Father Eric J. Banecker: Meatless Fridays: The Healing Sign We Need, Again

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By Father Eric J. Banecker, CatholicPhilly.com, July 12, 2022

Father Eric J. Banecker is pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Philadelphia.


I have a modest proposal to promote Catholic life in our day. It is simple and hopefully not too controversial. My suggestion is that Catholics in the United States return to the practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays throughout the year.

The Code of Canon Law number 1251 lays this out very clearly: “Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday.”

What’s the significance of Friday? Friday, of course, is the day when Jesus died on the cross for the salvation of the world. Just as we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord by gathering as a community for the Eucharist each Sunday, so the tradition began in the church of finding some way to practice penance on Fridays as a way to unite ourselves to the Lord in his redemptive suffering for us. …

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