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Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations #345249 03/15/10 04:34 AM
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Brian Kerzetski Offline OP
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I noticed a commercial for Taco Bell, and in it they were advertising their new shrimp taco. "Well this is great!" I thought, "their shrimp isn't fried, so it may be a decent backup option for fast days." I checked the ingredients: Ranch sauce (I can request no sauce), tortilla (cooked with oil, bummer, maybe they'll make it into a salad), and shrimp (not fried, so woohoo!). But wait a minute, they use chicken broth in its preparation. Chicken broth?! For an item seemingly created specifically for the Lenten season something must be awry. I began a letter to the company, but decided to check my facts about the Latin Church first. Lo and behold, chicken broth is allowed during Lent. So, Taco Bell got it right for them. Good work.

But I have to wonder, why is chicken broth and other meat juices and fats acceptable during the fast for the Western Church? Perhaps the East's more disciplined guidelines have my mind working on another level, but I don't understand the West's version of abstinence. It doesn't seem like abstinence at all. What am I missing?

-Brian

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Brian Kerzetski] #345263 03/15/10 06:38 AM
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bpbasilphx Offline
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Well, now I would never go to Taco Bell for their shrimp tacos, since I know they contain chicken broth.

My own discipline--if I don't know it's in there, or can't taste or see it, it's not there.

However, I was taught that fried foods are ok if you don't use olive oil, butter, or lard.

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: bpbasilphx] #345285 03/15/10 04:08 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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I've always read that meat broths were not allowed for days where no meat is allowed in current Latin practice. Maybe I'm remembering this incorrectly, since I read this years ago when I converted (but I guess if I were converting from Orthodoxy I would've just "translated" - according to the new faddy wording used by some on this forum, but that's another can of worms). I've always done without any meat broths and thought such was required. Can you cite this information?

Alexis

Last edited by Logos - Alexis; 03/15/10 04:09 PM.
Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Logos - Alexis] #345288 03/15/10 04:25 PM
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Economos Roman V. Russo Offline
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Please! What pollutes a man is what comes out of his mouth, not what goes into it! Fast from evil and don't worry about 'Orthodox' kashrut!

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Economos Roman V. Russo] #345302 03/15/10 06:39 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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Father,

I think it's disrespectful to compare Christian fasting and abstinence standards to ritually-obsessed Jewish food laws. The two systems have very different aims.

Alexis

Last edited by Logos - Alexis; 03/15/10 06:39 PM.
Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Logos - Alexis] #345316 03/15/10 09:14 PM
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francis Offline
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Brian,

Quote

But I have to wonder, why is chicken broth and other meat juices and fats acceptable during the fast for the Western Church? Perhaps the East's more disciplined guidelines have my mind working on another level, but I don't understand the West's version of abstinence. It doesn't seem like abstinence at all. What am I missing?


You are right that the regulations for the Latin church allow things like chicken broth (although most practicing Catholics I know avoid such items in their own practice).

I think the difference between the West and the East in this matter comes from an underlying different way of looking at all such regulations.

- In the West, a regulation is seen as the minimum requirement and failing to follow it is perceived as a serious failure, perhaps even a sin.

- In the East, a regulation is seen as an ideal to strive for and failing to follow it is perceived as an opportunity to do better in the future.

So if the Western church were to set strict fasting guidelines like the East, I think you would see many Latin Catholics very disturbed by their inability to follow the guidelines and this could cause a serious crisis for them. This leads to much more relaxed guidelines in the West than in the East.

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: francis] #345322 03/15/10 11:36 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Where did you get the idea broth was allowed? Growing up no chicken or other meat broth or gravy were allowed.

Abstinence 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.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.

http://www.ewtn.com/expert/expertfaqframe.asp?source=/vexperts/conference.htm



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Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #345323 03/15/10 11:47 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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Fr. Dcn.,

Thanks. As I said, I've always read (though it's been a long time since I took the time to look, the subject not being one that necessitates multiple check-ups...at least I thought) that anything "meat-based" like a broth is not allowed.

Francis,

That's one way of looking at it and perhaps largely true now, but in the past the West also had incredibly stringent fasting and abstinence standards just like the East. Over the past 700 years ago these have been chipped away at, leaving the worse-than-barebones scheme we have now. Perhaps the Western view that it is a serious failure to not abide by the fasting and abstinence requirement is a result of and not a basis for the loose Roman Catholic fasting and abstinence requirements of our day.

Alexis

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Logos - Alexis] #345340 03/16/10 05:00 AM
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Brian Kerzetski Offline OP
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Thanks to some of you who answered (to others, I hope you at least had fun with your posts).

To answer the questions about where I found my information, I offer the following two links:

EWTN Q&A

AmericanCatholic.org Article

These were as official as I could find with my searches, but I believe them to be fairly reliable.

Thank you Francis for your response. I believe it embodies the views of the Eastern and Western churches of today.

I also agree with Alexis. The West did have similar standards to ours in times gone by. In my view, many of the regulations which help those in the west live as good Christians have been pushed aside. The West certainly has beautiful traditions, and I pray they will continue to work to keep them or bring them back.

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Brian Kerzetski] #345384 03/16/10 10:29 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Brian,

AmericanCatholic is the website of St. Anthony's Messenger which is unfortunately prone to errors so I would toss that one. My info was from EWTN as well so they have seemingly contradictory info. However, my quote is from their canon law expert so I would go with that before an anonymous artilce from ZENIT.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #345421 03/17/10 06:22 AM
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Brian Kerzetski Offline OP
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For the record, I tried a shrimp taco this evening (Tuesday) and they are pretty good.

Thank you Fr. Deacon for the clarification. I makes me feel better about the West's convictions.

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Brian Kerzetski] #345517 03/18/10 09:37 PM
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babochka Offline
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I recently came across this information for fasting regulations prior to Vatican II. It might help to explain where the idea came from that meat broths are acceptable.

Rules for Fast for the United States - November 1958

Everyone between 21 and 59 years of age is bound to observe the law of fast. The days of fast are all the days in Lent, all days of partial abstinence except Sundays. On days of fast only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength may be taken according to each one's need, but together they should not equal another full meal. Meat may be taken at the principal meal on a day of fast except on days of complete abstinence. Eating between meals is not permitted but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. In doubt concerning fast or abstinence, consult your parish priest or confessor.

Rules of Abstinence

Everyone over 7 years of age is bound to observe the law of abstinence. Complete abstinence is to be observed on Fridays, Ash Wednesday, Holy Saturday and the Vigils of the Immaculate Conception (December 7) and Christmas (December 24). On days of complete abstinence, meat and soup or gravy made from meat may not be used at all. Partial abstinence is to be observed on Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays and the vigil of Pentecost (Saturday before). On days of partial abstinence, (which are all the days of Lent for those bound by the laws of fasting) which are not complete abstinence days or Sundays, meat and soup or gravy made from meat may be taken only once a day at the principal meal.

Elizabeth

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: babochka] #345526 03/18/10 11:42 PM
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I think we made a mistake in not having the fast all fridays of the year and it would be good to go back to the idea of wednesdays too.
Stephanos I

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: Stephanos I] #345527 03/18/10 11:55 PM
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babochka Offline
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Originally Posted by Stephanos I
I think we made a mistake in not having the fast all fridays of the year and it would be good to go back to the idea of wednesdays too.
Stephanos I


I agree. I was an adult before I ever heard that all Fridays of the year were penitential. I just thought it was a "lent thing". In my defense, though, I went to 12 years of Catholic school starting in the early 70s.

Re: Roman Catholic Fasting Regulations [Re: babochka] #345653 03/22/10 02:46 AM
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http://www.jimmyakin.org/2004/02/the_law_of_abst.html

http://www.jimmyakin.org/2005/02/soups_redux.html

It would appear that the 1983 Code did away with the prohibition of soups made from meat stock. But still forbids soups that have meat chunks/bits in them.

Once again, in the West we give the minimum and encourage you to do more and in the East the ultimate goal is proscribed and exceptions are freely given. 2 sides of the same coin.

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