Deacon's Corner: Abstaining from Meat
August 7, 2022, 12:00 PM
Did you know that Catholics are to abstain from eating meat on ALL Fridays throughout the year? The 1983 Code of Canon Law says, All Fridays through the year are penitential days (Canon §1250). Abstinence from eating meat is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities (Canon §1251). The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste. Abstaining from meat is obligatory on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the Fridays during Lent. On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. Bishops obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the U.S. to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. If people choose to eat meat on a Friday, then they must do an additional penitential or charitable practice on these Fridays. So, pick your penance! Now you know!