Friday, January 06, 2012

Cheeseburger Friday!

Today being a Friday, is usually a day of penance observation for Catholics (though many Catholics are unaware of this requirement).  The traditional penance is to abstain from meat, but that has been changed in the post-Vatican II era.  It doesn't HAVE to be meat anymore - but must be something equivalent AND per approval from ones episcopal conference - but it CAN still be meat!  Since the rule was relaxed a bit many Catholics have assumed there is no more requirement - but they would be wrong here AND it is a mortal sin to fail to properly observe this precept.

What is involved here?

The USCCB says:
Fridays Throughout the Year In memory of Christ's suffering and death, the Church prescribes making each Friday throughout the year a penitential day. All of us are urged to prepare appropriately for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday.

While that's a bit vague, even weak in merely "urging" us, the Code of Canon Law is not so weak:

Canon 1251: Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday.

And, keeping in mind that Canon 1251 has never been abrogated:

Canon 33 §1 General executory decrees, even if published in directories or other such documents, do not derogate from the law, and any of their provisions which are contrary to the law have no force.
§2 These decrees cease to have force by explicit or implicit revocation 
§2 These decrees cease to have force by explicit or implicit revocation by the competent authority, and by the cessation of the law for whose execution they were issued. They do not cease on the expiry of the authority of the person who issued them, unless the contrary is expressly provided.

So, enjoy that cheeseburger today - but do keep in mind WHY you would normally NOT have that cheeseburger and that a solemnity is a "gift" as every Sunday is.


  1. I still had my seafood yesterday. Old habits are heard to break! LOL!

  2. No harm there at all Steve, no harm at all!



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