Meat on Good Friday...Mortal Sin?

It is Good Friday and I have been reading about eating meat on Good Friday. If I understand the Catholic position the following scenario would be accurate:

A Catholic in good standing with the Church walks by a steak house on Good Friday and is suddenly tempted to have a good rib eye steak. He thinks about his temptation to eat the steak and admits to himself that he knows it is a mortal sin to succumb to his craving today but he willfully decides to eat one anyway. After he is finished eating he gets up from the table feeling very satisfied and immediately drops dead. No thought of confession or chance of confession occured. Does the Church teach that he would immediately have sent himself to Hell with this action?

YES! [As expressed in your story] Hell is our choice, NOT God’s choice for us:rolleyes:

A MORTAL sin has too:

  1. Be serious matter {this si as described in your story]

  2. The person HAS to know before hand that doing such & such WILL BE a Mortal sin

  3. Then Has to FREELY WANT to do it any way

Thank you for answering, Pjm

I’m not Catholic, but I would not eat meat in front a Catholic, especially on Good Friday, as to us it is a sin to tempt your brother to sin as it says in 1 Corinthians 8:13… Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble :slight_smile:

Yes, he would have condemned himself to Hell because of his disobedience to the Church.

It is kind of you to be so considerate, but I think it is unnecessary. For the vast majority of Catholics, watching somebody eat meat would not cause them to stumble in any way. It is really a very minor sacrifice.

It’s like saying that you wouldn’t kiss your wife in front of a single friend, lest you temp him to lust.

Only God can judge the person’s ultimate fate. Only God can know for sure whether he truly had full knowledge and full consent to break God’s law. He also may have been given the grace to make a perfect act of contrition in his final moments, which would restore him to a state of sanctifying Grace.
The sin here isn’t eating meat per se. There is nothing intrinsically evil about meat. The sin would be a matter of disobedience. Christ gave the apostles and their successors the power to bind and to loose, as recorded in the Gospels, and sent their forth as the Father sent him. It is grave matter to disobey our bishops. Remember how unhappy God was with Aaran and Miriam when they disobeyed Moses?

I’m with you on that, KariBear. I went to lunch today with a Catholic and three non-Catholic guys. The Catholic had a fish salad of some sort, where one Protestant had ribs, another had a taco salad, and another had a loaded baked potato that had meat.

In their defense, I doubt it even dawned on them why the Catholic was eating fish nor was it an issue for them one way or the other. The Catholic guy is a good man whom I’ve known for a few years and he didn’t mention it nor did he appear offended that the others were eating meat. We all had a nice lunch together and chatted about work, our families, and other stuff.

I was sitting closest to my Catholic friend and I knew he wouldn’t be eating meat so I chose a baked potato with cooked veggies on top because I wanted to be in solidarity with him on this day. I love this particular restaurant’s ribs but I figured they could wait for another day.

Is eating meat on Good Friday grave matter?


Church teaching is that we don’t judge the eternal state of a person’s soul.

Public displays of affections are a bit unnecessary too…but that’s just my opinion. :slight_smile:


Just went to the grocery store and sampled a cheeseball with crackers…but as i swallowed it began to realize it had bacon in it! Ugh :eek:

Pretty sure I’m not going to hell for that, though. I didn’t realize what I was doing and I think God is way more merciful than people credit him for, imo :stuck_out_tongue:

I doubt you would. We too often forget how abundant our Lord’s mercy is. Additionally, you lacked any intention, so it wouldn’t even be considered a sin. :thumbsup:

The Church does not teach that any particular individual is in Hell. That is for God to decide, not us.

One has to look at what Blessed Paul VI mandated.

In Paenitemini, the operative document, he decreed:

*Therefore, the following is declared and established:

I. 1. By divine law all the faithful are required to do penance.

  1. The prescriptions of ecclesiastical law regarding penitence are totally reorganized according to the following norms:

II. 1. The time of Lent preserves its penitential character. The days of penitence to be observed under obligation throughout the Church are all Fridays and Ash Wednesday, that is to say the first days of “Grande Quaresima” (Great Lent), according to the diversity of the rites. Their substantial observance binds gravely.*
That is the criteria that both moral theologians and confessors would apply relative to the assessment of acquisition of subjective moral guilt.

It must also be remembered that there are countries where this forum reaches that have significantly different penitential observances from, for example, those in the United States, and this by provision of their conference of bishops…provisions granted the recognitio of the Holy See.

I think I know what you mean here, but was not the act of eating the steak the action of disobedience which has been classified a mortal sin?

It appears that on any Friday one is to offer a this fast.

Thus if it is made law by the Faith you follow one has to try to practice the law, if one falls short to ask forgiveness is from God.

Regards Tony

No. What one has to look to is the prescriptions set in place by the territory where a Catholic lives…normally, at the level of the national episcopal conference, but with the understanding that the diocesan bishop may have promulgated particular law, which should be followed by those in his diocese.

The following, as one example, is from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops:

*Christ Died for Our Salvation on Friday

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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:

    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.
    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. It would bring great glory to God and good to souls if Fridays found our people doing volunteer work in hospitals, visiting the sick, serving the needs of the aged and the lonely, instructing the young in the Faith, participating as Christians in community affairs, and meeting our obligations to our families, our friends,our neighbors, and our community, including our parishes, with a special zeal born of the desire to add the merit of penance to the other virtues exercised in good works born of living faith.*

What a wonderful explanation of why the practice was implemented in the first place and how the Church is addressing changing eating customs and how that implicates the practice of a requirement.

If you have the time I sure would like to know your response to the original post. Thanks.


The Church will declare people in heaven. She will never teach that someone is in hell.

In this circumstance we would be encouraged to pray for his soul cv .

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