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Author Topic: Friday Abstinence and the USCCB  (Read 2475 times)
JMGDD
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« on: July 30, 2010, 05:38:PM »

Hi all,

My first post here, so be gentle...

Per Canon 1250, abstinence on all Fridays of the year (not just Lenten Fridays) remains the norm in the Universal Church.  However, I recall being told several years ago that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops had petitioned the Vatican on behalf of American Catholics for what amounts to a dispensation from this requirement, so long as another penitential or charitable act took its place.  If this is the case, could someone point me to the pertinent Vatican statement?  Or, is US insistence what lead to Canon 1253, which allows each conference of bishops to define practices? 

Relevant canons:  http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P4O.HTM
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3Sanctus
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010, 05:40:PM »

Welcome to the Tank!   Fish-Eater Smackdown

Sorry, but this post is devoid of useful information.
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2010, 06:15:PM »

Personally, I can never think of anything else that seems suitable, so I just give up meat on fridays.   LOL
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3Sanctus
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2010, 06:20:PM »

I had thought about Friday Adoration, but that is kinda out-of-the-way, so I just stick to meatless Fridays.  While tradition is nice, I'd think heavier fasting or some good prayer (like a Holy Hour) would be more spiritually beneficial for the individual and for the object of the grace rewarded (presuming it's not the individual).
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Ora pro nobis, Sancta Mater Dei.

"Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM."  -Our Lord

"I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ."  -St. Basil the Great, Letter 203
Adam Wayne
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 08:31:PM »


Personally, I can never think of anything else that seems suitable, so I just give up meat on fridays.   LOL

Me too. But, I just finished a delicious dinner of Lake Pearch, probably the best dinner I had all week. So it hardly seems much in the way of a penance.
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Schmendrick
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2010, 02:33:AM »

Hi all,

My first post here, so be gentle...

Per Canon 1250, abstinence on all Fridays of the year (not just Lenten Fridays) remains the norm in the Universal Church.  However, I recall being told several years ago that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops had petitioned the Vatican on behalf of American Catholics for what amounts to a dispensation from this requirement, so long as another penitential or charitable act took its place.  If this is the case, could someone point me to the pertinent Vatican statement?  Or, is US insistence what lead to Canon 1253, which allows each conference of bishops to define practices? 

Relevant canons:  http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P4O.HTM

The pertinent Vatican statement is Pope Paul’s apostolic constitution Pænitemini of 17 February 1966, by which ‘the prescriptions of ecclesiastical law regarding penitence are totally reorganized’ and which said that it is the task of episcopal conferences to ‘transfer for just cause the days of penitence, always taking into account the Lenten season’ and to ‘substitute abstinence and fast wholly or in part with other forms of penitence and especially works of charity and the exercises of piety’.

This allowed the USCCB, on 18 November of the same year, to issue On Penance and Abstinence, in which the bishops ‘hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence binding under pain of sin’ but ‘do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law’.  Further, they say, ‘We emphasize that our people are henceforth free from the obligation traditionally binding under pain of sin in what pertains to Friday abstinence, except as noted above for Lent. We stress this so that “no” scrupulosity will enter into examinations of conscience, confessions, or personal decisions on this point.’

Canon 1253 (‘The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence’) essentially codified the power already given episcopal conferences by Pænitemini.
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Mhoram
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2010, 08:11:AM »

This allowed the USCCB, on 18 November of the same year, to issue On Penance and Abstinence, in which the bishops ‘hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence binding under pain of sin’ but ‘do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law’.

Good thing we don't have a fallen human nature then, or that wouldn't have worked out so well.

Seriously, I know the problems with modernism go back more than a century (15 minutes with Chesterton proves that), and this stuff didn't come out of nowhere with Vatican II.  But sometimes it does seem like most of the hierarchy in the mid-60s were replaced with pod people who had George W. Bush-ian levels of optimistic fantasy about human nature.
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glgas
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2010, 08:56:AM »


Seriously, I know the problems with modernism go back more than a century (15 minutes with Chesterton proves that), and this stuff didn't come out of nowhere with Vatican II.  But sometimes it does seem like most of the hierarchy in the mid-60s were replaced with pod people who had George W. Bush-ian levels of optimistic fantasy about human nature.

The modernism, in the sense to prefer the human component against the divine started in the 2nd Century with the gnosticism. Some Church Fathers claim, that the father of all heresy including the modernism is Simon Magus form Acts 8
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JMGDD
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2010, 05:29:PM »

The pertinent Vatican statement is Pope Paul’s apostolic constitution Pænitemini of 17 February 1966...

Thanks for the information, Schmendrick. 
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SoCalLocal
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2010, 10:26:PM »

In a sense, it makes sense to allow some substitution. I was talking to an English guy - strong Catholic, very knowledgeable - and he was amazed we still gave up meat on Fridays in Lent! He said they "did away with that sometime in the 60's." After some discussion, he pointed out that when the national dish is fish and chips, it's not really much of a sacrifice to have it on Friday.

In practical terms, the catechesis on the change sucked. They only got as far as saying you can eat meat on Friday and seemingly omitted the rest.

We stick with the time-tested one. The tuna sandwich at Subway loses it appeal quick,  and Tuna Helper for dinner gets old fast too.   
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