Abstinence from meat during Lent, does this also include abstaining from fish?

Abstinence from meat during Lent, does this also include abstaining from fish?

VATICAN, Gtpministries.org – Why does the Church “instruct” Catholics not to eat meat on Fridays (as well as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday), but does it also include fish?

Catholics have long established Friday as a special commemoration of repentance. With it the Church gladly suffers with Christ, so that one day she may be glorified with Him. This is the essence of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays.

Because it is believed that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross on a Friday, Christians from the beginning have set aside that day to unite their suffering with Jesus. This led the Church to recognize every Friday as “Good Friday” on which Christians could remember Christ’s passion, by offering a certain type of penance.

For most of the Church’s history, meat was chosen as a worthy sacrifice because of its association with feasts and celebrations. In most ancient cultures, meat was considered a delicacy and “fattened calves” were not slaughtered unless there was something to celebrate.

For this reason, meat on Friday, the “anniversary” of Christ’s death, does not seem “appropriate” to be a meal choice.

Fish is not Meat

But the United States Conference of Bishops (USCCB) has stated on one occasion that fish is not considered “meat”? according to them, the “meat” referred to in Church Law classifies meat taboos only as meat from “land animals” (chicken, cows, sheep or pigs – all of which live on land).

However, fish, on the other hand, do not fall into the same classification. Fish are a different category of animal. Salted and freshwater fish species, amphibians, reptiles (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted during abstinence.

In Latin, the word used to describe what kind of “meat” is not permitted on Friday is carnis , and is specifically concerned with ‘animal flesh’ and never includes fish as part of the definition. Additionally, fish in this culture is not considered a “celebratory” food.

Current Context

However, nowadays the situation is much different. In reality, meat has become increasingly common and is considered a cheaper or more common menu option. Meat in many cultures and societies no longer has a cultural connection with it as a “celebration”. This is why many people are confused by his rules regarding abstinence, especially those who like to eat fish or meat and do not consider it a penance.

For this reason, the rule of abstinence referred to by the Church is to encourage believers to offer sacrifices to God. the main thing is the offering of the heart and uniting one’s suffering with the suffering of Christ on the cross.

Abstinence must be closely related to every individual’s practice of mortifying oneself with the aim of experiencing the suffering of Jesus on the cross. The point is to make sacrifices that bring one closer to Christ.

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