Ask A Catholic: No Meat on Friday’s
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By Mitch Finley
How come Catholics can’t eat meat on Fridays? Is that year ’round, or just during Lent?
The no-meat-on-Fridays custom goes way, waaaaay back—many centuries, in fact. Your average middle-aged-to-older adult remembers when it was a requirement for all Catholics to abstain from meat on all Fridays as long as their health allowed.
Theologically, the idea was to do this as a spiritual discipline. Since 1966, however, abstaining from meat on Fridays is required—actually it’s more a strong recommendation—only on particular days (Ash Wednesday, Fridays during Lent, and Good Friday). Even then, however, people over a certain age are not required to do this.
Mitch Finley is the author of 30+ books on Roman Catholic theological topics and spirituality, all written to appeal to both non-academic and academic readers. Mitch holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in Theology from Marquette University. He and Kathy Finley have been married since 1974 and are the parents of three grown sons. To learn more, visit his website.