Thursday, August 18, 2011
MEATLESS FRIDAYS: IT'S A NO BRAINER!
In 1967 Pope Paul VI made optional meatless Fridays while still encouraging some form of penance or mortification on Friday in remembrance of our Lord's passion and death.
The bishops of Great Britain have re-instituted this iconic practice. While external and not really a big penance for people who like seafood, it did bind Catholics in a common practice and gave us an "external" identity that marked us a "Fish-eaters." While of course we are marked as Jesus' followers and that is primary, externals point to what should be internalized about our relationship to God and our religious practices.
The 1960's was all about iconoclasm of our pre-Vatican II identity, a rupture with that bad old Church before the "renewal." Latin, gone, meatless,Fridays, gone, chastity, gone; habits, gone; rosaries, novenas and devotions, gone; beautifully, ornate churches, gone; Catholic identity, gone!
Today Mass attendance has dropped to all time lows, Catholics don't know what their faith teaches and think Catholicism Lite is a good alternative and children in most communities at least in this country have never seen a nun in their school let alone be taught be one.
READ WHAT ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY DOLAN THINKS ABOUT MEATLESS FRIDAYS. MAYBE HE CAN RALLY HIS BROTHER BISHOPS AND PROVIDE THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP THAT ENABLED GREAT BRITAIN'S BISHOPS TO BRING BACK MEATLESS FRIDAYS! OR MAYBE POPE BENEDICT COULD DO IT LIKE POPE PAUL UNDID IT? PRESS HERE.
Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Thursday, August 18, 2011
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My family has observed Meatless Fridays since Lent of 2008. We adopted it again after we started to attend the EF Mass and relying upon our own investigation of our Faith and setting aside all we had been "taught" in the preceding 40 years. Like most others we had been told "the Church did away with that", which as we all know is not quite the truth. Like everything else that seemed to come out of the Papacy of Paul VI, it wasn't done away with, it just allowed for "options". Catholics don't need options. We need the Truth.
A few days ago I had the unexpected opportunity to discuss this topic very briefly with a Southern Baptist, who says he has a soft-spot for the Catholic Church.
He was aware that the Catholic Church no longer required meatless Fridays, but that's all he knew on the subject.
Fortunately and happily I was prepared to state the truth of the current state of affairs, namely that it is still required during Lent. Plus also that the regional Bishops have the authority to add/remove this requirement and that in the UK it has been reinstated and that in the USA it is being considered for reinstating. Also, I got to say that the penitential nature of Friday was never removed and that if one ate meat, then a Catholic is supposed to replace it with some other pentitential act.
It was a very brief and short moment and I was grateful to know what I was talking about, a large part thanks to this very blog site!
Thank you for this article - I was unaware of the Archbishop's FB page & blog until I read this post!
@ Templar & SqueekerLamb - AMEN to you both! Our 'external markers' do provide many opportunities to share our faith while enriching our own spirituality! - pgal
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