What pope started no meat on Friday?
Is It a Sin To Eat Meat on Good Friday?
It is well known that in the Catholic Church, fasting and abstaining from meat during Good Friday is a long tradition and practice. Some may be wondering if eating meat during Good Friday is really a huge mortal sin offense? Is it really that bad if you eat meat on Good Friday? Let’s discuss it!
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday is a solemn day that marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a day of fasting, prayer, and repentance for many Christians around the world. It is also a day of fasting and abstinence from eating meat from animals. However, it is okay if you consume broth made from meat like bone broth or chicken broth if you’re eating soup for example. The Church also allows the consumption of fish.
Where in the Bible Does it Say Not to Eat Meat on Friday?
It is not stated in the Bible that it is banned to eat meat on Good Friday, however, this practice has sought inspiration from the bible, specifically Daniel 10:2-3 “In those days, I, Daniel, mourned three full weeks. I ate no savory food, took no meat or wine, and did not anoint myself at all until the end of the three weeks.”
Catholic Church uses the practice of fasting and abstaining from meat on Good Friday, as a way to commemorate Christ’s crucifixion and death on Good Friday.
When did the tradition of not eating meat on Good Friday start?
Not eating meat on Good Friday has been a long tradition in the Catholic Church. In fact, it started as a law stating that all Catholics should abstain from meat every Friday of the year.
For many years Catholics abstained from meat and fasted every Friday as a way to honor the memory of Christ’s death who died on a Friday. But in 866 AD, Pope Nicholas the First implemented the Friday meat abstinence a universal rule of the Church.
In 1983, the revised code of canon law stated that Abstinence from meat should only be observed on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday and that the age that this should be strictly followed would start from Age 14. Abstaining from eating meat on all Fridays of Lent has also been extended by the Catholic Church.
Is it a sin to eat meat on Good Friday?
The answer to this question heavily depends on the gravitational of sin that this practice can tap into. Generally, the Church has mandated abstinence from meat on Good Friday therefore it is a practice that the Church universally acknowledges. If you are caught between different scenarios that lead you to eat meat on Good Friday, then the outcome of the gravity of sin may vary.
For example, if you are sick and part of your strict dietary requirements is to eat animal protein every day, then if you consume meat on Good Friday, that’s likely not a sin at all, and you fall into the category of exemption from abstaining consuming meat on Good Friday.
However, if you do consume meat on Good Friday with full knowledge of the practice, and you intend to do it just because you want to and would like to disregard the practice, then that can fall into sin.
What if I accidentally ate meat on Friday during Lent?
If you accidentally eat meat without your full knowledge, that the food that you were consuming had meat and you only found out after consumption, that will probably not fall into sin. This is mainly because you have no intent to disobey the practice of abstaining from meat, but you fell into an accidental situation.
Is it a sin to eat meat?
No, The Catholic Church definitely believes that it is not a sin to eat meat.
What Else Should I Abstain From During Good Friday?
The Church also encourages us to abstain not just from meat but other things and activities as well during Good Friday. Since it is a day to commemorate the Lord’s death and suffering, engaging in loud activities like going to concerts, playing loud dance music, and the like is highly discouraged. The Church encourages us to spend our time in prayer and reflection on the Passion of Christ.
What Activities Should I Do During Good Friday?
If you’re looking for something to do on Good Friday that does not involve recreational activities, we highly suggest you try out an online Lenten retreat. Pray More Lenten Retreat is one of our favorites because it is a full-on online retreat that can be done at your own pace, anytime and anywhere. It also gives you a free option, making it accessible to all.
Related Catholic Articles
- Good Friday
- The Original Sin
- Ash Wednesday
- Threats to Marriage
- What is Palm Sunday?
Catholic Church can curb carbon emissions by returning to meat-free Fridays
Even a small dietary change by a minority of UK Catholics had significant environmental benefits, say researchers, who argue that a papal decree reinstating meatless Fridays across the global church would save millions of tonnes of carbon a year.
If the Pope was to reinstate the obligation for meatless Fridays to all Catholics globally, it could be a major source of low-cost emissions reductions
In 2011, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales called on congregations to return to foregoing meat on Fridays. Only around a quarter of Catholics changed their dietary habits – yet this still saved over 55,000 tonnes of carbon a year, according to a new study led by the University of Cambridge.
Researchers say that, in terms of CO2 emissions, this is equivalent to 82,000 fewer people taking a return trip from London to New York over the course of a year.
The current Catholic leader, Pope Francis, has called for “radical” responses to climate change. The researchers argue that if the Pope reinstated meatless Fridays across the global church, it could mitigate millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.
For example, they say that if Catholic bishops in the United States alone issued an ‘obligation’ to resist meat on the last day of the working week, environmental benefits would likely be twenty times larger than in the UK.
“The Catholic Church is very well placed to help mitigate climate change, with more than one billion followers around the world,” said lead author Professor Shaun Larcom from Cambridge’s Department of Land Economy.
“Pope Francis has already highlighted the moral imperative for action on the climate emergency, and the important role of civil society in achieving sustainability through lifestyle change.
“Meat agriculture is one of the major drivers of greenhouse gas emissions. If the Pope was to reinstate the obligation for meatless Fridays to all Catholics globally, it could be a major source of low-cost emissions reductions,” Larcom said. “Even if only a minority of Catholics choose to comply, as we find in our case study.”
Traditionally, the practice of refraining from meat one day a week saw many Catholics – and indeed large sections of the population in predominantly Christian countries – turn to fish on Fridays as a protein substitute.
The overall Catholic share of the British population has remained largely stable for decades at just under 10%, say economists behind the study, published as a working paper awaiting peer-review on the Social Science Research Network.
Larcom and colleagues combined new survey data with that from diet and social studies to quantify the effects of a statement issued by the Catholic Church for England and Wales re-establishing meat-free Fridays as a collective act of penance from September 2011 onwards after a 26-year hiatus.
Commissioned survey results suggest that 28% of Catholics in England and Wales adjusted their Friday diet following this announcement. Of this segment, 41% stated that they stopped eating meat on Friday, and 55% said they tried to eat less meat on that day. For those who said they just reduced consumption, the researchers assumed a halving of meat intake on a Friday.*
People in England and Wales eat an average of 100 grams of meat a day, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). Researchers calculated that even the small reduction in meat intake by a section of the Catholic population was equal to each working adult across the whole of England and Wales cutting two grams of meat a week out of their diet.
The team then calculated the carbon footprint for this tiny fall in meat consumption by comparing emissions generated from average daily diets of meat eaters and non-meat eaters in England and Wales. The average high protein non-meat diet, including foods such as fish and cheese, contributes just a third of the greenhouse gas emissions per kilo compared to the average meat eater.
Assuming the Catholics who did adapt their diet switched to high protein non-meat meals on Fridays, this equates to approximately 875,000 fewer meat meals a week, which saves 1,070 tonnes of carbon – or 55,000 tonnes over a year, according to researchers.
In addition to their central calculation, the researchers used a natural experiment approach across the United Kingdom to compare meat consumption in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where Catholic bishops did not attempt to reintroduce meatless Fridays, with that in England and Wales from 2009 to 2019.
Using NDNS diet diary data the team pinpointed mealtime changes on Fridays only, and found meat consumption fell by around eight grams per person in the ‘treatment jurisdiction’ of England and Wales following the re-establishment of the Catholic obligation, compared to the rest of the UK.
There could be many reasons for this dietary shift – meat intake has fallen across the country over this time – but the team argue the reduction at least partly resulted from the return of meatless Fridays. As such, they say that the carbon footprint calculations using a two-gram per week drop are likely to be conservative.
Researchers also tested for ‘religious impacts’ using longitudinal survey data that questioned UK Catholics on their religious lives. No discernible effect on either church attendance or strength of personal religious belief was detected over the period in which meat-free Fridays were reintroduced.
“Our results highlight how a change in diet among a group of people, even if they are a minority in society, can have very large consumption and sustainability implications,” said co-author Dr Po-Wen She, a fellow of Cambridge’s Department of Land Economy.
Co-author Dr Luca Panzone from Newcastle University added: “While our study looked at a change in practice among Catholics, many religions have dietary proscriptions that are likely to have large natural resource impacts. Other religious leaders could also drive changes in behaviour to further encourage sustainability and mitigate climate change.”
For Christians, the practice of meat-free Fridays dates back to at least Pope Nicholas I’s declaration in the 9th century. Catholics were required to abstain from eating meat (‘flesh, blood, or marrow’) on Fridays in memory of Christ’s death and crucifixion.
However, fish and vegetables, along with crabs, turtles and even frogs, were permitted. The researchers point out that the practice was observed so fervently among some American Catholics that it led to the invention of the Filet-o-Fish meal by the burger chain McDonald’s.
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