that Friday penance is ***required ***and the recommended method is meat abstinence.


I didn’t know that. They should have handed it down to us. They are suppose to be our shepards.:blush:


I am biting my tongue so hard it’s starting to bleed.


Do they have at least a statement similar to the one in England?


Christ Died for Our Salvation on Friday
18. Gratefully remembering this, Catholic peoples from time
immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential
observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they
may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the
tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that
tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church.

      19. Changing circumstances, including economic, dietary, and social elements, have made some of our people feel that the renunciation of the eating of meat is not always and for everyone the most effective means of practicing penance. Meat was once an exceptional form of food; now it is commonplace. 
  1. Accordingly, since the spirit of penance primarily suggests that we discipline ourselves in that which we enjoy most, to many in our day abstinence from meat no longer implies penance, while renunciation of other things would be more penitential.

  2. For these and related reasons, the Catholic bishops of the United States, far from downgrading the traditional penitential observance of Friday, and motivated precisely by the desire to give the spirit of penance greater vitality, especially on Fridays, the day that Jesus died, urge our Catholic people henceforth to be guided by the following norms.

  3. Friday itself remains a special day of penitential observance
    throughout the year, a time when those who seek perfection will be mindful of their personal sins and the sins of mankind which they are called upon to help expiate in union with Christ Crucified.

  4. Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year. For this reason we urge all to prepare for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday by freely making of every Friday a day of self-denial and mortification in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ.

  5. Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially commend to our people for the future observance of Friday, even though we hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat.

We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will
ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as
formerly we did in obedience to Church law. Our expectation
is based on the following considerations:
a. We shall thus freely and out of love for Christ
Crucified show our solidarity with the generations of
believers to whom this practice frequently became,
especially in times of persecution and of great poverty,
no mean evidence of fidelity to Christ and His Church.
b. We shall thus also remind ourselves that as
Christians, although immersed in the world and sharing
its life, we must preserve a saving and necessary
difference from the spirit of the world. Our deliberate,
personal abstinence from meat, more especially because
no longer required by law, will be an outward sign of
inward spiritual values that we cherish.

  1. Every Catholic Christian understands that the fast and
    abstinence regulations admit of change, unlike the
    commandments and precepts of that unchanging divine
    moral law which the Church must today and always defend
    as immutable. This said, we emphasize that our people are
    henceforth free from the obligation traditionally binding
    under pain of sin in what pertains to Friday abstinence,
    except as noted above for Lent. We stress this so that "no"
    scrupulosity will enter into examinations of conscience,
    confessions, or personal decisions on this point.

  2. Perhaps we should warn those who decide to keep the
    Friday abstinence for reasons of personal piety and special
    love that they must not pass judgment on those who elect to
    substitute other penitential observances. Friday, please God,
    will acquire among us other forms of penitential witness which
    may become as much a part of the devout way of life in the future as Friday abstinence from meat. In this connection we have foremost in mind the modern need for self-discipline in the use of stimulants and for a renewed emphasis on the virtue of
    temperance, especially in the use of alcoholic beverages.


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