Okay, so I have a few questions about the Australians considering a restoration of year-round Friday abstinence from meat.
- Why do we need bishops to tell us when not to eat meat?
- The US bishops have advocated abstinence and fasting for peace since 1983. Anybody doing it?
- How many clergy, and especially bishops, themselves continue to abstain from meat?
Speaking for myself, I observed a Friday abstinence for many years because of the peace pastoral letter. It wasn’t a very big effort, as I had largely given up red meat around the same time. No chicken on Fridays? Fasting seemed to make more sense to me. After I got married, it rather faded into going along. My wife wasn’t raised a Catholic and never had an experience outside of Lent.
I never quite viewed it as a penitential practice, as the Australian bishops are talking about it. I also wondered about the possibility of abstaining from alcohol or sweets. From what do Catholic vegetarians abstain?