Rice with chicken stock on Friday?

I am a vegetarian and do not eat meat and of course today Friday I went to a diner and ordered stuffed mushrooms with crabmeat and rice. Okay, rice is great. So I get the rice and while eating it, I notice it’s yellow so I asked the waitress to check if it is chicken broth used to make it yellow. I was still picking at it not being sure. She came back and yes it was chicken broth to make it yellow rice. I stopped eating it. I read it is acceptable to use chicken broth on Fridays during Lent or any Friday. Is this necessary to confess? Being scrupulous I probably will bring it up but how would I even say it to him?

Thanks everyone for input and advice.

Here’s a Q&A from the USCCB that may help:

Q. I understand that all the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat, but I’m not sure what is classified as meat. Does meat include chicken and dairy products?

A. Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs — all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden. However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste). Fish are a different category of animal. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted. Source]

Just out of curiosity, if you’re a vegetarian wouldn’t you avoid crab?

I am a vegetarian too.
I am scrupulous too.
So I am not sure what to tell you.

Whether or not chicken broth is ok on Fridays I don’t know.
I had a discussion with somebody recently about lard and then asked a priest and he said lard should not be taken on Lenten Fridays. I am not in the US and am not sure if these rules are general or not.
I don’t eat these things anyway.
Sorry I can’t be of more help. Maybe at least knowing that other people have similar problems helps…
Oh at least I can maybe help with the question how to confess it… well, just tell exactly what happened? The way you wrote it here? And say you were not sure is it a sin or not?

I don’t know if you are under the care of a confessor… like for example, my pastor and I agreed for my special case on how I should handle doubtful sins… meaning sins where I am not sure are they sins or not…respectively, are they grave sins or not… maybe you can find a confessor to come up with some rules too…?

The older rules were somewhat more rigorous than the current ones.

The current rule says that meat juices and broths are okay.

Actually, though, both the newer and older rules said that lard was okay, when used for frying, baking (piecrusts), etc.

What was not okay (in the old days, and maybe now) was making lard sandwiches. This is an Italian thing, where they use something cuisinish that’s not really like our lard at all. Basically they were having a meat sandwich, and that’s why it was against the fasting rules.

So yeah, if lard is your main dish ingredient, don’t use lard. Otherwise, it’s okey-dokey.

Probably the OP is anyway more interested in what is the right reaction when you doubt whether or not you can eat something or not… Trying to do the right thing, not sure was still picking at it a sin when in doubt, etc… I can sooooo relate to the kind of doubts… But what to do in case of doubt is different for scrupulous people and maybe even among them different from person to person??? and better to be talked about with a priest that knows you than here…

Straight across the river Styx for you Marypar. :smiley:

(just kidding)

You may go by what the Bishops said. It is permissible. However, you are always obliged to resolve a doubtful conscience. You must resolve the doubt by recouse to a lawful authority ( i.e. the Catechism, the national Bishops Council, a parish priest ). So I would tell your confessor that you acted without resolving the doubt. When you cannot resolve a doubt, you must avoid the anticipated act.


Chicken broth is permitted.

I’m more curious about you being a vegetarian yet eating the chicken broth. You only stopped eating the rice with the broth because you thought it might not be allowed under abstinence during Fridays in Lent. It seems then if you knew it was okay you would have continued to eat it. Why would a vegetarian eat chicken broth.

By the way if you live in the US abstinence from meat is only required during the Fridays of Lent and not on the other Fridays during the year.

Thank you all so much for the many responses.
I am not a vegan but vegetarian - I do eat fish, eggs, cheese.

So from the answers I read, I guess it was not forbidden. It was white rice with yellow coloring from the broth (not soup).

I will probably confess it anyway - sometimes I feel so embarrassed to confess silly things to the priest, but I force myself for peace of mind.

Love this forum and everyone is so nice.


Hi Thistle,
When eating the rice, I was more concerned about sinning than if it was chicken. Honestly, if this was any other day of the week, I wouldn’t even have asked, and just finish it without a care.

In my opinion you did not sin. First, of all you ordered what you thought was a non-meat meal so there was no intent. Second you stopped eating it when you found out it was chicken broth. Third it is questionable that it wasn’t allowed even if it was cooked in chicken broth. If it makes you feel better go ahead and bring it up at your next confession, but to be a sin it has to actually be a sin,you have to know what your doing is sinful, and do it anyway. In my opinion that criteria hadn’t been met, but that’s just my opinion

This as a general advice must be taken with caution by those suffering from scrupulosity.
I would recommend talking to ones confessor or parish priest about what to do about doubtful sins.

Sometimes scrupulous people see ridiculous things as “sins”.

Not saying THIS case was ridiculous, i think that is a very legitimate question.
Not sure what to tell you so, best ask a priest :).

I wrote this because I know that a lot of people with scrupulosity read this forum, who have maybe learned how to deal with their scruples and what to do about doubts, maybe (hopefully) with the help of a priest who knows them… and would not want for somebody to become confused again. :slight_smile:

Other rules may apply to them than for the general public. :wink: But one should talk to their confessor/priest about that, about how to deal with scruples.

Hope I didn’t write anything wrong.
Feeling uneasy now, a bit. If I wrote something wrong please somebody correct me. :slight_smile:

Hi Kathrin
You did nothing wrong; scruples is a very painful situation for me. I know in my heart I do not sin mortally as it is a big fear of mine. It’s just that I feel anything in my life that is not the usual day to day stuff, sticks in my mind that I have to tell the priest. Really things that a normal devout person would not even think twice about. I overthink things.
Scruples started when I returned to the Church after a long 20 or so year absence.
I do talk to the priest in Confession (in the beginning I was running to Confession every two weeks, now I am going every 1-2 months which is better for me).

Thank you everyone again.

In a moral theology handbook I read that, “a scrupulous person may do any act which unless at first sight without reflecting about it they can say it is a sin”.

Hmmmm… :wink: my scrupulous part then might answer: Of course I could always say something is a sin without reflecting.
I think the handbook means a kind of knowledge one has about the act?
To stay with the topic:
Eating meat on (Lenten) Friday. Needs no reflecting and I know it is sinful.

On the other hand: Eating lettuce on a Lenten Friday that I am not 100% sure has been washed well and there might still be an insect on it, who knows… hmmm… there the doubts start.
(Yes I HAVE had that doubt. Don’t laugh.)
Ok, laugh.
I had asked myself about yogurt as well, because of the acidophilous bacteria or whatever there is in it… might they count as animals…:blush:.

edit to come back to the original question, there are a lot of aspects to consider here, but since you are scrupulous too it is better to talk about this with your confessor becuase an aspect that somebody here raises might make the scruples worse.
And I have myself too many problems with deciding where sin starts and where not, that as for me I do not want to get into was this a sin or not… too unsure myself. :wink:

From the The Theory and Practice of Confession Manual

(1) For a scrupulous person an act which he does not recognize at once as a sin is not a sin; (2) he may do that which he sees other conscientious people do without scruple, even when it is contrary to his own judgment or his own opinion; (3) scruples are, for him, no reasonable ground for doing or for not doing an action, or for hesitating; and this applies to the doubt as to whether a scruple or a valid reason is in question.

I thought Christ died to free us from all this.

[LEFT]In answer to the OP it seems that it is technically O.K. but I have exactly the same problem at the moment as I have given up eating meat for Lent. I have, however, been using beef stock (Oxo) cubes - along with the water used for cooking vegetables – to make a gravy. As I tend towards scrupulosity it is causing me some concern but I just can’t do without the gravy, I’m missing meat badly enough as it is.[/LEFT]

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