Skip to comments.Some Australian Bishops Suggest Restoring Year-Round Friday Abstinence
Posted on 03/18/2014 5:53:22 AM PDT by marshmallow
PERTH, Australia (CNS) -- Several Australian bishops said they would support re-establishment of year-round Friday abstinence in Australia, following the lead of England and Wales.
Auxiliary Bishop Peter Elliott of Melbourne, Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore and Bishop Michael Kennedy of Armidale are among prelates who said they support Friday abstinence from meat -- without sanction of sin -- almost 30 years after it became non-compulsory in Australia.
In 2011, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales restored Friday abstinence.
Friday penance regulations in England and Wales were relaxed in 1985, as they were in Australia, allowing Catholics to perform an alternative form of penance. U.S. bishops ended obligatory abstinence in 1966.
Looking back at the decision to end Friday abstinence in Australia, Bishop Elliott said it was a "big pastoral and spiritual mistake."
"I can understand why that happened, in the mood of that era, but I believe it failed to take into account human psychology," he said.
Friday abstinence was a universal practice that Catholics were obliged to fulfill under pain of sin until Pope Paul VI issued his apostolic constitution on penance in 1966. The document gave bishops, acting through their episcopal conferences, the ability to establish the norms "they consider the most opportune and efficacious" in regards to fasting and abstinence.
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What about the American bishops?
Anyone check to see if they’ve recently taken positions in Gorton’s and Mrs. Paul’s?
Where in the Bible does it say not to eat meat on Fridays?
I think the Church should worry more about getting the faithful to understand Christ’s teachings, than coming up with more rules to drive people away.
IIRC, England (Anglican Church) at one time designated 2 days a week as fish days to help out the fishing industry. It wasn’t penance. Maybe 200-300 years ago. I no longer have the book but remember it because I’m Catholic and it caught my eye.
Read my Post 6.
In the United States, people are supposed to either abstain from meat or do some other form of penance.
How does that "some other form of penance" work?
American Catholics will pay about as much attention to abstaining from meat as they do current guidance.
It’s far from unnatural that something like this could and does happen when the head of the government and the head of the church are the same person. And, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Church’s prohibition is against meat, not pro-fish. The idea was to abstain from what constituted the high point in the daily diet. Once lobster thermidor, clams cassino, trout meuniere, etc., became available via refrigeration/electricity, abstaining from “meat” became less a sacrifice. Even so, it was as vivid a sign of Catholicism as ashes on the first Wednesday of Lent.
You may have heard the story, but I love the one about Perry Como who complained that the dinners to which he was invited invariably fell on Fridays. His stock line was, “I’ll have a poached egg on toast, and please serve it HOT.” Even if it wasn’t always a great sacrifice, it was still an undeniable profession of faith.
Apparently the Bible doesn’t matter. Penance isn’t biblical in the first place. A man’s standing before God is found wholly in Christ, not in rule-keeping and moralism. Christ Himself said, “unless your righteousness EXCEEDS that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Emphasis mine)
Christ fulfilled the law and set believers free. True born again Christians are firmly fixed and complete in Christ. Their standing before God doesn’t waver because they are in Him.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:9-10)
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Ephesians 2: 16-17)
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)
You got that right!
I’m with the Australian Bishops. Do year round abstinence right now.
If you are driven away by the prospect of foregoing meat one day a week, that says a lot about you, not the Church.
I could never figure out how a shrimp Po’Boy or a fried catfish platter could be considered penance. I’ll bet Mike Andersons is packed this Friday.
I wish they would do that in the States. I love fish.
Do a word search on "fasting," please. Then read Paul's comments on penance in 2 Cor in the original Greek.
Fish on Fridays for Catholics is in the chapter immediately after the chapter commanding Wednesday night Bible study for Protestants.
You deeply misunderstand ‘fasting’ if you think it is in any way related to repentance.
You should have directed Mr. K to the Dagon worship section in the ‘illuminated’ catechism.