Feb 19, 2010

During Lent, Catholics are not allowed to eat meat on Friday. This tradition has been going on for over a thousand years. But why? To answer this question, I checked out a variety of religious experts, i.e. I typed in "Why don't catholics eat meat on Fridays?" into a Google search and started looking for answers.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics between 14 and 59 are obliged to fast as well as abstain from meat. On other Fridays in Lent, Catholics, from 14 to the end of their lives, are bound to abstain from meat. The general law of the Church is that abstinence be observed on every Friday of the year (Code of Canon Law, can. 1252), but gives authority to the conference of bishops to substitute another form of penance (esp. works of piety and charity) for the Friday abstinence rule (can. 1253). Thus the U.S. Conference of Bishops has permitted the substitution of other forms of penance on Fridays of the year except in Lent. In Lent the general law of Friday abstinence is upheld, in the U.S. as elsewhere.

Jesus was a vegetarian.

Now here's where it get's interesting. It seems there may have been some economical implications into this theory as well...

The tradition of eating fish on Fridays and not other meat was, strangely enough, for ecomomical purposes.Back when the religion was smaller, most of it's members where poor fishermen.So in order to help their trade,the church decreed that all catholics should eat fish on every Friday.Eventually this was changed to be done only during Lent but it was originally done to help the fishermen's trade.

So it's not Biblical at all, eh?

The real reason for this is NOT Biblical, nor does it have anything to do with God!!! The Pope lives in Rome, Italy, and a very long time ago, the fishing industry needed to make more money, so the religious leaders decided that they would make one day a week, a meatless day, thus being ok to eat fish that day...which then became a law. The fishermen were happier now, they had more money, and could support the church!

So in other words: No meat on Friday --> People buy more fish --> Fishermen make more money --> Fishermen go to Church and spend money --> Pope profits $$$

According to a couple Atheist message boards on the topic:

The Pope's brother-in-law was in the wholesale fish business.

:: scratches chin. Ahhh, now isn't that interesting.

Many year ago the fisherman discovered how to catch more fish and were unable to sell there extra fish and wanted to week end off. It just so happened that the fisherman's wife was the mistress of the on going pope. So she held back her favours to the pope until he made it a rule for all those in his kingdom eat fish on Friday. So it is written. This question is about faith and belief not fact or imperial thinking and needs no close examination. Sort of like religion. Its all about make believe.

Good ole Atheists. Always chiming in with their two cents.

Here's something interesting. And if you happen to be a beaver and you are reading up to this point, you might want to look away:

There are two odd exceptions to this: at one point, Church authorities declared beaver meat could be considered fish; and there was a similar situation with the South American semi-aquatic mammal known as the capybara, which was also declared a "fish" for the purposes of Lent because it lived mostly in the water. Note that neither beavers nor capybara are domestic animals -- eating them wouldn't cut into the core livestock needed to maintain farms in the Spring.

In conclusion, Catholics don't eat Meat on Friday during Lent because Jesus didn't like meat, the Pope had a mistress who would hold out on sexual favors in exchange for banning meat, it's a Catholic tradition or it has nothing to do with the Bible, but most importantly...

The Pope owned a giant fish factory back in the day and made everyone buy his steamed flounder (plucked right out of the ocean, of course) so that he could make money off of it.

There you have it folks. Now get to McDonald's quick and pick up a couple Fillet-O-Fish before it's too late!