I read where Steubenville’s Bishop Conlon is urging Catholics to return to Friday fasts. He might have consulted an episcopal document from the last generation, in which the USCCB suggested:
298. As a tangible sign of the need and desire to do penance we, for the cause of peace, commit ourselves to fast and abstinence each Friday of the year. We call upon our people voluntarily to do penance on Friday by eating less food and by abstaining from meat. This return to a traditional practice of penance, once well observed in the U.S. Church, should be accompanied by works of charity and service toward our neighbors. Every Friday should be a day significantly devoted to prayer, penance, and almsgiving for peace.
From Bishop Conlon’s letter:
I am inviting the Catholic people of the Diocese of Steubenville to resume the practice of abstaining from meat on all Fridays throughout the year, but with a twist. I am asking that this be not only a penitential practice but also an experience of prayer and service. This can happen by connecting abstinence with our witness to the sacredness of human life.
Do you suppose we’ll fall back on the usual fish and shellfish? Or could vegetarian Fridays gain some traction?