Meatless Fridays


#1

Last night at bible study, one of our group members said that Meatless Fridays had its start because of the fishermen in Italy needing an outlet for their catch and that it is a TOTALLY man made (t)radition which need NOT be followed on all Fridays of the year (except Ash Wednesday and Lent).

Does anyone know the the church teaching concerning this practice and the Authentic history? As a convert, I have no background in this practice.


#2

It was made up by man long time ago to get closer to god by ‘fasting’ for a night. Its not fasting if you are eating other food but the meat part of your meal is considered the ‘real meal’. The bible never says you can’t eat meat on friday. Eating meat on friday is not a sin in gods terms. Although I’m a vegetarian in the first place so I guess for me it doesn’t matter! Actually, sometimes I do have meat, but very very very little.

There is also this too in realtion to your post:

“The tradition of eating fish on Fridays and not other meat was, strangely enough, for ecomomical purposes.Back when the religion was smaller, most of it’s members where poor fishermen.So in order to help their trade,the church decreed that all catholics should eat fish on every Friday.Eventually this was changed to be done only during Lent but it was originally done to help the fishermen’s trade.”

Read more: Why can’t catholics eat meat on Fridays , during lent | Answerbag answerbag.com/q_view/169383#ixzz10vCHH0IQ

However i want you to know that it says NOWHERE in the bible that you cant eat meat on friday. It is NOT a sin in gods eyes, only the church.


#3

Thank you for your response BlueShadow. I realize that Meatless Fridays is not in the bible (but then again, the bible is not my sole rule of faith as I believe that the Church came first), but what I was after was the Offical Church teaching concerning this.

I have heard the stories concerning the poor fishermen in the early Church but was hoping for a documented source other then a blog, (I am on dial-up which means SLOW SLOW SLOW so opening other pagers is a chore).

Personally, I am a Carnivore with a little veggies on the side:p

God bless ya BlueShadow:)


#4

Abstaining from meat is an act of remembrance in two ways.

The first, of course is being thoughtful each week, that every Friday commemorates the death of Jesus in our preparation to receive Him in Eucharist.

The second, is a remembrance of the poor, who rarely eat meat. It’s a weekly call to give time, talent and treasure to the poor.

From: religioustolerance.org/chr_symb.htm

"The fish symbol was used in the Early Church as a representation of Christ:

Some Christians believe that a second link between their religion and the fish symbol is seen in the Greek word for fish (ichthus, spelled: Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma).

That is an acrostic which has many translations in English.

The most popular appears to be “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”

[Iesous (Jesus) CHristos (Christ) THeou (God) Uiou (Son) Soter (Savior)].

Alternative meanings (in order of decreasing popularity on the Internet) are:

“Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.”

“Jesus Christ, of God, the Son, the Savior”

“Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Savior.”

“Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior”

“Jesus Christ God Son Savior”

An acrostic is an “arrangement of words in which the first letter of each line ordinarily combines with others to form a word or words or the alphabet.”

The Apostles were often referred to as “fishers of men”.

Followers of Christianity were called Pisciculi; the root of this Latin word is “fish”.

The symbols of “sacramental fish, with wine and a basket of bread represents the Eucharist and the Last Supper in Christian art.”

The symbol was simple to draw and was often used among Christians as a type of password during times of persecution by the Roman government. If two strangers met and were unsure whether each other was a Christian, one would draw an arc in the earth ). If the other were a Christian, they would complete the symbol with a reverse arc: (), forming the outline of a fish.

According to Albatrus.org: “When threatened by Romans in the first centuries after Christ, Christians used the fish [symbol to] mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.”"


#5

BlueShadow,

No where in Sacred Scripture does it say that faith is to instructed “by the Bible alone”.


#6

Pardon the meat-y expression: This is baloney!

It’s a funny way to prop up the fishing industry, saying *you can’t eat flesh meat *(which meatless fridays do), rather than saying *you must eat fish *(which meatless fridays do not). :nope:

tee


#7

Yeah, nowhere does the church say we must eat fish on ash wednesday. Hehehe. Why couldn’t it be a way to benefit the egg industry, or the bread industry? This is a silly theory.

Also, a sin against the church, which God founded, is a sin against God. I think it is written in some important book somewhere, where Jesus told his disciples:

"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

“If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

Gods church tells us that it is ok to eat meat on friday. One should abstain on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent. Hope this helps!


#8

barbkw, thank you for this information as it is very helpful. And like tee_eff_em said…“BOLOGNA” is right.

I am a Conservative Catholic in a liberal bible study program (only one offered though), so there will be many times I will just shake my head in wonder.

I thank all for helping me get a better understanding of the meatless Friday requirements.


#9

I thought that we are still requried to abstain from meat on Friday OR replace that sacrifice with something else. For my family, we abstain from eating meat every Friday or replace it with something else. An additional sacrifice for me personally is to give up sweets.


#10

That’s right. Friday is still a penitential day. The Church instituted it to remember the suffering Jesus endured for our salvation by our participating in a bit of suffering of our own. Considering what our precious Lord went through for our redemption, it’s not too much to ask, is it? :slight_smile: My dh and I abstain from meat unless it’s not possible, then we do some other form of penance, such as praying a decade of the rosary or giving up some pleasant thing we like to eat/do/want.

The Church has the authority to regulate which days are to be celebrated as penitential days and which are holy days of obligation or feasts, memorials or optional memorials for all the faithful. We see this quite clearly in the First Council of Jerusalem in Acts in which the Apostles decided what limitations were to be placed on Gentile converts. The Church had authority to decide matters of faith and morals then and still has it now.


#11

You are entirely wrong.

The first century Jews fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. The earliest Christians, in contrast, fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays, to set themselves apart from the Jews, and also because Jesus was betrayed on Wednesday and crucified on Friday. This is provable in the Didache, an early 2nd Century Catholic Christian writing.


#12

As answered by Cecil at The Straight Dope

History is silent on the details of any particular pontiff-initiated fishing-industry stimulus package. While anything is possible, the evolution of the Lenten fasting restrictions from their beginnings to now is fairly well understood without recourse to explanations involving commercial concerns.

There’s no question that in the earliest days of the church, there was observance of some sort of fasting immediately prior to the Easter season. The particulars of the fast varied greatly, however – as did the dates of the celebration of Easter itself. In the second century, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, wrote to Pope Victor concerning the dispute about when Easter should be celebrated, and as an aside pointed out, concerning the fast, “. . . some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast. Such variation in the observance did not originate in our own day, but very much earlier, in the time of our forefathers.” “Forefathers” was a common manner of referring to the original apostles. Other works suggested that 40 was a count of days rather than hours.

The idea that one might abstain from eating meat during the runup to Easter but continue to eat fish is similarly ancient and probably predates any time when a pope might believe his edicts could succor an entire industry. The Constantinople historian Socrates (no relation to the ancient Greek of the same name), writing in the fifth century, says of the fasters of his day: "Some abstain from every sort of creature that has life, while others of all the living creatures eat of fish only. Others eat birds as well as fish, because, according to the Mosaic account of the Creation, they too sprang from the water; others abstain from fruit covered by a hard shell and from eggs. Some eat dry bread only, others not even that; others again when they have fasted to the ninth hour partake of various kinds of food.” Some early commentators envisioned truly grueling fasts: the Galatian Palladius wrote of people going more than a full day without food of any kind at all during Holy Week (the week immediately preceding Easter), eating one or two full meals in total over the course of the seven days.

In the early seventh century, Pope St. Gregory issued the rule that would ultimately evolve into the Lenten restrictions of today. Writing to Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Pope Saint Gregory said: “We abstain from flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese and eggs.” His edict was understood to rely on the earlier reasoning related by Socrates, exempting fish from the definition of “meat” based on the Bible’s account of the order in which the various living things were created – not, perhaps, the most scientifically rigorous distinction but one having nothing to do with fishermen’s interests. The Council of Toledo, in 477, had already mandated refraining from meat not just during the Lenten observance, but for all Fridays of the year.

Over the course of time the Church has tweaked those original rules still further. As people involved in heavy manual labor could not, it was ultimately conceded, maintain the same scant diet as monks living a life of quiet contemplation, a small meal during the day was permitted to keep up strength. Dispensations for the consumption of milk, cheese, and eggs became common – at first one could secure the right to consume them by promising to perform a pious work – and eventually dairy and eggs simply became permissible. We see remnants of the earlier restriction on such foods in the Shrove Tuesday practice of eating pancakes to use up any remaining eggs in the home.

The current discipline begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter – 40 days exactly, not counting the Sundays, which are technically free from Lenten restriction. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of both fasting (one regular meal per day plus two small meals, together not equal to a normal meal) and abstinence (no meat). Other Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from meat only. Those over age 14 must abstain from meat; those between 18 and 60 must observe the rules of fasting. In all cases, medical conditions or any case of grave necessity supersedes the regulation. Fridays outside of Lent are no longer required to be meatless; rather than abstaining, the faithful may substitute another pious sacrifice in its place.

Read more: Why can’t catholics eat meat on Fridays , during lent | Answerbag answerbag.com/q_view/169383#ixzz10xNktt1q

This guy explains it very well.


#13

[quote="WetCatechumen, post:12, topic:214394"]

As answered by Cecil at The Straight Dope

Read more: Why can't catholics eat meat on Fridays , during lent | Answerbag answerbag.com/q_view/169383#ixzz10xNktt1q

This guy explains it very well.

[/quote]

Credit where it is due -- That answer was actually written by "SDSTAFF Bricker", not Cecil. I do not know why the article has disappeared from the Straight Dope Archive, but it may be found here.

(It's taking longer than we thought)
tee


#14

Yeah I know. eating no meat on fridays is a way to serve god. However the bible does not say you have to do this. The church does.


#15

Considering this is a Catholic forum and the inquirer is a Catholic the fact that the Church teaches this is a plus not a minus. The Catholic Church is fully aware of what is in the Bible. It should since it compiled it’s books, copied it and translated it the vernaculars of the day, preserved it through the Dark Ages, etc. All the Church’s teachings have a basis in the teachings of the Apostles be they written in the Scriptures or taught orally through the Magisterium (the bishops in union with the pope who are the successors to the Apostles). The Bible is a large part of the Church’s teaching, but not the whole of it. Never was, never will be. :slight_smile:


#16

[quote="Della, post:15, topic:214394"]
Considering this is a Catholic forum and the inquirer is a Catholic the fact that the Church teaches this is a plus not a minus. The Catholic Church is fully aware of what is in the Bible. It should since it compiled it's books, copied it and translated it the vernaculars of the day, preserved it through the Dark Ages, etc. All the Church's teachings have a basis in the teachings of the Apostles be they written in the Scriptures or taught orally through the Magisterium (the bishops in union with the pope who are the successors to the Apostles). The Bible is a large part of the Church's teaching, but not the whole of it. Never was, never will be. :)

[/quote]

I never said it was a plus or a minus. They asked a question and I answered it. The bible does not say you cannot eat meat on fridays, that was my point. Then they were talking about how it originated and I told them what I knew of it. Ive heard different reasons why it originated but it wasn't because god told them to.


#17

In reply to Della:

I never said it was a plus or a minus. They asked a question and I answered it. The bible does not say you cannot eat meat on fridays, that was my point. Then they were talking about how it originated and I told them what I knew of it. Ive heard different reasons why it originated but it wasn't because god told them to.


#18

I never said it was a plus or a minus. They asked a question and I answered it. The bible does not say you cannot eat meat on fridays, that was my point. Then they were talking about how it originated and I told them what I knew of it. Ive heard different reasons why it originated but it wasn’t because god told them to. :thumbsup:


#19

[quote="Della, post:15, topic:214394"]
Considering this is a Catholic forum and the inquirer is a Catholic the fact that the Church teaches this is a plus not a minus. The Catholic Church is fully aware of what is in the Bible. It should since it compiled it's books, copied it and translated it the vernaculars of the day, preserved it through the Dark Ages, etc. All the Church's teachings have a basis in the teachings of the Apostles be they written in the Scriptures or taught orally through the Magisterium (the bishops in union with the pope who are the successors to the Apostles). The Bible is a large part of the Church's teaching, but not the whole of it. Never was, never will be. :)

[/quote]

I never said it was a plus or a minus. They asked a question and I answered it. The bible does not say you cannot eat meat on fridays, that was my point. Then they were talking about how it originated and I told them what I knew of it. Ive heard different reasons why it originated but it wasn't because god told them to.


#20

I never said it was a plus or a minus. They asked a question and I answered it. The bible does not say you cannot eat meat on fridays, that was my point. Then they were talking about how it originated and I told them what I knew of it. Ive heard different reasons why it originated but it wasn't because god told them to. So don't think im saying it in a bad way, because im not.


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