Saturday, November 25, 2006

Meatless Friday A Thing Of The Past?
Hat Tip to Former Altar Boy

With the exception of a handful of us right-wing reactionary cranks, abstaining from meat on Fridays is a thing that belongs to the BVT Era (Before Vatican Two).

For those of us here in the year 44 SVT (Since Vatican Two) who think that there's no longer a Church decree that demands an obligatory sacrifice... well, guess again.

Chalk it up to the "Spirit of Vatican II" hippies that have been screwing up Holy Mother The Church for over 40 years now. If you want to know what the official Church teaching is, check out Paenitemini.

The Church did change the requirement that all must abstain from meat (in reference to Christ 'giving up the flesh' on a Friday, and we should as well), and made it optional. But there is still a mandatory decree that we all offer up some sort of sacrifice. It was suggested that fasting and abstinence may be replaced with prayer and works of charity. Funny, I don't remember Father Limpwrist ever mentioning that.

Personally, I abstain on Fridays. It's not easy... I want something dead on my plate. But then again, if sacrifice was easy, then it wouldn't be a sacrifice, right?

Someone should tell that to Father Skippy Handwringer and Sister Mary Liberated. But then again, they're still pushing for a sacrifice-free Catholicism-Lite. You know... all the flavor, none of the Graces.


Blogger Dave said...

Eating fish isn't much of a penance anymore, considering the price...

You could have a nice big plate of tofu instead, or the organ meat of your choice...

I wonder if we could persuade Holy Mother Church to make liver, chitterlings, and tripe acceptable substitutes for Friday penance?

8:35 PM  
Blogger Moneybags said...

To reply to your comment:

"the more I look at the situation with the SSPX, I realize that they are more in-line with authentic Catholic Teachings than, oh, let's say... the Archdiocese of Los Angeles or Boston."

I would most times have to agree with you.

In regards to this post, I also observe meatless Fridays:

Canon 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."

Canon 1253 provides an exception to the rule - and, perhaps, an explanation for the cultural shift: "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."

I was just wondering if you have added me to your sidebar yet. You said that you would, but I understand that life can be busy.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Jeff Miller said...

Actually what the Church changed was that the penance for Fridays would be set by the various Bishop's conferences. The USCCB norm for this though was was to set a voluntary penance at each persons discretion. Which of course is a joke.

Jimmy Akin has a great article on the subject.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Actually, per Paenitemini, there was no longer a Church-wide mandatory abstention from fleshmeats. The various Episcopal Conferences simply went with the flow.

The eating of fish, in and of itself, isn't a penance. It's the abstention from the flesh of mammals that is.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

"all the flavor, none of the Graces" - LMAO!

Yes, abstaining is a sacrifice for us PETA members (People Eating Tasty Animals).

Of course, I'm sure you've heard the word VEGETARIAN. Actually, it's derived from an old Indian word, not sure which tribe, Algonquin maybe, meaning Lousy Hunter.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Dave said...


I do understand the distinction. OTOH, are lobster, crab, or even salmon truly penitential anymore? Having them on Friday may fulfill the letter of the law, but it is certainly not within its spirit.

Also, disciplines are designed to be altered according to times and circumstances. At one time, meat - any meat - was considered to be a luxury, and shellfish and fish as common a food as one could get (lobsters used to be used for hog feed). Nowadays, seafood is dear and "variety meats" are held in contempt. Hence my suggestions of going vegetarian or having icky meats instead, or going vegan (no dairy or eggs, like the Eastern Rite Catholics do...

7:50 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Fridays are pasta, pizza or tuna sub nights at our house.When I was younger it meant I got my beloved McDonald's cod fish filet for lunch.

10:54 AM  
Blogger bocephus431 said...

Thanks for this post. What a bunch of crap that Catholics caved on this so fast. We just keep getting weaker and weaker. Lent has become a joke as well. More relativism creeping in - "don't suffer, be happy". Makes me want to puke. Preach it Caveman, people need to tighten up!

That and the freakin' Contraceptives handed it to the Catholics last night.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

I understand what you're saying now Jimbob. I mistakenly thought you were under the impression that the act of eating fish in and of itself was the penitential act.

My mistake. And you're right. A lobster meal hardly qualifies as a "sacrifice".

2:16 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Your comment reminded my of the BVT Fridays of my childhood were dinner was tuna casserole or fish stick and french fries. By the the time I was in high school, it was going to McDonald's after the CYA dance and hang out until midnight so you could have a burger, or settle for the Filet-o-fish (sorry, not my favorite, definite sacrifice!)

4:13 PM  
Blogger Angry Orthodox said...

Heck folks, I and Mrs Angry O go meatless every Wednesday and Friday. It's the Advent and Great Lents that are really, but it's alot easier than being flogged, Crucified, burned alive, fed to lions, disemboweled etc

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Cajun Nick said...


I know that you're given to hyperbole; however, you should know that here in my little Cajun parish, our pastor has made certain that we know that Friday's are for abstinence (or some other sacrifice).

We celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass - reverently - and we have vocations coming out of our parish.

I love to read your blog (too bad for Notre Dame, by the way), and I hope that you continue.

However, I just think that you should know that it's not ALL bad out here where we don't have a "traditional" mass.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

No pun intended, but your parish is the proverbial fish out of water.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, eating any kind of sea food would be a huge penance. *gag!*

I too go meatless on Wednesdays and Fridays, but I don't go totally vegan yet.

Dr. Eric

8:58 AM  
Blogger dadwithnoisykids said...

Somehow I crave meat more on Friday than on any other day. Tonight, if I get home in time, I will grill Mahi-Mahi.

Sure beats the vegetarian lasagna my wife is cooking for those who don't like seafood.

10:44 AM  

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