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Author Topic: For Roman Catholics of England & Wales, Friday abstention from meat begins  (Read 10923 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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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.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 01:44:32 PM by Rufus » Logged
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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.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 08:32:25 PM by Maria » Logged

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