So the English bishops are bringing back meatless Fridays. A sensible thing to do, in my opinion. When, after having been Catholic for a year or so, we discovered that Fridays were supposed to still be penitential and you were still supposed to abstain from something, we implemented meatless Fridays in our family. Actually, we often have meatless Thursdays as well, so as to have meatless Friday leftovers for lunch.
Knowing that giving up meat was the longstanding practice of the church made going meatless an obvious choice. I think that not only do a whole lot of Catholics not even know we're supposed to still practice some sort of Friday abstinence, but with the variety of possible choices open to everyone, it's hard to know what to give up. If meat goes back to being the standard, the discipline actually becomes easier -- and it is nice knowing that all your fellow church-goers are doing the same thing along with you.
Although, one also should probably remember that even though an excellent pan-seared salmon meets the meatless criteria, it might not actually be penitential.
5 years ago