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Author Topic: For Roman Catholics of England & Wales, Friday abstention from meat begins  (Read 10846 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 16, 2011, 06:34:51 AM »

Roman Catholics in England and Wales are today to return to an old practice which had fallen by the wayside. They will be asked to abstain from eating meat, as a commemoration of the day Christ was crucified. Pope Benedict XVI announced the plan months ago; it is scheduled to begin today.

From the article:
Quote
Those aged under 14, the sick, elderly, pregnant women, seafarers, manual workers or others in situations where there are moral or physical reasons for eating meat are excused from abstaining.

The Catholic Church defines meat as the flesh of warm-blooded animals, so eating fish is permitted on Fridays.
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 12:03:19 AM »

Slowly and not really surely.... but most moves as of late have been in the right direction...but big freaking deal. A little over 40 years ago the church would be unrecognizable to all but traditionalists for the most part.  Now one is like a salmon to get back to where we should be in the first place. Well VII did make us much more open to the Orthodox Church so it wasnt ALL bad (mostly but not all).
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 12:36:15 PM »

Slowly and not really surely.... but most moves as of late have been in the right direction...but big freaking deal. A little over 40 years ago the church would be unrecognizable to all but traditionalists for the most part.  Now one is like a salmon to get back to where we should be in the first place. Well VII did make us much more open to the Orthodox Church so it wasnt ALL bad (mostly but not all).
We definitely have a long way to go. This is why Catholics need to stand firm in the practice of the traditional Catholic Faith.
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 02:58:32 AM »

I think most traditionalists practiced this anyway. I did. Now I do the strict Orthodox fast. Stuff isnt fun. I am somewhat active and its difficult to find inexpensive protein sources during the fast. I will eat crab and shrimp but like I said I cant afford that twice a week. I used to think the no meat thing was difficult, now doing the Orthodox fast I see it isnt bad at all. No cereal(no milk that is...), no eggs, no fish, no cheese... For the Love of our Savior your making me a please use nicer language next time.  Also it isn't "your" it is you're or you are. Act accordingly please -username section moderatorvegan...

These traditions would have been lost if not for the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 06:17:45 AM »

Quote from: KShaft
For the Love of our Savior your making me a queer ass vegan...

Is this really necessary?  Angry I'm not vegan, by the way. I would appreciate it if you didn't use the word Savior and foul language at the other end of the sentence.
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 06:28:50 AM »

I am somewhat active and its difficult to find inexpensive protein sources during the fast. I will eat crab and shrimp but like I said I cant afford that twice a week.

Soy, beans, lentils, tofu...
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 07:39:27 AM »

Lentils can be wonderfully versatile and they're not expensive.
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 03:18:15 PM »

For the Love of our Savior your making me a queer ass vegan...

I know what you mean (minus the language). I hated it when the lunch guy asked me if I was a vegan because I asked for him to not put any chicken or cheese on my salad.
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 04:42:19 PM »

I think most traditionalists practiced this anyway. I did. Now I do the strict Orthodox fast. Stuff isnt fun. I am somewhat active and its difficult to find inexpensive protein sources during the fast. I will eat crab and shrimp but like I said I cant afford that twice a week. I used to think the no meat thing was difficult, now doing the Orthodox fast I see it isnt bad at all. No cereal(no milk that is...), no eggs, no fish, no cheese... For the Love of our Savior your making me a queer ass vegan...

These traditions would have been lost if not for the Orthodox Church.

Perhaps Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness can help you locate your nutritional needs.  I trust you don't find them "queer ass vegans".
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 04:57:27 PM »

For the Love of our Savior your making me a queer ass vegan...

I know what you mean (minus the language). I hated it when the lunch guy asked me if I was a vegan because I asked for him to not put any chicken or cheese on my salad.

My reply, "Are you writing a book?  Did you get the chapter where I kicked your..."

Well, you get the picture.

Honestly, I'd say, "No, I just don't want any cheese or chicken today."
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 10:17:40 PM »

Honestly, I'd say, "No, I just don't want any cheese or chicken today."


Yeah my usual response is "sometimes."
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2011, 10:30:53 PM »

I hated it when the lunch guy asked me if I was a vegan because I asked for him to not put any chicken or cheese on my salad.

Why? What's so awful in misconception about you being a vegan?

I have it other way around. People are probably suprised if they found out that I eat meat since I look like a vegetarian. Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2011, 11:03:03 PM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2011, 11:23:59 PM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2011, 12:17:27 AM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

Is this something new? Or has it always been this way?

I thought that "Catholic" meant universal, as in universal practices and traditions. Guess I was mistaken.
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2011, 12:19:05 AM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

 Wink
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2011, 11:21:38 AM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

Is this something new? Or has it always been this way?

I thought that "Catholic" meant universal, as in universal practices and traditions. Guess I was mistaken.

Are you joking?  Good heavens, it has always been that local sees make local decisions.  Why do you think Trent was necessary?  There was such a multitude of variant liturgical practices and local cults of saints that it would have been impossible to tell the faithful from the schismatics based on liturgical practice and calendar.  So it was all "regularized"...but that didn't fix everything and so here we are going back the other direction. By that I mean that the Carmelites and Dominicans and Franciscans are all working to re-vitalize their old liturgies that were their own, for example. It's called "balance"...

No.  The Catholic Church in reality nowhere near as rigidly centralized as Orthodoxy...never was...never will be.
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2011, 11:31:03 AM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

Is this something new? Or has it always been this way?

I thought that "Catholic" meant universal, as in universal practices and traditions. Guess I was mistaken.

Are you joking?  Good heavens, it has always been that local sees make local decisions.  Why do you think Trent was necessary?  There was such a multitude of variant liturgical practices and local cults of saints that it would have been impossible to tell the faithful from the schismatics based on liturgical practice and calendar.  So it was all "regularized"...but that didn't fix everything and so here we are going back the other direction. By that I mean that the Carmelites and Dominicans and Franciscans are all working to re-vitalize their old liturgies that were their own, for example. It's called "balance"...

No.  The Catholic Church in reality nowhere near as rigidly centralized as Orthodoxy...never was...never will be.

Did you actually write that last statement with a straight face?  It's B.S. and if you don't know it, I pity you.

And if this is a local matter, why is the Pope, the Universal Head of the Catholic Church, directing only those in Wales and England?  Why did he bypass the local bishops?  Something isn't adding up. 
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2011, 11:39:04 AM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

Is this something new? Or has it always been this way?

I thought that "Catholic" meant universal, as in universal practices and traditions. Guess I was mistaken.

Are you joking?  Good heavens, it has always been that local sees make local decisions.  Why do you think Trent was necessary?  There was such a multitude of variant liturgical practices and local cults of saints that it would have been impossible to tell the faithful from the schismatics based on liturgical practice and calendar.  So it was all "regularized"...but that didn't fix everything and so here we are going back the other direction. By that I mean that the Carmelites and Dominicans and Franciscans are all working to re-vitalize their old liturgies that were their own, for example. It's called "balance"...

No.  The Catholic Church in reality nowhere near as rigidly centralized as Orthodoxy...never was...never will be.

Did you actually write that last statement with a straight face?  It's B.S. and if you don't know it, I pity you.

And if this is a local matter, why is the Pope, the Universal Head of the Catholic Church, directing only those in Wales and England?  Why did he bypass the local bishops?  Something isn't adding up. 

 Wink  I mean what I wrote sincerely.   The real pity is that you can't see it.

Also you didn't "see" that article very well.  The order to return to the days of fast and abstinence came from the local bishops... Wink
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2011, 11:43:51 AM »

My apologies. I didn't see that there was a linked article.

But your original statement of local control defies hundreds of years of historical papal supremacy.  The bishops, though the ones imposing the orde, were still acting under the Pope's commands.
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2011, 11:50:05 AM »

My apologies. I didn't see that there was a linked article.

But your original statement of local control defies hundreds of years of historical papal supremacy.  The bishops, though the ones imposing the orde, were still acting under the Pope's commands.

You are absolutely wrong, dear.  You have no idea what you are talking about really. 

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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2011, 12:01:36 PM »

Don't ever call me dear. It's patronizing and has no place here.

And I'm not wrong. Do you deny that the Pope is the Universal Head of the Roman church?
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« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2011, 12:05:21 PM »

So why only England and Wales? Why not the entire world?
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« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2011, 12:08:58 PM »

So why only England and Wales? Why not the entire world?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.
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« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2011, 12:28:50 PM »

Don't ever call me dear. It's patronizing and has no place here.

And I'm not wrong. Do you deny that the Pope is the Universal Head of the Roman church?

I call many people dear-heart.  Was never meant to be patronizing.

And you are wrong.  You have no idea how decentralized the Catholic Church is in practice.  Or you simply refuse to see it.  Frankly, at this point, I don't care which.  But it is important for others reading here, particularly Catholics, to have someone point out to them that the parish is the primary unit and then the diocese and then the Vatican...in that order of their line of "sight"...I just sat here reading the local diocesan newspaper weekly and I can tell you that the center of spiritual and teaching power in the Catholic Church is the bishop.  If you only read propaganda and national news then you miss the real life of the Catholic Church.

M.
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« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2011, 12:29:53 PM »

Why is abstention from meat on Friday only for Roman Catholics of England and Wales?  Are there not Catholics in other countries, especially Italy?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

Is this something new? Or has it always been this way?

I thought that "Catholic" meant universal, as in universal practices and traditions. Guess I was mistaken.

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?
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« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2011, 12:30:15 PM »

So why only England and Wales? Why not the entire world?

You'd have to ask their bishops.

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« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2011, 12:34:48 PM »

So why only England and Wales? Why not the entire world?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

Now this is the statement that got me scratching my head.... "remove those communion rails! Say this all spoken banal liturgy with folk song hymns!" Yes that was the impetus of individual bishops tending their flock on their own... the thing where Orthodox do not vary is the Liturgy. They do not allow for such abuses. Administratively they seem to have great freedom. They dont have to ask the pope who to ordain to be bishop for instance.  This statement is totally backward if you ask me. Perhaps it was done in jest.
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« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2011, 12:37:33 PM »

So why only England and Wales? Why not the entire world?

In Catholicism you do not have a top-down approach where someone gives marching orders for their entire Church spread across the globe. Thus, unlike Orthodoxy, in Catholicism each bishop or synod of bishops has some autonomy to do as they like, without their decisions necessarily binding other local Church bodies to do the same.

Now this is the statement that got me scratching my head.... "remove those communion rails! Say this all spoken banal liturgy with folk song hymns!" Yes that was the impetus of individual bishops tending their flock on their own... the thing where Orthodox do not vary is the Liturgy. They do not allow for such abuses. Administratively they seem to have great freedom. They dont have to ask the pope who to ordain to be bishop for instance.  This statement is totally backward if you ask me. Perhaps it was done in jest.

Home run?
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« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2011, 12:41:37 PM »




[/quote]

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?
[/quote]

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment.  
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« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2011, 12:47:08 PM »





If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?
[/quote]

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment.  
[/quote]

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2011, 12:50:43 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment.  

Right, the abolishment of fasting rules was obviously a case of top-down autocracy. I was simply criticizing the comment implying that catholicity means an intolerance of any pluralism.
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« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2011, 12:56:06 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment.  

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?
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« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2011, 12:56:56 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment.  

Right, the abolishment of fasting rules was obviously a case of top-down autocracy. I was simply criticizing the comment implying that catholicity means an intolerance of any pluralism.

They were never "abolished."   They were opened up so that people could choose what penitential and ascetic practices that best suited their lives.  I live in an area where Catholic families still abstain on Wednesdays and Fridays, where they keep the Advent fast and the Lenten fast and where they and their children work out other kinds of penitential acts to be done individually or as a family.  Apparently we don't hear much from those folks...however these are also the people who take VERY seriously the counsel NOT to make a public or a private issue of their penitential lives and prayer lives.  They remain hidden and a whole Church suffers the slings and arrows.  That is also a penance.

M.
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« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2011, 12:59:44 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment. 

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?

It was sinful not to follow, in obedience, ALL the rules set down by the bishops.  The sin was disobedience and not lack-of-fasting or some such.  It remains the same.  If people do NOT lead lives of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice as their bishops have instructed, then they sin in disobedience. 

Those bishops who FAIL to teach then bear the greater brunt of the sin.

M.

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« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2011, 01:03:47 PM »

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« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2011, 01:05:16 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment.  

Right, the abolishment of fasting rules was obviously a case of top-down autocracy. I was simply criticizing the comment implying that catholicity means an intolerance of any pluralism.

And in Orthodoxy, we see diversity in unity where there are different chants, different languages, and different calendars of saints. We see unity in the things that are essential, and fasting is very essential to help us to say "no" to sin.

Rome only went to the vernacular worldwide after Vatican II. Before Vatican II, during World War II Germany was experimenting with the vernacular as approved by the local Bishops there. However, before WW I, Mass in the vernacular was almost unheard of.

However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.
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« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2011, 01:07:53 PM »

(Rome only went to the vernacular after Vatican II.)

The vernacular has always been found in Roman rite liturgies.  Again it depended on the time and place and bishop and the needs of the faithful.
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« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2011, 01:18:30 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment. 

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?

It was sinful not to follow, in obedience, ALL the rules set down by the bishops.  The sin was disobedience and not lack-of-fasting or some such.  It remains the same.  If people do NOT lead lives of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice as their bishops have instructed, then they sin in disobedience. 

Those bishops who FAIL to teach then bear the greater brunt of the sin.

M.

OK. In the Orthodox Church, in most jurisdictions/areas, it is not normal for the majority of people to follow the fasts strictly, if at all. Hence there is a discrepency between what is expected on paper and what is actually expected in practice. Of course, in Western culture in general (not just in the Church), what is written on paper can typically be taken very literally.

So, the comparison between the Orthodox and RC fasting rules that exist on paper is really quite nonsensical. The Orthodox rules certainly do not constitute bishops dictating people's penitential lives. The RC ones evidently used to, but not anymore.
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« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2011, 01:20:27 PM »


However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.

The change in fasting requirements came from the BISHOPS and AFTER the council was closed.  So I don't know what you mean by "top" down.  Again you make the point clearly that not all practices are highly centralized in the Catholic Church...even the nebishers are decentralized geographically.  Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2011, 01:21:17 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment. 

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?

It was sinful not to follow, in obedience, ALL the rules set down by the bishops.  The sin was disobedience and not lack-of-fasting or some such.  It remains the same.  If people do NOT lead lives of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice as their bishops have instructed, then they sin in disobedience. 

Those bishops who FAIL to teach then bear the greater brunt of the sin.

M.

OK. In the Orthodox Church, in most jurisdictions/areas, it is not normal for the majority of people to follow the fasts strictly, if at all. Hence there is a discrepency between what is expected on paper and what is actually expected in practice. Of course, in Western culture in general (not just in the Church), what is written on paper can typically be taken very literally.

So, the comparison between the Orthodox and RC fasting rules that exist on paper is really quite nonsensical. The Orthodox rules certainly do not constitute bishops dictating people's penitential lives. The RC ones evidently used to, but not anymore.

Nevertheless, in Orthodoxy, one is not accused of being "holier than Mt. Athos monks" when they observe the fasting rules.
Oh, yes, some have been accused of being uber orthodox. Yet, within Catholicism, that phrase of being "holier than the Pope" had been lobbed at many Catholics who try to live devout lives. It is an insidious phrase that surely must please Screwtape.
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« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2011, 01:22:23 PM »

Now this is the statement that got me scratching my head.... "remove those communion rails! Say this all spoken banal liturgy with folk song hymns!" Yes that was the impetus of individual bishops tending their flock on their own... the thing where Orthodox do not vary is the Liturgy. They do not allow for such abuses. Administratively they seem to have great freedom. They dont have to ask the pope who to ordain to be bishop for instance.  This statement is totally backward if you ask me. Perhaps it was done in jest.

Sorry, it was sort of in jest, but also sort of an attempt to go down a path that would make people say "wait a minute..." and think about why what I said was either right or wrong.
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« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2011, 01:25:43 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment. 

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?

It was sinful not to follow, in obedience, ALL the rules set down by the bishops.  The sin was disobedience and not lack-of-fasting or some such.  It remains the same.  If people do NOT lead lives of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice as their bishops have instructed, then they sin in disobedience. 

Those bishops who FAIL to teach then bear the greater brunt of the sin.

M.

OK. In the Orthodox Church, in most jurisdictions/areas, it is not normal for the majority of people to follow the fasts strictly, if at all. Hence there is a discrepency between what is expected on paper and what is actually expected in practice. Of course, in Western culture in general (not just in the Church), what is written on paper can typically be taken very literally.

So, the comparison between the Orthodox and RC fasting rules that exist on paper is really quite nonsensical. The Orthodox rules certainly do not constitute bishops dictating people's penitential lives. The RC ones evidently used to, but not anymore.

So it is all right for people to disobey their bishops in Orthodoxy, I presume from what you are saying here.
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« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2011, 01:26:26 PM »


However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.

The change in fasting requirements came from the BISHOPS and AFTER the council was closed.  So I don't know what you mean by "top" down.  Again you make the point clearly that not all practices are highly centralized in the Catholic Church...even the nebishers are decentralized geographically.  Smiley

In Orthodoxy, I have never heard a Bishop or a Priest say that fasting is not essential.

On the contrary, Priests and Bishops have unanimously stated that if one refuses to fast and pray, then one should abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Indeed, many Orthodox Priests will read a statement before distributing Holy Communion that those who are not Orthodox or who have not fasted and prayed and received Holy Confession recently (as directed by their confessor) should not approach Holy Communion at this time.
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« Reply #44 on: October 15, 2011, 01:40:15 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment. 

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?

It was sinful not to follow, in obedience, ALL the rules set down by the bishops.  The sin was disobedience and not lack-of-fasting or some such.  It remains the same.  If people do NOT lead lives of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice as their bishops have instructed, then they sin in disobedience. 

Those bishops who FAIL to teach then bear the greater brunt of the sin.

M.

OK. In the Orthodox Church, in most jurisdictions/areas, it is not normal for the majority of people to follow the fasts strictly, if at all. Hence there is a discrepency between what is expected on paper and what is actually expected in practice. Of course, in Western culture in general (not just in the Church), what is written on paper can typically be taken very literally.

So, the comparison between the Orthodox and RC fasting rules that exist on paper is really quite nonsensical. The Orthodox rules certainly do not constitute bishops dictating people's penitential lives. The RC ones evidently used to, but not anymore.

So it is all right for people to disobey their bishops in Orthodoxy, I presume from what you are saying here.

I'm not sure if you're intentionally getting me wrong here. Never in the history of the Orthodox Chruch have fasting rules been enforced with stringency, with the one exception of fasting before Holy Communion. To claim that this constitutes disobedience is really stretching it.
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« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2011, 01:41:10 PM »


However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.

The change in fasting requirements came from the BISHOPS and AFTER the council was closed.  So I don't know what you mean by "top" down.  Again you make the point clearly that not all practices are highly centralized in the Catholic Church...even the nebishers are decentralized geographically.  Smiley

In Orthodoxy, I have never heard a Bishop or a Priest say that fasting is not essential.

On the contrary, Priests and Bishops have unanimously stated that if one refuses to fast and pray, then one should abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Indeed, many Orthodox Priests will read a statement before distributing Holy Communion that those who are not Orthodox or who have not fasted and prayed and received Holy Confession recently (as directed by their confessor) should not approach Holy Communion at this time.

This seems to refute what Rufus has said.
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« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2011, 01:43:40 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment. 

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?

It was sinful not to follow, in obedience, ALL the rules set down by the bishops.  The sin was disobedience and not lack-of-fasting or some such.  It remains the same.  If people do NOT lead lives of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice as their bishops have instructed, then they sin in disobedience. 

Those bishops who FAIL to teach then bear the greater brunt of the sin.

M.

OK. In the Orthodox Church, in most jurisdictions/areas, it is not normal for the majority of people to follow the fasts strictly, if at all. Hence there is a discrepency between what is expected on paper and what is actually expected in practice. Of course, in Western culture in general (not just in the Church), what is written on paper can typically be taken very literally.

So, the comparison between the Orthodox and RC fasting rules that exist on paper is really quite nonsensical. The Orthodox rules certainly do not constitute bishops dictating people's penitential lives. The RC ones evidently used to, but not anymore.

So it is all right for people to disobey their bishops in Orthodoxy, I presume from what you are saying here.

I'm not sure if you're intentionally getting me wrong here. Never in the history of the Orthodox Chruch have fasting rules been enforced with stringency, with the one exception of fasting before Holy Communion. To claim that this constitutes disobedience is really stretching it.

So one is not bound to fast by obedience in Orthodoxy in anything but the communion fast?

I did not know that.  I thought that all fasting in Orthodoxy was bound by obedience to one's bishop and particular Church's hierarchy and precepts.  No wonder there are many who do not keep the fasts then.
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« Reply #47 on: October 15, 2011, 01:44:05 PM »


However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.

The change in fasting requirements came from the BISHOPS and AFTER the council was closed.  So I don't know what you mean by "top" down.  Again you make the point clearly that not all practices are highly centralized in the Catholic Church...even the nebishers are decentralized geographically.  Smiley

In Orthodoxy, I have never heard a Bishop or a Priest say that fasting is not essential.

On the contrary, Priests and Bishops have unanimously stated that if one refuses to fast and pray, then one should abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Indeed, many Orthodox Priests will read a statement before distributing Holy Communion that those who are not Orthodox or who have not fasted and prayed and received Holy Confession recently (as directed by their confessor) should not approach Holy Communion at this time.

The only fasting requirement for communing that is common to ALL Orthodox churches is fasting in the morning before the Liturgy. All other fasting requirements, as well as the requirement for frequency of confession, vary dramatically from one jurisdiction to another and from one priest to another.
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« Reply #48 on: October 15, 2011, 01:45:33 PM »


However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.

The change in fasting requirements came from the BISHOPS and AFTER the council was closed.  So I don't know what you mean by "top" down.  Again you make the point clearly that not all practices are highly centralized in the Catholic Church...even the nebishers are decentralized geographically.  Smiley

In Orthodoxy, I have never heard a Bishop or a Priest say that fasting is not essential.

On the contrary, Priests and Bishops have unanimously stated that if one refuses to fast and pray, then one should abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Indeed, many Orthodox Priests will read a statement before distributing Holy Communion that those who are not Orthodox or who have not fasted and prayed and received Holy Confession recently (as directed by their confessor) should not approach Holy Communion at this time.

The only fasting requirement for communing that is common to ALL Orthodox churches is fasting in the morning before the Liturgy. All other fasting requirements, as well as the requirement for frequency of confession, vary dramatically from one jurisdiction to another and from one priest to another.

Yes.  We must not forget the prerogatives of the local pastor to guide the faithful into salvation!!

M.
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« Reply #49 on: October 15, 2011, 01:46:36 PM »


However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.

The change in fasting requirements came from the BISHOPS and AFTER the council was closed.  So I don't know what you mean by "top" down.  Again you make the point clearly that not all practices are highly centralized in the Catholic Church...even the nebishers are decentralized geographically.  Smiley

In Orthodoxy, I have never heard a Bishop or a Priest say that fasting is not essential.

On the contrary, Priests and Bishops have unanimously stated that if one refuses to fast and pray, then one should abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Indeed, many Orthodox Priests will read a statement before distributing Holy Communion that those who are not Orthodox or who have not fasted and prayed and received Holy Confession recently (as directed by their confessor) should not approach Holy Communion at this time.

The only fasting requirement for communing that is common to ALL Orthodox churches is fasting in the morning before the Liturgy. All other fasting requirements, as well as the requirement for frequency of confession, vary dramatically from one jurisdiction to another and from one priest to another.

Well it is clear that the details vary.  But I was not aware that Fasting, in itself, was optional in Orthodoxy...outside of the communion fast.
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« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2011, 01:48:24 PM »

Quote

If different Orthodox jurisdictions have variations in their fasting rules, why is it inconsistent for Rome to allow variations within her own jurisdictions? Do our own jurisdictional discrepencies mean that we are not Catholic?

 Well the problem is that fasting is a tradition that had been spayed and neutered in the west. It wasnt really a case of freedom, its more like an abolishment. 

Yes.  And that happened at the behest of the bishops of the universal Church who thought that the faithful ought to be treated like adults and instead of having their penitential lives dictated to them, they were to bear that responsibilities on their own shoulders.  If work and parenting and the stresses of urban living precluded periods of heavy fast and abstinence then it was incumbent upon the faithful to develop penitential practices that were truly penitential and could be actually done and not just talked about or substituted for so that it would not be TOO taxing.

Again another instance where the universal Catholic Church is far less centralized than Orthodoxy.

With what stringency were fasting rules expected to be followed in the RCC prior to the reforms?

It was sinful not to follow, in obedience, ALL the rules set down by the bishops.  The sin was disobedience and not lack-of-fasting or some such.  It remains the same.  If people do NOT lead lives of prayer, almsgiving and sacrifice as their bishops have instructed, then they sin in disobedience. 

Those bishops who FAIL to teach then bear the greater brunt of the sin.

M.

OK. In the Orthodox Church, in most jurisdictions/areas, it is not normal for the majority of people to follow the fasts strictly, if at all. Hence there is a discrepency between what is expected on paper and what is actually expected in practice. Of course, in Western culture in general (not just in the Church), what is written on paper can typically be taken very literally.

So, the comparison between the Orthodox and RC fasting rules that exist on paper is really quite nonsensical. The Orthodox rules certainly do not constitute bishops dictating people's penitential lives. The RC ones evidently used to, but not anymore.

So it is all right for people to disobey their bishops in Orthodoxy, I presume from what you are saying here.

I'm not sure if you're intentionally getting me wrong here. Never in the history of the Orthodox Chruch have fasting rules been enforced with stringency, with the one exception of fasting before Holy Communion. To claim that this constitutes disobedience is really stretching it.

So one is not bound to fast by obedience in Orthodoxy in anything but the communion fast?

I did not know that.  I thought that all fasting in Orthodoxy was bound by obedience to one's bishop and particular Church's hierarchy and precepts.  No wonder there are many who do not keep the fasts then.

Some bishops and priests are stricter than others. In many places, what you have said is essentially correct, except that I never thought of fasting as an act of obedience to a bishop. There is so much variation in local pratices that I simply cannot give a general answer for the whole Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2011, 01:51:17 PM »


However, within Catholicism (from my own experience in Los Angeles), if a member dared to fast (even secretly) and was observed eating freshly caught and cooked fish at a coastal restaurant, they were accused of being "holier than the Pope." So, yes, more lenient fasting rules were pushed from the top down after Vatican II. Dominican Tertiaries still fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays after Vatican II, but they were still criticized.

The change in fasting requirements came from the BISHOPS and AFTER the council was closed.  So I don't know what you mean by "top" down.  Again you make the point clearly that not all practices are highly centralized in the Catholic Church...even the nebishers are decentralized geographically.  Smiley

In Orthodoxy, I have never heard a Bishop or a Priest say that fasting is not essential.

On the contrary, Priests and Bishops have unanimously stated that if one refuses to fast and pray, then one should abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Indeed, many Orthodox Priests will read a statement before distributing Holy Communion that those who are not Orthodox or who have not fasted and prayed and received Holy Confession recently (as directed by their confessor) should not approach Holy Communion at this time.

The only fasting requirement for communing that is common to ALL Orthodox churches is fasting in the morning before the Liturgy. All other fasting requirements, as well as the requirement for frequency of confession, vary dramatically from one jurisdiction to another and from one priest to another.

Well it is clear that the details vary.  But I was not aware that Fasting, in itself, was optional in Orthodoxy...outside of the communion fast.

The faithful are universally encouraged to fast. In most jurisdictions, you will not see people being refused from the chalice because they ate a ham sandwich that Friday.
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« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2011, 01:55:36 PM »

Well it is clear that the details vary.  But I was not aware that Fasting, in itself, was optional in Orthodoxy...outside of the communion fast.

Generally speaking, Orthodox tradition does not impose clearly defined "required practices" and "optional practices for bonus points." Some people are uncomfortable with that, but it's just the way it is.
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« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2011, 02:14:04 PM »

Well it is clear that the details vary.  But I was not aware that Fasting, in itself, was optional in Orthodoxy...outside of the communion fast.

Generally speaking, Orthodox tradition does not impose clearly defined "required practices" and "optional practices for bonus points." Some people are uncomfortable with that, but it's just the way it is.

If your flippant characterization of Catholic practice is normative for Orthodox believers then no wonder you all don't think we share anything near a common faith.  There are no additional practices for bonus points.

The Church follows the advisement of Jesus who called for the practices of prayer, alms-giving and sacrifice.  We are bound to our bishops in obedience in much the same way that a monk or friar is bound to his Abbott or Superior, or a nun to her Abbess or Superior.  It is a binding of love, meant to mirror the binding of man to God.  The more we extend ourselves in His name the better...We simply never know for whom it is better for those gifts of self are bound up with the gifts of the Christ and used for the benefit of all or one or many: we never know...but to refer to them as bonus points is far more crude and callous than ever is my calling someone "dear"....
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« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2011, 02:53:09 PM »

I have been to many Orthodox Lenten retreats.

Every Orthodox Priest has encouraged people to fast to the best of their ability as many people do have health problems.

Christ said, "When you fast ..." NOT "If you decide to fast ..."

The fast, therefore, is adjusted to fit the penitent with the help of their spiritual father, and people do the best they can.

However, if a person were to go to confession and tell the priest that fasting was not essential and that he/she refused to fast, then that priest most likely would deny the chalice to that person.

And if that person ate a ham sandwich  
(1) when they knew that it was a Wednesday, Friday, or a Fast day during Lent and they ate it anyway;
(2) when there was an alternative selection of food possible;
(3) when they were not traveling or a guest at a home where to refuse would upset the host.
(4) when they had no medical need to do so (such as diabetes), but did so anyway.
(5) when eating such a sandwich could give scandal to others;

Then that person seriously needs to go to confession.


Are the above 5 points also consistent with Catholic practices?
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« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2011, 03:19:54 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.
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« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2011, 04:03:02 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

Please do not allude to the "holier than the Pope" Pharisaical bit. That is a cop out.

We are not to judge others, but instead, we should strive our best to put on Christ and keep our baptismal robes white.

The only way we can avoid sin is to pray and fast. The two go together.
I hate to bring this up, but many Catholics have suggested that the huge pedophilia scandal is due to the lack of fasting, and hence inability to say NO to sin.

Fasting is essential for the spiritual life. Christ did not say, IF, but WHEN you fast.

So, yes, while we are encouraged to fast from food, TV, entertainment, candy, and similar pleasures, we are also encouraged to give alms and do spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

We should ask ourselves: Are we doing all we can to live our lives as Christians?
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« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2011, 04:17:00 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.
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« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2011, 04:22:15 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

Passivity is not a virtue.

Using the pharisical cop-out is not a virtue either.

We are to run the race, and the only way to grow in the spiritual life is to pray and fast.
If we do not pray and fast (to the best of our ability), we will fail. Screwtape would be so proud.
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« Reply #59 on: October 15, 2011, 04:53:40 PM »

Well it is clear that the details vary.  But I was not aware that Fasting, in itself, was optional in Orthodoxy...outside of the communion fast.

Generally speaking, Orthodox tradition does not impose clearly defined "required practices" and "optional practices for bonus points." Some people are uncomfortable with that, but it's just the way it is.

If your flippant characterization of Catholic practice

I'm not flippantly characterizing Catholic practice. I'm trying to escape from being pidgeonholed into saying something ridiculous, such as, "Orthodox think it's OK to disobey their bishops because they don't all follow strict fasting rules to the letter."

Quote
is normative for Orthodox believers then no wonder you all don't think we share anything near a common faith.

Please back up your assertion that we "don't think we share anything near a common faith."

Quote
There are no additional practices for bonus points.

It seems to me that you've been trying to say that Orthodox either have legalistic fasting rules or disobey their bishops. In reality, there is more to Orthodox practice than what is written on paper. The fasting rules are much more dynamic than you seem to think they have to be. Indeed, it seems much more characteristic of Roman Catholic practice to expect everyone to follow the rules exactly as written on paper. Obviously, imposing the same rules on hundreds of millions of people around the world was not expedient, so perhaps the only way to meet people's differing needs was to do away with the rules altogether. An assumption you seem to be making throughout your posts is that if a bishop makes a rule, everyone has to follow it exactly, but if there are no rules, then we can do whatever we want. If that is how you do it, the that's fine, but that's not how we do it.

Quote
The Church follows the advisement of Jesus who called for the practices of prayer, alms-giving and sacrifice.  We are bound to our bishops in obedience in much the same way that a monk or friar is bound to his Abbott or Superior, or a nun to her Abbess or Superior.  It is a binding of love, meant to mirror the binding of man to God.

Yes. Are you still suggesting that Orthodox who do not observe all the fasts are disobedient to their bishops? The bishops themselves certainly don't view it that harshly.

Quote
The more we extend ourselves in His name the better...

It's not a good idea for a bishop to command thousands or millions of people under his guidance to extend themselves the exact same amount. That's why we can have leniency while still having rules.

Quote
We simply never know for whom it is better for those gifts of self are bound up with the gifts of the Christ and used for the benefit of all or one or many: we never know...

Huh

Quote
but to refer to them as bonus points is far more crude and callous than ever is my calling someone "dear"....

Please do not accuse me of accusing you of saying something patronizing that another poster accused you of saying.
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« Reply #60 on: October 15, 2011, 05:00:21 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

Passivity is not a virtue.

Using the pharisical cop-out is not a virtue either.

We are to run the race, and the only way to grow in the spiritual life is to pray and fast.
If we do not pray and fast (to the best of our ability), we will fail. Screwtape would be so proud.

Who is copping out? I follow the fasts. I have nothing to excuse myself from.

I don't deny that fasting is virtually essential. I absolutely don't think, however, that in order to be Catholic the entire Church must follow the same rules, as some posters have implied.
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« Reply #61 on: October 15, 2011, 06:14:15 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

Passivity is not a virtue.

Using the pharisical cop-out is not a virtue either.

We are to run the race, and the only way to grow in the spiritual life is to pray and fast.
If we do not pray and fast (to the best of our ability), we will fail. Screwtape would be so proud.

Who is copping out? I follow the fasts. I have nothing to excuse myself from.

I don't deny that fasting is virtually essential. I absolutely don't think, however, that in order to be Catholic the entire Church must follow the same rules, as some posters have implied.

There is a difference between a mandatory fast and abstinence (which the Catholic Church previously imposed on the faithful) and an ideal fast and abstinence which does not bind under pain of mortal sin. I think today, the Catholic Church is trying to be more reasonable and let people observe the fast as best as they can physically and mentally without running to their bishop and priest for continual dispensations.  Shocked

Under the pre-Vatican II, Irish Catholic bishops were granting dispensations from the fast on St. Patrick's feast day every year, so that people could enjoy their pint of green ale along with the traditional greasy Irish foods.
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« Reply #62 on: October 15, 2011, 07:55:07 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

Passivity is not a virtue.

Using the pharisical cop-out is not a virtue either.

We are to run the race, and the only way to grow in the spiritual life is to pray and fast.
If we do not pray and fast (to the best of our ability), we will fail. Screwtape would be so proud.

Who is copping out? I follow the fasts. I have nothing to excuse myself from.

I don't deny that fasting is virtually essential. I absolutely don't think, however, that in order to be Catholic the entire Church must follow the same rules, as some posters have implied.

There is a difference between a mandatory fast and abstinence (which the Catholic Church previously imposed on the faithful) and an ideal fast and abstinence which does not bind under pain of mortal sin. I think today, the Catholic Church is trying to be more reasonable and let people observe the fast as best as they can physically and mentally without running to their bishop and priest for continual dispensations.  Shocked

Under the pre-Vatican II, Irish Catholic bishops were granting dispensations from the fast on St. Patrick's feast day every year, so that people could enjoy their pint of green ale along with the traditional greasy Irish foods.

I Agree.
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« Reply #63 on: October 15, 2011, 09:25:49 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

Please do not allude to the "holier than the Pope" Pharisaical bit. That is a cop out.

We are not to judge others, but instead, we should strive our best to put on Christ and keep our baptismal robes white.

The only way we can avoid sin is to pray and fast. The two go together.
I hate to bring this up, but many Catholics have suggested that the huge pedophilia scandal is due to the lack of fasting, and hence inability to say NO to sin.

Fasting is essential for the spiritual life. Christ did not say, IF, but WHEN you fast.

So, yes, while we are encouraged to fast from food, TV, entertainment, candy, and similar pleasures, we are also encouraged to give alms and do spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

We should ask ourselves: Are we doing all we can to live our lives as Christians?

Well!!  I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with you on every point but there's not much here that I would care to counter.

I believe that not only are our bishops figuring out that we need to return to the fasts but the faithful knew it FIRST...and many have gone back to the practice.   

Fasting is more than a suggested practice and I thought it was also more than a suggested practice in Orthodoxy.

HOWEVER: even when it is a practice to be done in obedience, as I do things in obedience to my spiritual father for example, it is not so rigid that one cannot make adjustments now and then or work out weaknesses over time.

This last is a general comment not directed to anyone in particular.
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« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2011, 09:29:08 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

You speak wisely.  Of course one works pastorally to achieve spiritual growth.  But that does not mean that there are no principles or precepts that ought to be obeyed or met to the fullest measure possible.  Humility cannot ever be cultivated without obedience.
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« Reply #65 on: October 15, 2011, 09:33:46 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

Passivity is not a virtue.

Using the pharisical cop-out is not a virtue either.

We are to run the race, and the only way to grow in the spiritual life is to pray and fast.
If we do not pray and fast (to the best of our ability), we will fail. Screwtape would be so proud.

Who is copping out? I follow the fasts. I have nothing to excuse myself from.

I don't deny that fasting is virtually essential. I absolutely don't think, however, that in order to be Catholic the entire Church must follow the same rules, as some posters have implied.

There is a difference between a mandatory fast and abstinence (which the Catholic Church previously imposed on the faithful) and an ideal fast and abstinence which does not bind under pain of mortal sin. I think today, the Catholic Church is trying to be more reasonable and let people observe the fast as best as they can physically and mentally without running to their bishop and priest for continual dispensations.  Shocked

I don't think you've got this one nailed down quite.

The "mandatory" fast was never lifted.  It is still an obligation to fast OR to find some ascetic practice to take the place of fasting.  These things are still obligatory.  But the obligation does not mean that there can be NO exceptions.  It means that we are to THINK about what it is that we DO. 

A primary, if not the only, goal  is to get people talking to their priests and bishops about their spiritual life...in large part this is the goal of many pastoral obligations.  So the idea that we've been set free to keep from having to talk about what we do is NOT what was intended.  IF that is what has happened then it is our fault as well as the fault of the clergy who became unavailable to their flock.
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« Reply #66 on: October 15, 2011, 09:42:38 PM »


Please do not accuse me of accusing you of saying something patronizing that another poster accused you of saying.

Relax.  I am not the enemy  Smiley

Just trying to think out loud and get us talking about something that I think is vital to all of us.

I'll get to the rest of your post tomorrow.  Tonight I am sloo teepy...or something.

Don't worry.  I don't think bad things about either Orthodox or Catholic when it comes to fasting.  I actually think that in principle we have very similar understandings of the matter and similar and divergent ways of messing things up.  It was a daring experiment to turn the spiritual life of the laity over to the laity.  In some ways, and for some, it was a roaring success, and for others it was an unmitigated disaster.

I believe the decision in England and Wales was made in part as penance for the behavior of some Catholic clergy who could not exercise continence, and who brought shame and active evil into the Church.  I also think that fasting is a way to bring people back into the Church more actively.  I think it will work.  I pray it will.
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« Reply #67 on: October 16, 2011, 01:58:02 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

Please do not allude to the "holier than the Pope" Pharisaical bit. That is a cop out.

We are not to judge others, but instead, we should strive our best to put on Christ and keep our baptismal robes white.

The only way we can avoid sin is to pray and fast. The two go together.
I hate to bring this up, but many Catholics have suggested that the huge pedophilia scandal is due to the lack of fasting, and hence inability to say NO to sin.

Fasting is essential for the spiritual life. Christ did not say, IF, but WHEN you fast.

So, yes, while we are encouraged to fast from food, TV, entertainment, candy, and similar pleasures, we are also encouraged to give alms and do spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

We should ask ourselves: Are we doing all we can to live our lives as Christians?

 Huh

What's the "cop-out"?  "Holier than the Pope"?  What on earth are you talking about?

I think you have grossly misunderstood me, and I'll take the blame for that for not being as clear as I possibly could have been.

Let me try again--in possibly over-analyzing who is to fast, and when, and from what, and so on, it seems to me that we can easily lose sight of the fact that we are to fast, as I said, from sin, and that the fasts offered to us by the Church are but a means to that end.  I am most certainly not judging anyone about that.  I did not and never have suggested that we not be obedient to our Church and our bishops with regards to fasting or that we should not fast to the extent we are able, in accordance with our Church's guidelines and bishop's instructions.  If anyone thought that I was even hinting at that, they are very wrong, indeed.

Yes, Christ did say "when you fast"....no argument there.  He also said, in another context but one which could possibly be applied to other situations, "11 not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" 13 He answered, "Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." 15 But Peter said to him, "Explain the parable to us." 16 And he said, "Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and so passes on? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander." Matt. 15:11-19 

He did not give us, as I referred to earlier, jot and tittle on fasting so that we might get caught up in the details more than the reason and spirit of fasting.  I have known many, myself included at times unfortunately, who have focused so much on the fast itself and the details of it that they have forgotten the spirit of it and have sinned in their judgment of others for not fasting or for not fasting in accordance with the rules of the Church--as far as they could see, that is, or for not reading every label and refraining from every molecule of the "forbidden" substances, etc. 

So I would ask you, what is worse, to know all the ins and outs, rules and regs. of fasting and to fast "well" in accordance with all the rules, etc. and stand in judgment of those who do not do so, or at the other extreme, to not fast or to fast partially and otherwise keep our mouths shut and our minds on God?  I am not, btw, forgetting that there is also a middle ground here, too.
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« Reply #68 on: October 16, 2011, 05:10:19 PM »

(Rome only went to the vernacular after Vatican II.)

The vernacular has always been found in Roman rite liturgies.  Again it depended on the time and place and bishop and the needs of the faithful.
Prove it. This has to be one of the most absurd posts I have ever seen here.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #69 on: October 16, 2011, 05:14:41 PM »

(Rome only went to the vernacular after Vatican II.)

The vernacular has always been found in Roman rite liturgies.  Again it depended on the time and place and bishop and the needs of the faithful.
Prove it. This has to be one of the most absurd posts I have ever seen here.

In Christ,
Andrew

Any good history of the Church will mention those periods, pre and post Tridentine, and places where the vernacular was used in the liturgy.  I don't know how much I'll be able to find on-line though.

As for one of the most absurd posts?...I'll leave that to you  Smiley...to decide of course.
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« Reply #70 on: October 16, 2011, 07:02:12 PM »

(Rome only went to the vernacular after Vatican II.)

The vernacular has always been found in Roman rite liturgies.  Again it depended on the time and place and bishop and the needs of the faithful.
Prove it. This has to be one of the most absurd posts I have ever seen here.

In Christ,
Andrew

Was able to do MUCH better than I expected to do on-line.  So who is absurd now?...eh?   Cheesy

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2786
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« Reply #71 on: October 16, 2011, 07:21:31 PM »

Here is more with German and French references to vernacular liturgies and the bilingual editions of people's missals.  There's much more of this history on-line than I thought,  but I hate looking too absurd, so I'll let this suffice for the time being.

http://tiny.cc/lr47h


Stage One

Bridging the centuries

16th C
From the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) it was the responsibility of the bishops of a particular
country to determine vernacular texts of the Bible.

1882
The Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous published a French Missal for the people.

1884
The Benedictine Abbey of Beuron in Germany published a German Missal for the people that became known
for its editor as the Schott buch.

1898
The Holy Office removed the censure of the Index of Forbidden Books on translations of the Roman Missal.

1940
The first Liturgical Week was held in the United States beginning a systematic sequence of liturgical education for many levels of participants.

1942
Distribution to American troops of a camouflage coloured canvas edition of Father Hoever’s Sunday Missal, I Pray the Mass, a vernacular edition with parallel Latin and English texts of the Mass and popular prayers.

1943
The Centre for Pastoral Liturgy was established at the Institut Catholique in Paris.

Approval from Rome of the German Singmesse, after being used for over a hundred years. This was a form of sung Mass where Latin texts such as the Gloria or Creed were replaced by German hymns of that theme.

1947
Pope Pius XII and the Sacred Congregation of Rites (SCR) approved substantial use of the vernacular in various sacraments, so that the Roman Ritual was published in bilingual editions.

The Notre Dame University began the School of Liturgical Studies which became the first Liturgical Institute in the English speaking world.

Pius XII issued the encyclical Mediator Dei, which was the first encyclical to deal specifically with the Liturgy and which helped bring the Liturgical Movement to the mainstream life of the Church.
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« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2011, 10:36:48 PM »

(Rome only went to the vernacular after Vatican II.)

The vernacular has always been found in Roman rite liturgies.  Again it depended on the time and place and bishop and the needs of the faithful.
Prove it. This has to be one of the most absurd posts I have ever seen here.

In Christ,
Andrew

Was able to do MUCH better than I expected to do on-line.  So who is absurd now?...eh?   Cheesy

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2786
Random smatterings hardly prove that your church has ALWAYS done so. That's one big stretch. Btw, I never said YOU were absurd. You knew that, though, I'm sure.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #73 on: October 16, 2011, 11:11:43 PM »

Translations of the Latin into English, French, or German for the laity in the pews do not equal the Mass celebrated in the vernacular.

It is interesting to see that Missals with the Mass translated into the various vernaculars for pew usage (laity) were taken off the VATICAN INDEX of forbidden books in 1898. That was an eye opener and shows how the Vatican tried to suppress the use of the vernacular even by the laity to follow along with the Priest who was praying in Latin. Sheesh.

But this discussion about the use of the vernacular is really off topic to this thread, and should probably be its own thread.

Back on topic: When reading various history books about Latin America during the time of the conquistadors, I found that mention was made about the BLACK FAST in the Roman Catholic Church. This fast was similar to the Orthodox Lenten Fast: No eggs, no dairy, no meats.

Although the return to the Friday abstention from red meat and fowl might be considered to be strenuous today, consider what the conquistadors had to endure, and they were traveling on ships when they were observing the fast with a limited diet to begin with.


Here is more with German and French references to vernacular liturgies and the bilingual editions of people's missals.  There's much more of this history on-line than I thought,  but I hate looking too absurd, so I'll let this suffice for the time being.

http://tiny.cc/lr47h


Stage One

Bridging the centuries

16th C
From the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) it was the responsibility of the bishops of a particular
country to determine vernacular texts of the Bible.

1882
The Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous published a French Missal for the people.

1884
The Benedictine Abbey of Beuron in Germany published a German Missal for the people that became known
for its editor as the Schott buch.

1898
The Holy Office removed the censure of the Index of Forbidden Books on translations of the Roman Missal.

1940
The first Liturgical Week was held in the United States beginning a systematic sequence of liturgical education for many levels of participants.

1942
Distribution to American troops of a camouflage coloured canvas edition of Father Hoever’s Sunday Missal, I Pray the Mass, a vernacular edition with parallel Latin and English texts of the Mass and popular prayers.

1943
The Centre for Pastoral Liturgy was established at the Institut Catholique in Paris.

Approval from Rome of the German Singmesse, after being used for over a hundred years. This was a form of sung Mass where Latin texts such as the Gloria or Creed were replaced by German hymns of that theme.

1947
Pope Pius XII and the Sacred Congregation of Rites (SCR) approved substantial use of the vernacular in various sacraments, so that the Roman Ritual was published in bilingual editions.

The Notre Dame University began the School of Liturgical Studies which became the first Liturgical Institute in the English speaking world.

Pius XII issued the encyclical Mediator Dei, which was the first encyclical to deal specifically with the Liturgy and which helped bring the Liturgical Movement to the mainstream life of the Church.
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« Reply #74 on: October 17, 2011, 10:44:13 AM »

(Rome only went to the vernacular after Vatican II.)

The vernacular has always been found in Roman rite liturgies.  Again it depended on the time and place and bishop and the needs of the faithful.
Prove it. This has to be one of the most absurd posts I have ever seen here.

In Christ,
Andrew

Was able to do MUCH better than I expected to do on-line.  So who is absurd now?...eh?   Cheesy

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2786
Random smatterings hardly prove that your church has ALWAYS done so. That's one big stretch. Btw, I never said YOU were absurd. You knew that, though, I'm sure.

In Christ,
Andrew

There were trends and patterns...not "random smatterings" and it is NOT absurd to say so.  It is history and fact.  And when Latin was first introduced it was because it, and not Greek, was becoming the lingua franca of the western empire.    The reason Trent insisted that the liturgy be in Latin was so that people could differentiate the Catholic Church from the western schismatics.

This is basic Church history.  Not rocket science.
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« Reply #75 on: October 17, 2011, 10:47:03 AM »

Translations of the Latin into English, French, or German for the laity in the pews do not equal the Mass celebrated in the vernacular.


In Germany and France it certainly did mean that...

What is this need to insist that the Church never made allowances for the linguistic needs of the people?

Why does this myth need to be perpetuated?
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« Reply #76 on: October 17, 2011, 12:44:33 PM »

I'm sorry, but what does this have to do with the thread topic?  Huh
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« Reply #77 on: October 17, 2011, 12:55:48 PM »

I'm sorry, but what does this have to do with the thread topic?  Huh

You want folks to stay on topic Huh??  After more than 3 or 4 posts?Huh?  Really  Roll Eyes Grin Shocked Roll Eyes Grin Shocked?
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« Reply #78 on: October 17, 2011, 05:08:52 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

The only way we can avoid sin is to pray and fast. The two go together.
I hate to bring this up, but many Catholics have suggested that the huge pedophilia scandal is due to the lack of fasting, and hence inability to say NO to sin.


This is something I've never heard before, and was wondering if there is **any** evidence anywhere to back that up.  Not speculation, but evidence.  And remember, correlation does not equal causation.

(If the mods want to move this to a separate thread, that's fine by me  Wink)
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« Reply #79 on: October 17, 2011, 06:06:50 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

The only way we can avoid sin is to pray and fast. The two go together.
I hate to bring this up, but many Catholics have suggested that the huge pedophilia scandal is due to the lack of fasting, and hence inability to say NO to sin.


This is something I've never heard before, and was wondering if there is **any** evidence anywhere to back that up.  Not speculation, but evidence.  And remember, correlation does not equal causation.

(If the mods want to move this to a separate thread, that's fine by me  Wink)

Why do we fast? Is it not to say NO to sin: any and all sins (including sins of passion)?

Why do the monastics abstain from meat throughout the year, only having fish on special feast days?
They do battle against their passions.

What is the main amino acid in meat products that stimulates the passions? l-Carnitine?
Scientific studies of primates indicates that certain primates need to indulge in meat in order to mate, conceive, and then bring to fruition healthy offspring. I have lost the link to one of these studies, but a search using any college search engines will bring that one up. Right now, I do not have access to a college computer.

Then ask yourself, has the pedophilia epidemic improved or become worse since Vatican II and the dismal changes in the rules of fast and abstinence?

Why was the Friday Abstinence once again imposed on the people of England and Wales?
Was it punishment, or was there another reason?

FINALLY, I will say this:

The Friday abstinence is TOO LITTLE and TOO LATE.
Having the laity observe abstinence only one day a week is inconsequential.
Observing the Ancient Fast on Wednesdays and Fridays is better.
Observing the Nativity Fast and Great Lenten fast to the best of one's ability would be very helpful.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 06:22:13 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #80 on: October 17, 2011, 06:25:35 PM »

Its nice to see this traditional practice returning to the RCC.  It really built up a sense of solidarity amongst our members which is definitely needed today more then ever.  However, unless one is a "meat a holic" I seriously doubt that abstaining from it for one day a week is going to cause any serious disturbances in most peoples lives. 

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« Reply #81 on: October 17, 2011, 06:27:34 PM »

Its nice to see this traditional practice returning to the RCC.  It really built up a sense of solidarity amongst our members which is definitely needed today more then ever.  However, unless one is a "meat a holic" I seriously doubt that abstaining from it for one day a week is going to cause any serious disturbances in most peoples lives.  



And if one has a craving for meat due to medical problems, then they will be excused from the fast.

However, I must say, that as a lacto-vegetarian, I have found that I struggle with my passions far less than I used to when I was eating meat and eggs.
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« Reply #82 on: October 17, 2011, 07:29:59 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

You speak wisely.  Of course one works pastorally to achieve spiritual growth.  But that does not mean that there are no principles or precepts that ought to be obeyed or met to the fullest measure possible.  Humility cannot ever be cultivated without obedience.

This is true. Perhaps the reason that many Orthodox (at least in the US) don't think the fasts are of any significance is that our bishops have done very little to communicate that. Our hierarchs are generally much more absorbed in political affairs than pastoral ones.
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« Reply #83 on: October 17, 2011, 07:42:32 PM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

This is exactly what I've been taught, too. Obviously the fasts are very good, and people should follow them, but it's not necessarily reasonable to be excommunicating people for not following them, especially if frequent Communion is the expected practice.

To make myself clear, if a certain priest of bishop says that every communicant has to observe X fasts to the best of their ability, that's fine, and many priests do that. But there is no way that some priest can be called "not Catholic" because he is more lenient than usual.

You speak wisely.  Of course one works pastorally to achieve spiritual growth.  But that does not mean that there are no principles or precepts that ought to be obeyed or met to the fullest measure possible.  Humility cannot ever be cultivated without obedience.

This is true. Perhaps the reason that many Orthodox (at least in the US) don't think the fasts are of any significance is that our bishops have done very little to communicate that. Our hierarchs are generally much more absorbed in political affairs than pastoral ones.

Should we start another thread on the political statements of the Orthodox and Catholic bishops. Sheesh.
Sometimes I think of the movie, Wag the Dog. Some bishops apparently bring up politics so they will not have to discuss essential things like fasting, while politicians bring up war mongering to cover up sex scandals.
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« Reply #84 on: October 17, 2011, 07:44:19 PM »

I actually think that in principle we have very similar understandings of the matter and similar and divergent ways of messing things up.

Well, we definitely all have ways of messing things up. I would be interested to know what the purpose of fasting has traditionally been understood to be in the Catholic Church...from a Catholic, rather than from some anti-Catholic propaganda artist.
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« Reply #85 on: October 17, 2011, 07:48:26 PM »

I actually think that in principle we have very similar understandings of the matter and similar and divergent ways of messing things up.

Well, we definitely all have ways of messing things up. I would be interested to know what the purpose of fasting has traditionally been understood to be in the Catholic Church...from a Catholic, rather than from some anti-Catholic propaganda artist.

I was a Catholic for most of my life, and I always thought of fasting as a punishment for my sins, something to lessen our time in purgatory. The nuns did a terrible job on us.

However, as an Orthodox, I was taught for the first time that fasting from food helps us to fast from things that come out of our mouth and from sin. It was an eye-opener.
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« Reply #86 on: October 17, 2011, 08:06:19 PM »

I actually think that in principle we have very similar understandings of the matter and similar and divergent ways of messing things up.

Well, we definitely all have ways of messing things up. I would be interested to know what the purpose of fasting has traditionally been understood to be in the Catholic Church...from a Catholic, rather than from some anti-Catholic propaganda artist.

I was a Catholic for most of my life, and I always thought of fasting as a punishment for my sins, something to lessen our time in purgatory. The nuns did a terrible job on us.

However, as an Orthodox, I was taught for the first time that fasting from food helps us to fast from things that come out of our mouth and from sin. It was an eye-opener.

Fasting = punishment for sins is the way I've heard older-generation EX-Cathilics explain it. Younger Catholics seem to have different ideas. Older Catholics who are still practicing are hard to come by in my life. The nuns must've done a terrible job on them.

Of course, there are Orthodox people who have completely ridiculous ideas about why we should fast that go well beyond "it's just punishment." One Greek I know thought that meat intrinsically makes us impure before God. Another Greek, this one a priest, said that we have to eat meat, because, unlike vegetables, meat has souls in it. I'm assuming that different Catholics also have different ideas, some more sophisticated than others.

Thank you for your input.
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« Reply #87 on: October 17, 2011, 08:18:07 PM »

I actually think that in principle we have very similar understandings of the matter and similar and divergent ways of messing things up.

Well, we definitely all have ways of messing things up. I would be interested to know what the purpose of fasting has traditionally been understood to be in the Catholic Church...from a Catholic, rather than from some anti-Catholic propaganda artist.

I was a Catholic for most of my life, and I always thought of fasting as a punishment for my sins, something to lessen our time in purgatory. The nuns did a terrible job on us.

However, as an Orthodox, I was taught for the first time that fasting from food helps us to fast from things that come out of our mouth and from sin. It was an eye-opener.

Fasting = punishment for sins is the way I've heard older-generation EX-Cathilics explain it. Younger Catholics seem to have different ideas. Older Catholics who are still practicing are hard to come by in my life. The nuns must've done a terrible job on them.

Of course, there are Orthodox people who have completely ridiculous ideas about why we should fast that go well beyond "it's just punishment." One Greek I know thought that meat intrinsically makes us impure before God. Another Greek, this one a priest, said that we have to eat meat, because, unlike vegetables, meat has souls in it. I'm assuming that different Catholics also have different ideas, some more sophisticated than others.

Thank you for your input.

You are very welcome Wink
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« Reply #88 on: October 17, 2011, 08:22:33 PM »

I actually think that in principle we have very similar understandings of the matter and similar and divergent ways of messing things up.

Well, we definitely all have ways of messing things up. I would be interested to know what the purpose of fasting has traditionally been understood to be in the Catholic Church...from a Catholic, rather than from some anti-Catholic propaganda artist.

I was a Catholic for most of my life, and I always thought of fasting as a punishment for my sins, something to lessen our time in purgatory. The nuns did a terrible job on us.

However, as an Orthodox, I was taught for the first time that fasting from food helps us to fast from things that come out of our mouth and from sin. It was an eye-opener.

Fasting = punishment for sins is the way I've heard older-generation EX-Cathilics explain it. Younger Catholics seem to have different ideas. Older Catholics who are still practicing are hard to come by in my life. The nuns must've done a terrible job on them.

I've never heard that in my life...and I come from a huge Irish and French Catholic family on my father's side. 

Fasting always was a reminder for us to be grateful for all God's bounty and as a means of controlling our passions, particularly our tempers.  That is what I was taught as a child in school and in my home.

M.
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« Reply #89 on: October 17, 2011, 08:30:35 PM »

I actually think that in principle we have very similar understandings of the matter and similar and divergent ways of messing things up.

Well, we definitely all have ways of messing things up. I would be interested to know what the purpose of fasting has traditionally been understood to be in the Catholic Church...from a Catholic, rather than from some anti-Catholic propaganda artist.

I was a Catholic for most of my life, and I always thought of fasting as a punishment for my sins, something to lessen our time in purgatory. The nuns did a terrible job on us.

However, as an Orthodox, I was taught for the first time that fasting from food helps us to fast from things that come out of our mouth and from sin. It was an eye-opener.

Fasting = punishment for sins is the way I've heard older-generation EX-Cathilics explain it. Younger Catholics seem to have different ideas. Older Catholics who are still practicing are hard to come by in my life. The nuns must've done a terrible job on them.

I've never heard that in my life...and I come from a huge Irish and French Catholic family on my father's side.  

Fasting always was a reminder for us to be grateful for all God's bounty and as a means of controlling our passions, particularly our tempers.  That is what I was taught as a child in school and in my home.

M.

My family was largely Irish, French, German and Jansenistic. My father was agnostic for most of his life. The Jesuits did a number on him.
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« Reply #90 on: October 17, 2011, 08:32:46 PM »



My family was largely Irish, French, German and Jansenistic.

Apparently, thankfully, we all missed the last part.
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« Reply #91 on: October 18, 2011, 11:33:37 AM »

It would be very easy to become Pharisaical about fasting, either in Orthodoxy or Catholicism.  Fasting is a means, not an end.  To adhere to every jot and tittle of the rules for fasting from food can quickly makes us into pharisees.  I have always been taught that we are to fast from *sin* and that the fasts involving food items were just an aid to help remind us of that and to bring us closer to that ideal.  I can only imagine that that is why in the Catholic Church we are encouraged to partake of other penitential practices if we are unable, for whatever reason, to fast from food.  The only exception to this that I can think of at the moment would be the pre-communion fast.

The only way we can avoid sin is to pray and fast. The two go together.
I hate to bring this up, but many Catholics have suggested that the huge pedophilia scandal is due to the lack of fasting, and hence inability to say NO to sin.


This is something I've never heard before, and was wondering if there is **any** evidence anywhere to back that up.  Not speculation, but evidence.  And remember, correlation does not equal causation.

(If the mods want to move this to a separate thread, that's fine by me  Wink)

Why do we fast? Is it not to say NO to sin: any and all sins (including sins of passion)?

Why do the monastics abstain from meat throughout the year, only having fish on special feast days?
They do battle against their passions.

What is the main amino acid in meat products that stimulates the passions? l-Carnitine?
Scientific studies of primates indicates that certain primates need to indulge in meat in order to mate, conceive, and then bring to fruition healthy offspring. I have lost the link to one of these studies, but a search using any college search engines will bring that one up. Right now, I do not have access to a college computer.

Then ask yourself, has the pedophilia epidemic improved or become worse since Vatican II and the dismal changes in the rules of fast and abstinence?

Why was the Friday Abstinence once again imposed on the people of England and Wales?
Was it punishment, or was there another reason?

FINALLY, I will say this:

The Friday abstinence is TOO LITTLE and TOO LATE.
Having the laity observe abstinence only one day a week is inconsequential.
Observing the Ancient Fast on Wednesdays and Fridays is better.
Observing the Nativity Fast and Great Lenten fast to the best of one's ability would be very helpful.

I wasn't asking why we fast, and I agree that we do so for our spiritual benefit, and out of obedience to the Church.

I wasn't asking why monastics fast.  I'm aware of the reasons.  The *vast* majority of us are not monastics.

L-Carnitine?  Really??  That's why we sin??  Paleeeze!!  L-carnitine plays an important role in energy production by chaperoning activated fatty acids (acyl-CoA) into the mitochondrial matrix.  In other words it helps to store and increase energy.  Meat eaters tend to get more of it than those who do not eat meat.  Is energy used for sexual activity?  Well...duh!  Are there more meat eaters on the planet than vegetarians/vegans?  Don't know.  Is there a causal relationship between l-carnitine levels and  the number of human carnivores on the planet compared to the number of vegetarians?  I doubt it, but since you bring it up, prove it.  Oh yes, here's one for you--were Adam and Eve carnivores, omnivores, or vegetarians?  Did they just grill a steak before eating the apple??  C'mon!!!  News Flash!!--"L-Carnitine inflames the passions and causes sin!!"  Give me a break!!!

You write, "Then ask yourself, has the pedophilia epidemic improved or become worse since Vatican II and the dismal changes in the rules of fast and abstinence?"  Do you have reliable statistics for the **proven** incidence of pedophilia amongst Catholic priests prior to Vatican II?  Did you not know that the incidence of pedophilia (using your term as a catch-all for sexual abuse, not very accurately by the way) amongst Protestant ministers, teachers, and other segments of U.S. society has been said to be at least the same as, if not far greater than, that *reported* (and not all reports are true) of Catholic priests? 

I asked for *evidence*, NOT speculation or correlational logic to back up your statement that the pedophilia scandal is due to a lack of fasting, and you have provided.....none.  If you are unable to do so, just say so.  No one will hold it against you.  If you do have reliable evidence, let's see it!

Now, I will concede one point about that, and one only--the more we pray and fast, *especially* if under some form of good spiritual direction, the less we *may* sin.  But, it sure isn't a hard and fast arithmetical or mathematical equation like 1+1 *always*=2.  No guarantee.  None.

You say, "having the laity observe abstinence one day a week is inconsequential".  Now, *there's* a leap!  How do you *know* this??  Sounds pretty judgmental to me.

You say the Friday abstinence is too little, too late.  Perhaps as a "rule" of the Church.  Perhaps more fasting *is* better, and I would tend to agree with that.  But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!

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« Reply #92 on: October 18, 2011, 12:58:45 PM »

But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!



The desert fathers will not support your...'outrage'... Wink
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« Reply #93 on: October 18, 2011, 01:08:29 PM »

But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!



The desert fathers will not support your...'outrage'... Wink

Please explain  Wink.  You're being all cryptic again  Wink.  Or I'm being all dense again  Wink.  I will, of course, yield to the desert fathers, but please show me what I'm yielding about.
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« Reply #94 on: October 18, 2011, 02:03:35 PM »

There is nothing wrong with the passions.
If we did not have them, then our race would not have continued.

It is the lack of control and inappropriate use which is the problem.
So, these passions are brought under control through prayer, fasting, and guarding our senses.


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« Reply #95 on: October 18, 2011, 02:27:26 PM »

There is nothing wrong with the passions.
If we did not have them, then our race would not have continued.

It is the lack of control and inappropriate use which is the problem.
So, these passions are brought under control through prayer, fasting, and guarding our senses.




You'll get no argument (or 'outrage'  Grin) from me about that.  At all!

My argument with you has to do with your statement about "many" Catholics suggesting a causal relationship between the "pedophilia scandal" and lack of fasting more post-VII "pedophilia" than pre-VII, something which I'd never heard before or read, may or may not have some merit to it.  Etc., etc., etc.  Wink

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« Reply #96 on: October 18, 2011, 03:31:32 PM »

There is nothing wrong with the passions.
If we did not have them, then our race would not have continued.

It is the lack of control and inappropriate use which is the problem.
So, these passions are brought under control through prayer, fasting, and guarding our senses.




You'll get no argument (or 'outrage'  Grin) from me about that.  At all!

My argument with you has to do with your statement about "many" Catholics suggesting a causal relationship between the "pedophilia scandal" and lack of fasting more post-VII "pedophilia" than pre-VII, something which I'd never heard before or read, may or may not have some merit to it.  Etc., etc., etc.  Wink



Why don't you start another thread or resurrect another thread that deals with this topic?

This thread is on the topic of fasting, and fasting is known to help people control their demons (passions).
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« Reply #97 on: October 18, 2011, 05:29:25 PM »

There is nothing wrong with the passions.
If we did not have them, then our race would not have continued.

It is the lack of control and inappropriate use which is the problem.
So, these passions are brought under control through prayer, fasting, and guarding our senses.




You'll get no argument (or 'outrage'  Grin) from me about that.  At all!

My argument with you has to do with your statement about "many" Catholics suggesting a causal relationship between the "pedophilia scandal" and lack of fasting more post-VII "pedophilia" than pre-VII, something which I'd never heard before or read, may or may not have some merit to it.  Etc., etc., etc.  Wink



Why don't you start another thread or resurrect another thread that deals with this topic?

This thread is on the topic of fasting, and fasting is known to help people control their demons (passions).


Okay, here it is:    http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40418.0.html
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« Reply #98 on: October 18, 2011, 06:46:46 PM »

But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!



The desert fathers will not support your...'outrage'... Wink

Please explain  Wink.  You're being all cryptic again  Wink.  Or I'm being all dense again  Wink.  I will, of course, yield to the desert fathers, but please show me what I'm yielding about.

The desert fathers recommend fasting for the sins of anger in particular but also as a way of helping to control lust.
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« Reply #99 on: October 18, 2011, 09:56:41 PM »

Statistically speaking I would have no doubts that abuses of every manner including the homosexual pedophilia attributed to priests rose exponentially after VII.

Priests who have lived through it have also testified to it directly to me.

It is a combination of errors and forsaking of tradition which contribute to the ravishing of the church. May it return to its true glory and orthodoxy.
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« Reply #100 on: October 19, 2011, 10:02:54 AM »

But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!



The desert fathers will not support your...'outrage'... Wink

Please explain  Wink.  You're being all cryptic again  Wink.  Or I'm being all dense again  Wink.  I will, of course, yield to the desert fathers, but please show me what I'm yielding about.

The desert fathers recommend fasting for the sins of anger in particular but also as a way of helping to control lust.

If I have sinned against anyone in my anger, I beg forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:25-27 comes to mind: [25]Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
[26] Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
[27] and give no opportunity to the devil.


Thanks for the reminder  Wink!

JM
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« Reply #101 on: October 19, 2011, 12:55:59 PM »

But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!



The desert fathers will not support your...'outrage'... Wink

Please explain  Wink.  You're being all cryptic again  Wink.  Or I'm being all dense again  Wink.  I will, of course, yield to the desert fathers, but please show me what I'm yielding about.

The desert fathers recommend fasting for the sins of anger in particular but also as a way of helping to control lust.

If I have sinned against anyone in my anger, I beg forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:25-27 comes to mind: [25]Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
[26] Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
[27] and give no opportunity to the devil.


Thanks for the reminder  Wink!

JM

Modern ideas of "proof" often preclude the wisdom of the ancients...as though human nature has altered over the generations.   Sure...there are going to be sexual predators who will not at all be moved by fasting to some other way of being in the world.  But for the average person, a reduction of food intake and restriction of some food kinds is a restraint.  Nothing is automatic without work.
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« Reply #102 on: October 19, 2011, 02:08:00 PM »

But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!



The desert fathers will not support your...'outrage'... Wink

Please explain  Wink.  You're being all cryptic again  Wink.  Or I'm being all dense again  Wink.  I will, of course, yield to the desert fathers, but please show me what I'm yielding about.

The desert fathers recommend fasting for the sins of anger in particular but also as a way of helping to control lust.

If I have sinned against anyone in my anger, I beg forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:25-27 comes to mind: [25]Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
[26] Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
[27] and give no opportunity to the devil.


Thanks for the reminder  Wink!

JM

Modern ideas of "proof" often preclude the wisdom of the ancients...as though human nature has altered over the generations.   Sure...there are going to be sexual predators who will not at all be moved by fasting to some other way of being in the world.  But for the average person, a reduction of food intake and restriction of some food kinds is a restraint.  Nothing is automatic without work.

No argument about that.

Putting aside any thoughts about L-Carnitine ( Grin) as some kind of causal agent ( Grin Grin), it occurs to me (in my momentary boredom) that the benefits of fasting *may* derive more from the *act* of fasting and all that that implies both psychologically and spiritually and ritually than it does with what is being specifically abstained from.  I do *not* state that as fact nor do I know if it's true.  But, although humans have consumed meat for thousands of years, has it not been the case that for most people in most societies (especially pre-industrial western societies) meat and other high protein animal products have been expensive, difficult to obtain, and consumed far less frequently than other food products?  Has it not been the case that for the vast majority of people meat was a special food, a delicacy almost, most of the time?  If indeed, that's the case, did those people struggle less with their passions or sin less than those who now eat lots of meat on most days?  Do people who live vegetarian or vegan lifestyles or in societies where meat is a special food sin less than the rest of us?  I don't have the answers, that's why I'm asking.  (These are just the musings of a little mind with too much time  Grin).
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« Reply #103 on: October 19, 2011, 02:34:41 PM »

But what do you know of the fasting habits of British Catholics and their  level of sin?  And again, please, evidence not speculation.  I'll repeat, correlation does NOT equal causation!



The desert fathers will not support your...'outrage'... Wink

Please explain  Wink.  You're being all cryptic again  Wink.  Or I'm being all dense again  Wink.  I will, of course, yield to the desert fathers, but please show me what I'm yielding about.

The desert fathers recommend fasting for the sins of anger in particular but also as a way of helping to control lust.

If I have sinned against anyone in my anger, I beg forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:25-27 comes to mind: [25]Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
[26] Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
[27] and give no opportunity to the devil.


Thanks for the reminder  Wink!

JM

Modern ideas of "proof" often preclude the wisdom of the ancients...as though human nature has altered over the generations.   Sure...there are going to be sexual predators who will not at all be moved by fasting to some other way of being in the world.  But for the average person, a reduction of food intake and restriction of some food kinds is a restraint.  Nothing is automatic without work.

No argument about that.

Putting aside any thoughts about L-Carnitine ( Grin) as some kind of causal agent ( Grin Grin), it occurs to me (in my momentary boredom) that the benefits of fasting *may* derive more from the *act* of fasting and all that that implies both psychologically and spiritually and ritually than it does with what is being specifically abstained from.  I do *not* state that as fact nor do I know if it's true.  But, although humans have consumed meat for thousands of years, has it not been the case that for most people in most societies (especially pre-industrial western societies) meat and other high protein animal products have been expensive, difficult to obtain, and consumed far less frequently than other food products?  Has it not been the case that for the vast majority of people meat was a special food, a delicacy almost, most of the time?  If indeed, that's the case, did those people struggle less with their passions or sin less than those who now eat lots of meat on most days?  Do people who live vegetarian or vegan lifestyles or in societies where meat is a special food sin less than the rest of us?  I don't have the answers, that's why I'm asking.  (These are just the musings of a little mind with too much time  Grin).

There's no question that meat & dairy used to be "good food" and wheat products & vegetables (and in some places, fish) used to be "poor man's food." I'm certainy not gonna slaughter my cow just because I feel like having a hamburger. That's why I find it really silly when people whine about how hard the fasts are and how no one in their right mind could follow them. We get so much delightful food in our age that people just can't imagine giving it up twice a week.
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« Reply #104 on: October 19, 2011, 04:34:01 PM »

"There's no question that meat & dairy used to be "good food" and wheat products & vegetables (and in some places, fish) used to be "poor man's food." I'm certainy not gonna slaughter my cow just because I feel like having a hamburger. That's why I find it really silly when people whine about how hard the fasts are and how no one in their right mind could follow them. We get so much delightful food in our age that people just can't imagine giving it up twice a week."

Well because we are used to getting these foods on a regular basis while even well to do people back in those days did not, does in fact make it more difficult to refrain from such foods. Im buggin right now and yes I do the vegan like fast(save crab or shrimp when I can afford it) I loathe it to be honest and in some ways it doesnt make sense to do it exactly the same because times have changed. They let you eat crab and shrimp back in the day because of the fact they were easy access and cheap. The fatted calf was like stated before a delicacy and to be eaten for a great celebration, not as some variant of a stoffer meal. You couldnt even get fish during the middle of the week because the boats didnt come back until the weekend. So that was something that was already difficult to get but part of the fasting regiment, probably so fat cats wouldnt live it up all the time and general discipline for the not so well to doers who might think of splurging. Now its flipped flopped. For some reason crab and shrimp are the delicacies and high priced while a hamburger or fish sandwich can be got for cheap and easily. So guys doing the fast now have to spend a little bit more than they might normally for food especially if they lack the means to prepare it themselves (unless they just get some ramen or something like that. thats what I do. Ramen, cheap oatmeal and some protein powder which kills the taste of the oatmeal.). Aladdin's aint cheap... neither all these soup and bread places.  

 Part of the reason the fast was mitigated is because of abuses. Fish Friday was an excuse to go to red lobster and fat it up. Perhaps though instead of mitigating it, they should have explained the fast to their parishoners and why they are doing it so the purpose of the fast wasnt negated due to buffet mentality Americans. Once again the Church has a long way to go in fixing its discipline and compromised spirituality. I hope like Heresies which raged in the east that were eventually quelled and destroyed (accept for that whole mohammedan thing but that was their own entity), things will get back to normal for the Catholic Church; but unfortunately I have my doubts.
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« Reply #105 on: October 19, 2011, 04:44:56 PM »

"There's no question that meat & dairy used to be "good food" and wheat products & vegetables (and in some places, fish) used to be "poor man's food." I'm certainy not gonna slaughter my cow just because I feel like having a hamburger. That's why I find it really silly when people whine about how hard the fasts are and how no one in their right mind could follow them. We get so much delightful food in our age that people just can't imagine giving it up twice a week."

Well because we are used to getting these foods on a regular basis while even well to do people back in those days did not, does in fact make it more difficult to refrain from such foods. Im buggin right now and yes I do the vegan like fast(save crab or shrimp when I can afford it) I loathe it to be honest and in some ways it doesnt make sense to do it exactly the same because times have changed. They let you eat crab and shrimp back in the day because of the fact they were easy access and cheap. The fatted calf was like stated before a delicacy and to be eaten for a great celebration, not as some variant of a stoffer meal. You couldnt even get fish during the middle of the week because the boats didnt come back until the weekend. So that was something that was already difficult to get but part of the fasting regiment, probably so fat cats wouldnt live it up all the time and general discipline for the not so well to doers who might think of splurging. Now its flipped flopped. For some reason crab and shrimp are the delicacies and high priced while a hamburger or fish sandwich can be got for cheap and easily. So guys doing the fast now have to spend a little bit more than they might normally for food especially if they lack the means to prepare it themselves (unless they just get some ramen or something like that). Aladins aint cheap... niether all these soup and bread places.   

Where I live shell fish is really quite cheap.  In many cases, especially if canned (yuck!), cheaper than meat.  But none of that addresses my questions above about whether the benefits of fasting are derived from the *act* of fasting or from fasting from particular substances, etc., etc., etc.
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« Reply #106 on: October 19, 2011, 04:53:10 PM »

"There's no question that meat & dairy used to be "good food" and wheat products & vegetables (and in some places, fish) used to be "poor man's food." I'm certainy not gonna slaughter my cow just because I feel like having a hamburger. That's why I find it really silly when people whine about how hard the fasts are and how no one in their right mind could follow them. We get so much delightful food in our age that people just can't imagine giving it up twice a week."

Well because we are used to getting these foods on a regular basis while even well to do people back in those days did not, does in fact make it more difficult to refrain from such foods. Im buggin right now and yes I do the vegan like fast(save crab or shrimp when I can afford it) I loathe it to be honest and in some ways it doesnt make sense to do it exactly the same because times have changed. They let you eat crab and shrimp back in the day because of the fact they were easy access and cheap. The fatted calf was like stated before a delicacy and to be eaten for a great celebration, not as some variant of a stoffer meal. You couldnt even get fish during the middle of the week because the boats didnt come back until the weekend. So that was something that was already difficult to get but part of the fasting regiment, probably so fat cats wouldnt live it up all the time and general discipline for the not so well to doers who might think of splurging. Now its flipped flopped. For some reason crab and shrimp are the delicacies and high priced while a hamburger or fish sandwich can be got for cheap and easily. So guys doing the fast now have to spend a little bit more than they might normally for food especially if they lack the means to prepare it themselves (unless they just get some ramen or something like that). Aladins aint cheap... niether all these soup and bread places.   

Rice and beans. It's the staple food of most of Latin America and India. Billions of people sustain themselves on this every day.

Bread. Make it yourself. It's not that hard, and can be left to rise when you're doing other stuff. Heck, to make sourdough rye bread, you just need rye flour, water, a bowl, a loaf pan, and a toaster oven. You don't even have to knead it.

No oven? Make yourself some kasha, or polenta, or grits, or porridge. This is basic stuff, and still cheaper than anything else.
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« Reply #107 on: October 19, 2011, 05:02:26 PM »

"There's no question that meat & dairy used to be "good food" and wheat products & vegetables (and in some places, fish) used to be "poor man's food." I'm certainy not gonna slaughter my cow just because I feel like having a hamburger. That's why I find it really silly when people whine about how hard the fasts are and how no one in their right mind could follow them. We get so much delightful food in our age that people just can't imagine giving it up twice a week."

Well because we are used to getting these foods on a regular basis while even well to do people back in those days did not, does in fact make it more difficult to refrain from such foods. Im buggin right now and yes I do the vegan like fast(save crab or shrimp when I can afford it) I loathe it to be honest and in some ways it doesnt make sense to do it exactly the same because times have changed. They let you eat crab and shrimp back in the day because of the fact they were easy access and cheap. The fatted calf was like stated before a delicacy and to be eaten for a great celebration, not as some variant of a stoffer meal. You couldnt even get fish during the middle of the week because the boats didnt come back until the weekend. So that was something that was already difficult to get but part of the fasting regiment, probably so fat cats wouldnt live it up all the time and general discipline for the not so well to doers who might think of splurging. Now its flipped flopped. For some reason crab and shrimp are the delicacies and high priced while a hamburger or fish sandwich can be got for cheap and easily. So guys doing the fast now have to spend a little bit more than they might normally for food especially if they lack the means to prepare it themselves (unless they just get some ramen or something like that. thats what I do. Ramen, cheap oatmeal and some protein powder which kills the taste of the oatmeal.). Aladdin's aint cheap... neither all these soup and bread places.  

 Part of the reason the fast was mitigated is because of abuses. Fish Friday was an excuse to go to red lobster and fat it up. Perhaps though instead of mitigating it, they should have explained the fast to their parishoners and why they are doing it so the purpose of the fast wasnt negated due to buffet mentality Americans. Once again the Church has a long way to go in fixing its discipline and compromised spirituality. I hope like Heresies which raged in the east that were eventually quelled and destroyed (accept for that whole mohammedan thing but that was their own entity), things will get back to normal for the Catholic Church; but unfortunately I have my doubts.

Well, yes, obviously one has to use a degree of executive discretion...Shellfish may be allowed, but if it's more expensive than the alternatives, than forget it, that defeats the purpose. I do not believe in paying more to fast, or in eating substitute foods during Lent.

As for changing times...my thought is that because our lives have become so pleasurable, fasting is more important now than it once was. We are more attached to worldly things than we ever have been. Maybe for the masses, it's necessary to excercise economy with regard to the strictness of the fasting rules, but I would personally rather follow them strictly myself, to teach myself not to be attached to the comforts of modern life, which is more necessary now than in the past.
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« Reply #108 on: October 19, 2011, 05:05:14 PM »

"There's no question that meat & dairy used to be "good food" and wheat products & vegetables (and in some places, fish) used to be "poor man's food." I'm certainy not gonna slaughter my cow just because I feel like having a hamburger. That's why I find it really silly when people whine about how hard the fasts are and how no one in their right mind could follow them. We get so much delightful food in our age that people just can't imagine giving it up twice a week."

Well because we are used to getting these foods on a regular basis while even well to do people back in those days did not, does in fact make it more difficult to refrain from such foods. Im buggin right now and yes I do the vegan like fast(save crab or shrimp when I can afford it) I loathe it to be honest and in some ways it doesnt make sense to do it exactly the same because times have changed. They let you eat crab and shrimp back in the day because of the fact they were easy access and cheap. The fatted calf was like stated before a delicacy and to be eaten for a great celebration, not as some variant of a stoffer meal. You couldnt even get fish during the middle of the week because the boats didnt come back until the weekend. So that was something that was already difficult to get but part of the fasting regiment, probably so fat cats wouldnt live it up all the time and general discipline for the not so well to doers who might think of splurging. Now its flipped flopped. For some reason crab and shrimp are the delicacies and high priced while a hamburger or fish sandwich can be got for cheap and easily. So guys doing the fast now have to spend a little bit more than they might normally for food especially if they lack the means to prepare it themselves (unless they just get some ramen or something like that). Aladins aint cheap... niether all these soup and bread places.   

Where I live shell fish is really quite cheap.  In many cases, especially if canned (yuck!), cheaper than meat.  But none of that addresses my questions above about whether the benefits of fasting are derived from the *act* of fasting or from fasting from particular substances, etc., etc., etc.

Both. Imposed dietary restrictions in and of themselves have certain virtues; however, fasting is also about detachment and non-indulgence, and certain foods are certainly more indulgent than others (fatty foods and meat especially).
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« Reply #109 on: October 19, 2011, 05:15:42 PM »

"There's no question that meat & dairy used to be "good food" and wheat products & vegetables (and in some places, fish) used to be "poor man's food." I'm certainy not gonna slaughter my cow just because I feel like having a hamburger. That's why I find it really silly when people whine about how hard the fasts are and how no one in their right mind could follow them. We get so much delightful food in our age that people just can't imagine giving it up twice a week."

Well because we are used to getting these foods on a regular basis while even well to do people back in those days did not, does in fact make it more difficult to refrain from such foods. Im buggin right now and yes I do the vegan like fast(save crab or shrimp when I can afford it) I loathe it to be honest and in some ways it doesnt make sense to do it exactly the same because times have changed. They let you eat crab and shrimp back in the day because of the fact they were easy access and cheap. The fatted calf was like stated before a delicacy and to be eaten for a great celebration, not as some variant of a stoffer meal. You couldnt even get fish during the middle of the week because the boats didnt come back until the weekend. So that was something that was already difficult to get but part of the fasting regiment, probably so fat cats wouldnt live it up all the time and general discipline for the not so well to doers who might think of splurging. Now its flipped flopped. For some reason crab and shrimp are the delicacies and high priced while a hamburger or fish sandwich can be got for cheap and easily. So guys doing the fast now have to spend a little bit more than they might normally for food especially if they lack the means to prepare it themselves (unless they just get some ramen or something like that). Aladins aint cheap... niether all these soup and bread places.   

Where I live shell fish is really quite cheap.  In many cases, especially if canned (yuck!), cheaper than meat.  But none of that addresses my questions above about whether the benefits of fasting are derived from the *act* of fasting or from fasting from particular substances, etc., etc., etc.

Fasting by itself can be very dangerous as it can lead to pride.

That is why we are to pray and fast. Prayer is essential for the life of the soul, while observing the fast while praying can help us say, "No" to sin.

Catechumens are usually urged to ease into fasting and follow the advice of their spiritual fathers regarding praying and fasting.

For what it is worth, during our bible study, my confessor stated that eating any heavy meal, especially with meat, after 5 pm can lead to sexual temptations. He mentioned that there is more than a casual connection between gluttony and lust.
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« Reply #110 on: October 19, 2011, 05:23:29 PM »

Since Orthodox Christians in many jurisdictions are also called to fast from sex during the times of fasting, eating meat would make it more difficult to abstain. Of course, if married, one must fast from marital relations with the permission of their spouse and also pray during this time as the Bible recommends. This is also why weddings are usually not celebrated during Lent.  

I wonder if the Catholic bishops would dare urge people to fast from sex on Fridays?
Now many would consider such a marital fast a punishment or hardship.
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« Reply #111 on: October 19, 2011, 05:24:51 PM »

For what it is worth, during our bible study, my confessor stated that eating any heavy meal, especially with meat, after 5 pm can lead to sexual temptations. He mentioned that there is more than a casual connection between gluttony and lust.

The Fathers certainly say so, too.
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« Reply #112 on: October 19, 2011, 07:00:26 PM »

Since Orthodox Christians in many jurisdictions are also called to fast from sex during the times of fasting, eating meat would make it more difficult to abstain. Of course, if married, one must fast from marital relations with the permission of their spouse and also pray during this time as the Bible recommends. This is also why weddings are usually not celebrated during Lent.  

I wonder if the Catholic bishops would dare urge people to fast from sex on Fridays?
Now many would consider such a marital fast a punishment or hardship.

You mean the married folk? Yeah I bet they could. Especially if they've been married more than say two years! Maybe one should make a mandatory sex night every friday for those guys!  Its the co-habitating, and casual fornicators that might object to it as they wipe the Eucharist from their mouth on to the floor....
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« Reply #113 on: October 20, 2011, 12:00:06 PM »

Since Orthodox Christians in many jurisdictions are also called to fast from sex during the times of fasting, eating meat would make it more difficult to abstain. Of course, if married, one must fast from marital relations with the permission of their spouse and also pray during this time as the Bible recommends. This is also why weddings are usually not celebrated during Lent.  

I wonder if the Catholic bishops would dare urge people to fast from sex on Fridays?
Now many would consider such a marital fast a punishment or hardship.


How do you know that there are not bishops who have done so?  That's not to say that they have, but...

During my time in the Orthodox Church, I never heard any Orthodox bishops talk about a marital fast.  One priest, however, did discuss it when specifically asked during a discussion group.  I seem to recall his advice about it being rather quite vague and non-specific.  I would not dare, however, to generalize from that experience and extrapolate to all of Orthodoxy that same vagueness and non-specificity  Wink.

I also seem to recall someone (was it you?) earlier on in this thread relating fasting in the Catholic Church to punishment.  No doubt there are Catholics who may view it in this manner, but that is certainly not what I (a convert) have been taught, nor my wife, a life-long Catholic who also spent 12 years in Catholic schools in the 1950's and '60's.  In fact, none of the Catholics I've spoken with about this relate fasting to punishment.  I have always been taught and read that fasting and abstinence are about repentance, i.e. turning away from sin and back to God, and obedience, but never about "punishment" or some kind of retribution.  What a strange notion!

Fasting as a hardship?  Perhaps for some, but then I've known many Orthodox, too, who experience fasting, whether from food or sex or whatever, as a hardship, complaining about it ad nauseum.  Even many Jews I know (and I am one, myself) would complain horrifically about the (once a year!) fast at Yom Kippur.  And many even refused to do it.  So, I think it's more of a *human* thing rather than a specifically Catholic or Orthodox or Muslim thing to grouse about denying ourselves that which we want.
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« Reply #114 on: October 20, 2011, 02:04:31 PM »

Since Orthodox Christians in many jurisdictions are also called to fast from sex during the times of fasting, eating meat would make it more difficult to abstain. Of course, if married, one must fast from marital relations with the permission of their spouse and also pray during this time as the Bible recommends. This is also why weddings are usually not celebrated during Lent.  

I wonder if the Catholic bishops would dare urge people to fast from sex on Fridays?
Now many would consider such a marital fast a punishment or hardship.


How do you know that there are not bishops who have done so?  That's not to say that they have, but...

During my time in the Orthodox Church, I never heard any Orthodox bishops talk about a marital fast.  One priest, however, did discuss it when specifically asked during a discussion group.  I seem to recall his advice about it being rather quite vague and non-specific.  I would not dare, however, to generalize from that experience and extrapolate to all of Orthodoxy that same vagueness and non-specificity  Wink.

I also seem to recall someone (was it you?) earlier on in this thread relating fasting in the Catholic Church to punishment.  No doubt there are Catholics who may view it in this manner, but that is certainly not what I (a convert) have been taught, nor my wife, a life-long Catholic who also spent 12 years in Catholic schools in the 1950's and '60's.  In fact, none of the Catholics I've spoken with about this relate fasting to punishment.  I have always been taught and read that fasting and abstinence are about repentance, i.e. turning away from sin and back to God, and obedience, but never about "punishment" or some kind of retribution.  What a strange notion!

Fasting as a hardship?  Perhaps for some, but then I've known many Orthodox, too, who experience fasting, whether from food or sex or whatever, as a hardship, complaining about it ad nauseum.  Even many Jews I know (and I am one, myself) would complain horrifically about the (once a year!) fast at Yom Kippur.  And many even refused to do it.  So, I think it's more of a *human* thing rather than a specifically Catholic or Orthodox or Muslim thing to grouse about denying ourselves that which we want.

I grew up in Los Angeles parochial schools in the mid 1950s, and I am still here. The connection between fasting and repentance was often not made. I remember when students complained about the fast, the nuns told us to offer it up in a spirit of obedience and love as obedience to the Church, the Pope, its teachings, and traditions was crucial for Catholics. The nuns and priests also stressed that prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and acts of penance were necessary to reduce our "time in purgatory," which was considered unavoidable. There was a tremendous lack of consistency. While we were told to imitate the saints who would rather die than commit a sin, there was this sick schizophrenic emphasis given to avoid being "holier than the Pope." Therefore, sanctity and spiritual sanity were not encouraged. Interestingly, out of this insanity came a book entitled, We neurotics, which was written by a Roman Catholic priest.  Roll Eyes

I started reading Orthodox Christian books, which I found in Catholic bookstores, especially those by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, may his memory be eternal. His books introduced me to the idea that prayer and fasting go together, how to pray, and how metanoia is essential to our lives. He was a very sane and saintly hierarch. Father Alexander Schmemann's book, For the Life of the World, was also crucial in developing an Orthodox ethos.
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« Reply #115 on: October 20, 2011, 02:41:25 PM »

Since Orthodox Christians in many jurisdictions are also called to fast from sex during the times of fasting, eating meat would make it more difficult to abstain. Of course, if married, one must fast from marital relations with the permission of their spouse and also pray during this time as the Bible recommends. This is also why weddings are usually not celebrated during Lent.  

I wonder if the Catholic bishops would dare urge people to fast from sex on Fridays?
Now many would consider such a marital fast a punishment or hardship.


How do you know that there are not bishops who have done so?  That's not to say that they have, but...

During my time in the Orthodox Church, I never heard any Orthodox bishops talk about a marital fast.  One priest, however, did discuss it when specifically asked during a discussion group.  I seem to recall his advice about it being rather quite vague and non-specific.  I would not dare, however, to generalize from that experience and extrapolate to all of Orthodoxy that same vagueness and non-specificity  Wink.

I also seem to recall someone (was it you?) earlier on in this thread relating fasting in the Catholic Church to punishment.  No doubt there are Catholics who may view it in this manner, but that is certainly not what I (a convert) have been taught, nor my wife, a life-long Catholic who also spent 12 years in Catholic schools in the 1950's and '60's.  In fact, none of the Catholics I've spoken with about this relate fasting to punishment.  I have always been taught and read that fasting and abstinence are about repentance, i.e. turning away from sin and back to God, and obedience, but never about "punishment" or some kind of retribution.  What a strange notion!

Fasting as a hardship?  Perhaps for some, but then I've known many Orthodox, too, who experience fasting, whether from food or sex or whatever, as a hardship, complaining about it ad nauseum.  Even many Jews I know (and I am one, myself) would complain horrifically about the (once a year!) fast at Yom Kippur.  And many even refused to do it.  So, I think it's more of a *human* thing rather than a specifically Catholic or Orthodox or Muslim thing to grouse about denying ourselves that which we want.

I grew up in Los Angeles parochial schools in the mid 1950s, and I am still here. The connection between fasting and repentance was often not made. I remember when students complained about the fast, the nuns told us to offer it up in a spirit of obedience and love as obedience to the Church, the Pope, its teachings, and traditions was crucial for Catholics. The nuns and priests also stressed that prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and acts of penance were necessary to reduce our "time in purgatory," which was considered unavoidable. There was a tremendous lack of consistency. While we were told to imitate the saints who would rather die than commit a sin, there was this sick schizophrenic emphasis given to avoid being "holier than the Pope." Therefore, sanctity and spiritual sanity were not encouraged. Interestingly, out of this insanity came a book entitled, We neurotics, which was written by a Roman Catholic priest.  Roll Eyes

I started reading Orthodox Christian books, which I found in Catholic bookstores, especially those by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, may his memory be eternal. His books introduced me to the idea that prayer and fasting go together, how to pray, and how metanoia is essential to our lives. He was a very sane and saintly hierarch. Father Alexander Schmemann's book, For the Life of the World, was also crucial in developing an Orthodox ethos.

Sounds like it might be an interesting read, if for nothing more than the outlook he may have given when it was written  Grin.

We Neurotics: A Handbook for the Half-mad
by Bernard Basset
3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  2 ratings  ·  2 reviews
"Religion proves an absorbing subject, the most testing and the most rewarding of all the commitments made in life," writes Father Basset. "Strange that it should also be presented as the most insipid, less by its enemies than by its friends."

Here, the popular and prolific English Jesuit has written a book of sound spiritual direction that is as readable as a novel--and also immensely funny. Taking as his premise that all of us today are a little neurotic, the author pursues some off-beat but illuminating episodes in the life of a typical, well-meaning layman: an Everyman of the Atomic Age.

For all its laughter We Neurotics proceeds directly to the hart of the matter, probes the essential spiritual core. It is required reading for all of us "who in our bathrooms and bedrooms find ourselves a little mad."

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« Reply #116 on: October 20, 2011, 05:51:01 PM »

Since Orthodox Christians in many jurisdictions are also called to fast from sex during the times of fasting, eating meat would make it more difficult to abstain. Of course, if married, one must fast from marital relations with the permission of their spouse and also pray during this time as the Bible recommends. This is also why weddings are usually not celebrated during Lent.  

I wonder if the Catholic bishops would dare urge people to fast from sex on Fridays?
Now many would consider such a marital fast a punishment or hardship.


How do you know that there are not bishops who have done so?  That's not to say that they have, but...

During my time in the Orthodox Church, I never heard any Orthodox bishops talk about a marital fast.  One priest, however, did discuss it when specifically asked during a discussion group.  I seem to recall his advice about it being rather quite vague and non-specific.  I would not dare, however, to generalize from that experience and extrapolate to all of Orthodoxy that same vagueness and non-specificity  Wink.

I also seem to recall someone (was it you?) earlier on in this thread relating fasting in the Catholic Church to punishment.  No doubt there are Catholics who may view it in this manner, but that is certainly not what I (a convert) have been taught, nor my wife, a life-long Catholic who also spent 12 years in Catholic schools in the 1950's and '60's.  In fact, none of the Catholics I've spoken with about this relate fasting to punishment.  I have always been taught and read that fasting and abstinence are about repentance, i.e. turning away from sin and back to God, and obedience, but never about "punishment" or some kind of retribution.  What a strange notion!

Fasting as a hardship?  Perhaps for some, but then I've known many Orthodox, too, who experience fasting, whether from food or sex or whatever, as a hardship, complaining about it ad nauseum.  Even many Jews I know (and I am one, myself) would complain horrifically about the (once a year!) fast at Yom Kippur.  And many even refused to do it.  So, I think it's more of a *human* thing rather than a specifically Catholic or Orthodox or Muslim thing to grouse about denying ourselves that which we want.

I grew up in Los Angeles parochial schools in the mid 1950s, and I am still here. The connection between fasting and repentance was often not made. I remember when students complained about the fast, the nuns told us to offer it up in a spirit of obedience and love as obedience to the Church, the Pope, its teachings, and traditions was crucial for Catholics. The nuns and priests also stressed that prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and acts of penance were necessary to reduce our "time in purgatory," which was considered unavoidable. There was a tremendous lack of consistency. While we were told to imitate the saints who would rather die than commit a sin, there was this sick schizophrenic emphasis given to avoid being "holier than the Pope." Therefore, sanctity and spiritual sanity were not encouraged. Interestingly, out of this insanity came a book entitled, We neurotics, which was written by a Roman Catholic priest.  Roll Eyes

I started reading Orthodox Christian books, which I found in Catholic bookstores, especially those by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, may his memory be eternal. His books introduced me to the idea that prayer and fasting go together, how to pray, and how metanoia is essential to our lives. He was a very sane and saintly hierarch. Father Alexander Schmemann's book, For the Life of the World, was also crucial in developing an Orthodox ethos.

We were always taught the trivium of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.  Those three could move mountains because they, taken together, opened the soul fully to God great blessings and abundance.

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« Reply #117 on: November 13, 2012, 01:28:09 AM »

Cardinal Dolan says in his speech that the bishops will consider a return to abstaining from meat on Fridays, in the U.S. Church:

"The work of our Conference during the coming year includes reflections on re-embracing Friday as a particular day of penance, including the possible re-institution of abstinence on all Fridays of the year, not just during Lent."
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« Reply #118 on: November 13, 2012, 06:40:35 AM »

When I was a kid, it was fish sticks and spaghetti every Wednesday and Friday night, rain or shine. Mom never gave up a lot of her habits from before Vatican II.  Smiley
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