Ooops..ate meat

I just remembered now that I wasn’t supposed to eat meat today, but I had some pepperoni earlier. I know I’m supposed to substitute some other penance - what would be acceptable? The day’s almost over!

Get yourself a whip and…uh nevermind. Just say a rosary in reparation. :slight_smile:

When I have had occasion to eat meat on a Friday, I pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but any devotional prayer would be ok, IMO.

A note here; Jimmy Akin mentioned on the Catholic Answers radio program (sorry, don’t remember the date, but it was recent) that there is no official teaching about needing to substitute a penance on non-Lenten Fridays EVEN THOUGH they are still days of penance in the Church calendar.

I try to observe the penance as well like you, but know that it is not in fact strictly necessary.

Uh, I think you misheard Jimmy. Vatican II stressed the need for some sort of penance, but they stopped short of defining what that should be. It has been customary throughout the Catholic world for centuries to abstain from meat on Friday. Most American Catholics somehow got the idea that this was no longer in practice. WRONG-O. Friday is a day which we should consider special throughout the year not just lent, for our freedom was paid for that day.

I am sooooo confused on this subject now. My mom brought over a copy of The Rock magazine (not sure what issue - recent one with the new format) and there is a letter to the editor about eating meat on Friday. The editor’s reply says that we are only urged to perform some penance on Fridays but not required to do so. http://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/confused.gif

I thought the same, but check out the September 1, 2005 radio show. I’m afraid I cannot recall the time, but I remember very clearly hearing that because I was surprised. He made a point about reading very carefully the document in question and finding that this was not mandatory.

Try this:

jimmyakin.org/2004/07/more_on_friday_.html

Check this one as well.
ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6PAEN.HTM

This is directly from the Code of Canon Law.

Can. 1249 All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.

Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

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.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety

Notice it say they may substitute, not eliminate.

Even if Friday penitence is not required, it is still a good thing to do, and is surely pleasing to God.

If I am unable to avoid meat on Friday, I will usually do something physically demanding later in the day, like some pushups and crunches. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, or be done to the point of exhaustion. It’s just a way of acknowledging what Christ suffered for me on Good Friday.

Technically I’m excused from the Friday abstinence, since I am in my 60th year. However, even before I knew that, I had decided to eat normally, and then pray all four sets of mysteries while I’m at work. I have the time, and there are no distractions.

I’ll go back to meatless Fridays during Lent. Mac and cheese with a little curry powder sprinkled in and a can of corn mixed in in YUMMY!!!

DaveBj

[quote=Mike O]A note here; Jimmy Akin mentioned on the Catholic Answers radio program (sorry, don’t remember the date, but it was recent) that there is no official teaching about needing to substitute a penance on non-Lenten Fridays EVEN THOUGH they are still days of penance in the Church calendar.

I try to observe the penance as well like you, but know that it is not in fact strictly necessary.
[/quote]

With all due respect to Jimmy Akin, I believe he is in error.

According to Colin B. Donovan, STL from EWTN:
ewtn.com/expert/answers/fast_and_abstinence.htm

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year.

According to Catholics United for Faith:
cuf.org/Faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=61

In his 1966 Apostolic Constitution on Penance, Pope Paul VI reorganized ecclesiastical discipline with regard to fasting and abstinence. He declared all Fridays and Ash Wednesday as obligatory days of penance. Abstinence was to be observed on every Friday that did not fall on a holy day of obligation, and fast as well as abstinence was required on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. He further declared that, for just cause, bishops’ conferences could transfer the days of penance, always taking into account the Lenten season. In this way, **he empowered bishops’ conferences to substitute abstinence and fast wholly or in part with other forms of penance and especially works of piety and charity.
**
Following Pope Paul VI’s directive, the U.S. Bishops decreed norms for U.S. Catholics in their November 1966 statement on penance.[4] The bishops maintained the traditional law of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstinence from meat on the Fridays of Lent.[5] They also rescinded the traditional law of abstinence under pain of sin for other Fridays. However, in accord with Pope Paul VI’s directives and Canon, no. 1249, the U.S. faithful must do some sort of penance on every Friday, excluding Solemnities or a dispensation by their diocesan bishop. Abstinence from flesh meat maintained its primary place among recommended works of self-denial and personal penance from which the faithful may choose.

What the NCCB stated in 1966 does not appear to me (or other authors like those above) to be recinding the obligatory penance for each Friday of the year. Canons 1251-1253 cover this in the Code of Canon Law.

Paul VI’s apostolic contitution on penance:
adoremus.org/PaulVI-Penance.html

The NCCB norms on Penance and Abstinence **established in 1966 in response to Paul VI’s apostolic constitution:
catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=5303
**
The USCCB (Nov 2000) has stated: “*we specify certain days and seasons for special works of penance: Fridays, on which we commemorate the death of the Lord, and Lent, our forty days of preparation for the Easter mysteries… Fridays Throughout the Year—In memory of Christ’s suffering and death, the Church prescribes making each Friday throughout the year a penitential day. All of us are urged to prepare appropriately for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday.” *usccb.org/dpp/penitential.htm

The use of the word “prescribes” seems to still connote that acts of penance are still prescriptive on all Friday’s throughout the year.

That is what Akin said; “prescription” implies a SUGGESTION.

Please do not interpret my noting this as a personal opposition to Friday penance; I observe the penance anyway as most in this thread have mentioned that they do as well.

I encourage you to read this:
jimmyakin.org/2004/07/since_tomorrow_.html

He directly cites the CCC passages you are quoting and explains them.

That is what Akin said; “prescription” implies a SUGGESTION.

Please do not interpret my noting this as a personal opposition to Friday penance; I observe the penance anyway as most in this thread have mentioned that they do as well.

I encourage you to read this:
jimmyakin.org/2004/07/since_tomorrow_.html

He directly cites the CCC passages you are quoting and explains them.

I’m very interested in this. I recently found a church schedule from the late 60s that speaks of abstinence on Fridays. I have never heard this practice before that, and I don’t know a single Catholic who abstains from meat on Fridays outside of Lent. Is this something that is being reintroduced? Is it different across diocese?

Thanks.

[quote=tdandh26]Uh, I think you misheard Jimmy. Vatican II stressed the need for some sort of penance, but they stopped short of defining what that should be. It has been customary throughout the Catholic world for centuries to abstain from meat on Friday. Most American Catholics somehow got the idea that this was no longer in practice. WRONG-O. Friday is a day which we should consider special throughout the year not just lent, for our freedom was paid for that day.
[/quote]

I remember reading in our Church bulletin a couple of years ago about this very subject. I can’t remember the exact words the priest used, but it was something like, "although the Church does not require us to abstain from meat on Friday’s anymore, however, it does highly enourage us to follow the old tradition so therefore if you eat meat on Friday (other than during Lent or on Ash Wednesday it is not considered a sin).

I for one, still continue the practice of abstaining from meat on Friday’s throughout the entire year.

[quote=Mike O]That is what Akin said; “prescription” implies a SUGGESTION.

Please do not interpret my noting this as a personal opposition to Friday penance; I observe the penance anyway as most in this thread have mentioned that they do as well.

I encourage you to read this:
jimmyakin.org/2004/07/since_tomorrow_.html

He directly cites the CCC passages you are quoting and explains them.
[/quote]

I understand Jimmy Akin’s opinion, however, when something is prescriptive in the Church, in canon law lingo it is no more a suggestion than when something is proscribed by the Church.

Prescribe is from the Latin *praescribere *which means “dictate, order.” According to Merriam-Webster, it means to “lay down a rule; dictate” or “to specify with authority.” Synonyms are: define, lay down, specify. Related Words are: decree, dictate, ordain; assign, direct, fix, set, settle; arrange, order; choose, select; adjure, bid, charge, command, enjoin, instruct, tell; conduct, control, lead, manage; coerce, constrain, force; oblige, require

I don’t see the connotation of “suggestion” from the word “prescribe.”

[quote=ChiFaithful]I’m very interested in this. I recently found a church schedule from the late 60s that speaks of abstinence on Fridays. I have never heard this practice before that, and I don’t know a single Catholic who abstains from meat on Fridays outside of Lent. Is this something that is being reintroduced? Is it different across diocese?

Thanks.
[/quote]

I don’t think it is being “reintroduced” but is something that has been neglected.

Paul VI in 1966 stated in his Apostolic Constitution, which is the basis of our current Code of Canon Law on the matter:

"…the following is declared and established: … The days of penitence to be observed under obligation through-out the Church are all Fridays… Their substantial observance binds gravely.

*…it is the task of episcopal conferences to:… **Substitute ***abstinence and fast wholly or in part with other forms of penitence and especially works of charity and the exercises of piety

According to the New Commentary of the Code of Canon Law (2000) by Beale, et. al., editors, “Pope Paul VI’s 1966 apostolic constitution, Poenitemini, provided the historical, doctrinal, and disciplinary background for the…canons on penance.” Thus the words Paul VI uses, specifically “under obligation…binds gravely” should provide the context with which the current prescriptions of canon law are to be interpreted.

The USCCB has made suggestions in accord with Paul VI’s apostolic constitution. But these suggestions cannot be interpreted as abrogating what the Roman Pontiff made obligatory. Instead, the suggestions should be interpreted as that which Paul VI stated would be “**substituted” **for fast or abstinence.

With all due respect to Jimmy Akin, his understanding is not as convincing after one reads Paul VI’s apostolic constitution, canon law, and the NCCB’s 1966 norms, as well as the USCCBs current guidance. I think instead the interpretation by Colin B. Donovan, STL from EWTN and the staff at Catholics United for Faith is more convincing.

With all due respect, I don’t think you are reading the links I provided. I base this on the face that Akin directly addresses Pope Paul VI’s writing (in fact, I believe it is the same thing you posted).

I would rely more on what the United States bishops have said in recent years than what was said nearly 40 years ago given the dispensation obtained for the American church.

If you won’t visit the site, I’ll reproduce a relevant section here:

jimmyakin.org/2004/07/friday_penance_.html

"READER: Pious wishes aside, it’s clear the practical effect of this change has been to indeed abolish Friday as a day of penance, most especially under Mr. Akin’s reading.

JIMMY: No, it abolished most Fridays of the year as being days of obligatory penance. Most Fridays are now days of voluntary penance in the U.S. There is a difference between a day being characterized by a particular form of activity and a day entailing a legal obligation to engage in that activity.

"1. 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; "

This clause seems to imply that Friday remains a day that brings special obligations upon us.

**I would agree if the bishops had said “Friday itself remains a special day of penitential observance throughout the year (PERIOD).” In that case one would assume that it is a normal day of penance and, since days of penance normally entail an obligation on the part of the faithful, one would assume that some obligation was entailed.

But the bishops didn’t stop there. They went on to clarify what they meant by saying that Friday is a day of penitential observance. Specifically, they clarified this as meaning that Friday is “a time when those who seek perfection” will engage in penance. Grammatically, this is an epexegetical clause that restricts the meaning that would otherwise be ascribed to the statement about Friday. It means that Friday is a day characterized by a certain kind of activity on the part of a certain class of people (not all of the faithful, but “those who seek perfection”) and thus a day of voluntary rather than obligatory penance**

Mr.Akins has difficulty enunciating the import of the clause “as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday.” Prima facie, the clause could mean that there is no long one sole means of observing Friday; but that Friday must still be observed.

It could also be read in Mr. Akin’s direction, that previously Friday could be observed solely an obligation binding under pain of sin, namely abstinence, but now Friday can be observed by actings not done under obligation. This reading seems a bit strange though, inasmuch as the talk of “observing Friday” strongly implies an obligation to observe.

This is not the case. Days can have observances without those observances being obligatory. Optional memorials in the Church’s liturgical calendar are particular examples. If one celebrates a particular saint’s memorial on such a day, it is an observance of the day, but by definition optional memorials are optional (voluntary)."

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.