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Author Topic: The discipline of fasting/abstinence: traditional norms outdated?  (Read 4902 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: June 06, 2011, 02:49:11 AM »

I think YOUR the ones who are sinning mortally by being overscrupulously fasting!  And by forcing your children if you have them to do so!  Child protective services should beat down your door!  As 9/11 has taught us, all religious belief must bow down to secular reasoning! 

What a ridiculous comment.   How can anyone take you seriously?  Some vegetarians I know are among the most healthy families there are.  They fast more scrupulously and have healthy families.   Our family feasts heartily and fasts heartily.  We are the better for it.   Maybe the authorities should  be beating down your door for endorsing fat families with fat kids who are killing them slowly with hormoned meat.  Then again, I would be in the same camp.  But then again, I don't endorse a ridiculous secularism like you.   Take your nominalism and stuff it in a chicken with your ignorant view of what sin is seasoned with secularism.   But don't eat it.  Its poisoned.  

Your point is conceded.  I admit to having dealt harshly with this issue, but this is probably due to some psychological factors I have been going through.  I really think that, as a priest you should try to use a more civil tone when discussing this issue with me.  People look to you for calmness and guidance on matters of faith, not as a person who would verbally assault a man in a mentally weakened state.  I am sorry for offenses given though (If this would help cool your temper towards me).

Here is an article on the fasting and abstinence practiced by my religion.  I try my best to follow my Churches guidelines on the matter as well as the directives of my spiritual adviser.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting_and_abstinence_in_the_Roman_Catholic_Church

Are you sure that you can trust wikipedia over the Vatican?
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« Reply #91 on: June 06, 2011, 03:09:50 AM »

It's still technically a mortal sin to not do some sort of asectic fast on Fridays.
I thought that in the USA it was only on Fridays of Lent ? Do you say it is a mortal sin  for every Friday of the year for Catholics in the USA? Could you give us a reference for that? Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 03:24:06 AM by stanley123 » Logged
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« Reply #92 on: June 06, 2011, 03:20:47 AM »

I don't know ANY CATHOLIC EVER WHO EVER follows Wed. and Fri. Fasting!
I think you are right about this. I know that in the USA abstinence from meat  is to be observed on the Fridays of Lent. I would like to see a reference which authoritatively states that in the USA it is a mortal sin if you do not do some penance or self denial on the other Fridays of the year.
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« Reply #93 on: June 06, 2011, 08:18:25 AM »

http://www.usccb.org/doctrine/penitential.shtml
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« Reply #94 on: June 06, 2011, 08:35:56 AM »

I'm sorry, but I have a hard time buying into the idea of abstaining from most of the major food groups for around half the year is a healthy way to live.  I'm especially Leary of having children do such things due to the unhealthy way that it could stunt growth.  

Also, I'm not sure about RC's still required to do some type of "ascetic" fasting on Fridays.  I've heard such drivel pedaled around (Mostly by right wing RC's over the year's).  However as far as I know the U.S. bishops dispensed all Catholics from abstaining form meat on Fridays and only recommended that they replace it with some type of penance (Which can be somethings simple as saying a prayer).

When I was OC, the thing that I struggled with the most was fasting (Which I never really even tried to practice).  I wasn't raised on self denial at all.  My parents pretty much said  "Hey, your hungry then eat,or tired then sleep".  Most OC priest I confessed to didn't give me a hard time about it.  They would just say "Do the best you can" (Which I took for code to mean "don't worry about it").  The only priest to give me trouble about it was a Serb one who I confessed to not fasting on Great Friday.  He screeched at me "you didn't fast on the holiest day of the year" to which I replied "no".  He then refused to commune me until the following week because of it.  It was then that I really first realized that Orthodoxy was kind of a crazy strict religion and I seriously started debating with myself about returning to the RCC.

That's one of the things that I like best about Catholicism.  It's a pretty easy religion.  The Church practically goes out of it's way to accommodate her faithful by not requiring too much of them.  That's the way I like things.  Nice and easy.  

Staying home is easier still.  If "easy" is the standard, why go to Church at all?

No I didn't say that all fasting is wrong, I just think that your Churches concept of fasting is wrong for today's world (Apparently so do the vast majority of your faithful who do not practice it at all). 

Would love to see your dataset on your research that demonstrates "the vast majority of (Orthodox) faithful do not practice (fasting) at all...."

Which is to say, I think you made that up out of wholecloth.
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« Reply #95 on: June 06, 2011, 10:10:48 AM »

If anything the majority of EO's might mitigate these fast officially in the near future (Considering the vast majority of EO's have ceased to regularly observe them).

Not gonna happen.  

Quote
Although some might consider it minimalism, it makes for more sense to have fasting rules which, although simpler are more doable for people in this day and age then it is to cling to antiquated and medevil rules which are unrealistic and overly Platonic.

There's nothing unrealistic about the Orthodox fasting rules- some people keep the fast rules quite well. For the rest of us, the challenge is humbling and the struggle can be fruitful. There's no struggle in eating fish on Fridays.  

As for "medieval"... modernity leaves us with even fewer excuses from fasting than our medieval forebears, with the many varied, wholesome, and delicious fast-friendly ingredients readily available to us.

As for "overly Platonic"... do you have any idea what you're talking about?

Yes, I wouldn't have said "overly Platonic" if I didn't know what I was talking about.  

I'm sure there are some OC's who devoutly observe the rigorous fasting rules, it's just that they are a small minority compared to the majority who don't keep them.

Would not it be better to just mitigate the fasting rules of your Church to something that's more realistic and doable for those alive today instead of clinging to something that was institute in a different time and a different world?
Laugh if you will at my RCC's weak fasting and abstinence rules, but at least the majority of our faithful can comply with them without disrupting their natural lives to any great degree. They aren't easy to achieve as you may think so either.  On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, I am usually starved by midnight after only being allowed one full meal and two collations.  It's not an easy task to master for us who live in a world which does not emphasis any sort of self denial.  Heaven only knows that I've almost been tempted to break under the strain of our RC Lenten fast, but thankfully I always managed to hold off on the hot dogs till after midnight.

One of the main points of fasting is to disrupt our culinary lives to a great degree.  I am a firm believer that if you can't eat a vegan meal twice a week, barring medical issues, there really is something wrong with you and, God forgive me, you (which let me be clear I'm using in the most general sense) are lazy, selfish fool who can't be bothered to exert a little effort for the sake of bringing your body in line with your soul.



Well, that's your opinion.  My Church thinks and teaches otherwise.  The Vatican believes that by mitigating the fasting rules, more people will be able to follow them.  Of course you can do more if you wish, but that's something that's entirely on your plate.  The RCC doesn't force any type of spiritual progression onto her members.  We believe in free will and any type of spiritual development on the part of an individual must come from within them and not due to forced coercion or fear of damnation for not having done so.

Really?  It's still technically a mortal sin to not do some sort of asectic fast on Fridays.  Unconfessed mortal sin leaves one soul in danger of damnation.

Quote
Also I would seriously have to argue about the healthiness of keeping such severe and rigorous fasting as perscribed by Orthodoxy.  Modern science tells us that the human body needs the proteins that such foods as meats, fish, and dairy products give us on a regular basis.  Is it right then to deprive ourselves and especially our children of these vital nutrients because of an attempt to cling to an antiquated way of spiritual development that some people came up with in the first millennium?  Look at the so called "Vegans".  They are known to suffer from all kinds of deficiencies and malnutrition due to their supposedly health lifestyle.  Is this what we want for ourselves?

I understand the attachment of some to fasting and its supposed benefits.  I just can't help but feel that the type of fasting and self denial that is proscribed by the OC is not healthy for a normal human being to endure.  My Church obviously feels the same way since she long ago did away with such rigorous style of self discipline as the ancient fasting rules were.  


Yep, all these successful athletes (these ones, too...including a 4-time Mr. Universe!) suffer from all sorts of deficiencies and malnutrition.

There are far more omnivores who suffer from far more deficiencies and diet-related illnesses than vegans and vegetarians.  If you suffer from malnutrition from a vegan diet, you're simply doing it wrong.  And that's on the person, not on the diet itself.

Nice try, but, once again, an EPIC FAIL.



Why should I believe you.  Your obviouisly junked up in support of your religion so your going to try and give me all kinds of supposed "facts' in order to support what your claiming.  I'd rather use my God given reason to deduce that abstaining from most of the major food groups for half the year is unhealthy for a person to do.  Believe what you will, but this sounds much more realsitic to me then the evidence youve cited.

I see.  You're the one who just made a blanket generalization about those on vegan diets for which I provided more than a few examples of people who completely demolish your supposed "fact" about how vegans are all malnourished and somehow deficient and I'm the one at fault here.  Nice.

The obesity epidemic in this country is proof positive that we as Americans do not know how to eat right.  The oveconsumption of red meat (the wiki article on red meat is replete with reference to scientific studies, so go there and actually click on the sourced links so you dont take wiki's word for it) has been linked to all sorts of health problems. 

Let me be clear again: I love meat.  I eat it with gusto.  But I also know that eating a vegetarian/vegan diet helps me to not only maintain a healthy body weight and a better appreciation of the meat/dairy I do consume, but it's also helped me spiritually.  Food is a gift from God to me now.  I know that trying my best (for I do often fail in the oil and dairy dept) to follow the fasts has helped me be a better Christian. 

You do what you want and may God bless you in that.  But I'll not stand idly by while you toss out wicked and broad generalizations about people, about their diet, and about the Church's discipline in regards to fasts and abstinence. 
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« Reply #96 on: June 06, 2011, 10:18:43 AM »

Really?  It's still technically a mortal sin to not do some sort of asectic fast on Fridays.  Unconfessed mortal sin leaves one soul in danger of damnation.
Source?

I didn't think it was a mortal sin. Of course, there are three requirements for a sin to be mortal so it is not fair to label anything a "mortal sin" since it varies from person to person. The most it could be is grave matter. Grave matter can still be a venial sin if full knowledge and full consent of the will are not present.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P4O.HTM

I will concede your point about mortal/venial sin.  However, once someone is aware that one is bound (which I was always taught meant "grave matter"...one does not "bind" someone to do something unless it's incredibly important aka grave) "to do penance" (Canon 1249) "every Friday of the whole year" (Canon 1250) by "[a]bstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference" (Canon 1251) or a "substitute...especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast" (Canon 1253) and then refuses to do so without good reason (of which, nowadays, there are painfully few thanks to the broadness that the Roman Catholic Church now allows), one is committing a mortal sin.  You can try to dance around it all you want to justify a reason why this would not be considered such, but to do so would not only be setting a dangerous personal precedent, but also set a bad example (eg. scandal) to other Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #97 on: June 06, 2011, 10:29:01 AM »

Really?  It's still technically a mortal sin to not do some sort of asectic fast on Fridays.  Unconfessed mortal sin leaves one soul in danger of damnation.
Source?

I didn't think it was a mortal sin. Of course, there are three requirements for a sin to be mortal so it is not fair to label anything a "mortal sin" since it varies from person to person. The most it could be is grave matter. Grave matter can still be a venial sin if full knowledge and full consent of the will are not present.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P4O.HTM

I will concede your point about mortal/venial sin.  However, once someone is aware that one is bound (which I was always taught meant "grave matter"...one does not "bind" someone to do something unless it's incredibly important aka grave) "to do penance" (Canon 1249) "every Friday of the whole year" (Canon 1250) by "[a]bstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference" (Canon 1251) or a "substitute...especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast" (Canon 1253) and then refuses to do so without good reason (of which, nowadays, there are painfully few thanks to the broadness that the Roman Catholic Church now allows), one is committing a mortal sin.  You can try to dance around it all you want to justify a reason why this would not be considered such, but to do so would not only be setting a dangerous personal precedent, but also set a bad example (eg. scandal) to other Roman Catholics.

These fellows need to look up the meaning of contumacious disobedience.   Therein lies the gravity of the sin, and as you note above there is no doubt for the well formed Catholic conscience.
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« Reply #98 on: June 06, 2011, 10:36:21 AM »

Hi all. Till this morning, I hadn't participated on OC-net for some days, so I hope my comments here won't be too outdated.

I'm not out to win favors for any side.  I have never heard that a person was required to perform some type of penance if they did not eat meat on Fridays.  

Hi Robb. I was going to bring up this very topic. Then I discovered that you had already raised it, so I decided to respond. Then I read even further and discovered that there were already many, many posts on it.

So I'll confine myself to saying that I think you are in very good company: very few Catholics seem to be aware of the requirement to perform some type of penance on Fridays.
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« Reply #99 on: June 06, 2011, 10:41:49 AM »

Your a "trad" so how can I trust anything you say as accurate.

I think this is one of the biggest problems in Catholicism right now: so many people have a mindset of "Only listen to Catholics who are neo-conservative like me" or "Only listen to Catholics who are traditionalist like me" or "Only listen to Catholics who are __________ like me".

Mutual isolationism, I guess.
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« Reply #100 on: June 06, 2011, 10:42:55 AM »

Hi all. Till this morning, I hadn't participated on OC-net for some days, so I hope my comments here won't be too outdated.

I'm not out to win favors for any side.  I have never heard that a person was required to perform some type of penance if they did not eat meat on Fridays.  

Hi Robb. I was going to bring up this very topic. Then I discovered that you had already raised it, so I decided to respond. Then I read even further and discovered that there were already many, many posts on it.

So I'll confine myself to saying that I think you are in very good company: very few Catholics seem to be aware of the requirement to perform some type of penance on Fridays.

I think that may well be an overstatement.  They know but they are not encouraged or directed in terms of what to do and why.  I know very few Catholics who don't know.  I know many more who don't do.
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« Reply #101 on: June 06, 2011, 10:58:06 AM »

The obesity epidemic in this country is proof positive that we as Americans do not know how to eat right.  The oveconsumption of red meat (the wiki article on red meat is replete with reference to scientific studies, so go there and actually click on the sourced links so you dont take wiki's word for it) has been linked to all sorts of health problems. 

Let me be clear again: I love meat.  I eat it with gusto.  But I also know that eating a vegetarian/vegan diet helps me to not only maintain a healthy body weight and a better appreciation of the meat/dairy I do consume, but it's also helped me spiritually.  Food is a gift from God to me now.  I know that trying my best (for I do often fail in the oil and dairy dept) to follow the fasts has helped me be a better Christian. 

You do what you want and may God bless you in that.  But I'll not stand idly by while you toss out wicked and broad generalizations about people, about their diet, and about the Church's discipline in regards to fasts and abstinence. 

I found this article exceedingly helpful, not to Orthodox fasting discipline, but to eating in general.

I wish I followed it more closely.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html
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« Reply #102 on: June 06, 2011, 11:20:16 AM »

I'm not judging Roman Catholics, because all the ones I know in real life (who are not all "right wing" or "trad") recognize the importance and necessity of asceticism and fasting.

I think you mean all the ones you've spoken to on this issue.

You will have to do a lot to convince anyone that Christianity is not an ascetic religion. The Bible and the Fathers are full of examples of self-denial.

Hear hear.
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« Reply #103 on: June 06, 2011, 11:20:36 AM »

You don't have to whip yourself and wear a hair-shirt.

Now you tell me.
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« Reply #104 on: June 06, 2011, 11:35:17 AM »

Yes, and radical individualism lead to the Reformation and the many different Protestant denominations.

Now, back to the Mass and the reforms of the Pope.

It seems to me that the radical liturgical abuses that occurred in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s affected the Catholic Church very negatively and allowed this radical individualism to take root.

Alright, but we should also be careful not to romanticize (or nostalgize) the Catholicism of the 1950s.
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« Reply #105 on: June 06, 2011, 01:38:40 PM »

What I'm wondering is if the Holy Father brings back traditional fasting practices, is Robb going to go schismatic over it? Tongue
Of course, if the Pope brought back these fastings, I will do my best to follow them, but I don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon.  As aforementioned, I followed my own church's fast and abstinence policies.  IF you want to follow your own church's fast, do what you think is right.  I'm still kind of leery about letting you emaciate your; letting your children follow them, maybe they could do something more mitigated until they get older.  I'm still not entirely clear about what this whole debate is over, considering I just do as my faith asks me to do, as some of you do of yours-- what are we arguing about?  Are you asking of me to keep the unnecessary OC fasting, which is entirely unnecessary even for you OC.  My philosophy is, it takes Diff'rnt Strokes to rule the world yes it does.  As long as you scandalize not those little ones, lest you die in your sin (with a millstone necklace).  Do what you do, but do what you do in love in what you do.  
First off I am not Eastern Orthodox, I am Catholic. Secondly, I want to go on record saying I never attacked you or thought less of you based on your preferred fasting method. Also, the what-about-the-children excuse for not having more rigorous fasting is bogus. You don't have to observe the fasts of the Church until your fourteenth year.
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« Reply #106 on: June 06, 2011, 03:58:25 PM »

... we should also be careful not to romanticize (or nostalgize) the Catholicism of the 1950s.
I am not sure that I see what is wrong with nostalgia.
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« Reply #107 on: June 06, 2011, 04:09:17 PM »

If anything the majority of EO's might mitigate these fast officially in the near future (Considering the vast majority of EO's have ceased to regularly observe them).

Not gonna happen.  

Quote
Although some might consider it minimalism, it makes for more sense to have fasting rules which, although simpler are more doable for people in this day and age then it is to cling to antiquated and medevil rules which are unrealistic and overly Platonic.

There's nothing unrealistic about the Orthodox fasting rules- some people keep the fast rules quite well. For the rest of us, the challenge is humbling and the struggle can be fruitful. There's no struggle in eating fish on Fridays.  

As for "medieval"... modernity leaves us with even fewer excuses from fasting than our medieval forebears, with the many varied, wholesome, and delicious fast-friendly ingredients readily available to us.

As for "overly Platonic"... do you have any idea what you're talking about?

Yes, I wouldn't have said "overly Platonic" if I didn't know what I was talking about.  

I'm sure there are some OC's who devoutly observe the rigorous fasting rules, it's just that they are a small minority compared to the majority who don't keep them.

Would not it be better to just mitigate the fasting rules of your Church to something that's more realistic and doable for those alive today instead of clinging to something that was institute in a different time and a different world?
Laugh if you will at my RCC's weak fasting and abstinence rules, but at least the majority of our faithful can comply with them without disrupting their natural lives to any great degree. They aren't easy to achieve as you may think so either.  On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, I am usually starved by midnight after only being allowed one full meal and two collations.  It's not an easy task to master for us who live in a world which does not emphasis any sort of self denial.  Heaven only knows that I've almost been tempted to break under the strain of our RC Lenten fast, but thankfully I always managed to hold off on the hot dogs till after midnight.

One of the main points of fasting is to disrupt our culinary lives to a great degree.  I am a firm believer that if you can't eat a vegan meal twice a week, barring medical issues, there really is something wrong with you and, God forgive me, you (which let me be clear I'm using in the most general sense) are lazy, selfish fool who can't be bothered to exert a little effort for the sake of bringing your body in line with your soul.



The only thing I don't like about this quote is that I did not say it first :-)

You are quite right. If our fasting is not disrupting our eating habits then how are we fasting?

Of course, fasting is not an end in itself but a means to an end as we all know. Still, if we sow sparingly we will reap sparingly and if we sow bountifully we will reap bountifully as the Apostle says.

Good show, bro!
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« Reply #108 on: June 06, 2011, 04:21:38 PM »

Your a "trad" so how can I trust anything you say as accurate.

I think this is one of the biggest problems in Catholicism right now: so many people have a mindset of "Only listen to Catholics who are neo-conservative like me" or "Only listen to Catholics who are traditionalist like me" or "Only listen to Catholics who are __________ like me".

Mutual isolationism, I guess.

I agree.  We should listen more to what the Church says and less to what factions within her say. 

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« Reply #109 on: June 06, 2011, 04:26:12 PM »

Really?  It's still technically a mortal sin to not do some sort of asectic fast on Fridays.  Unconfessed mortal sin leaves one soul in danger of damnation.
Source?

I didn't think it was a mortal sin. Of course, there are three requirements for a sin to be mortal so it is not fair to label anything a "mortal sin" since it varies from person to person. The most it could be is grave matter. Grave matter can still be a venial sin if full knowledge and full consent of the will are not present.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P4O.HTM

I will concede your point about mortal/venial sin.  However, once someone is aware that one is bound (which I was always taught meant "grave matter"...one does not "bind" someone to do something unless it's incredibly important aka grave) "to do penance" (Canon 1249) "every Friday of the whole year" (Canon 1250) by "[a]bstinence from meat, or from

You can do penance by saying a prayer, or helping an old lady across the street.  I think the problem lies when people in another Church (Like OC's) attempt to insert their own definition of what penance means onto my Church.  As mentioned , while the Vatican still has standards, things have definitly "broadened" up as to what you can and cannot do in recent decades.



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