This is a Catholic Blog. I am a Catholic Woman.

They should be ashamed. 

I watch The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson at some point during Holy Week each year. The movie, whatever the much-publicized weaknesses of its producer, is deeply meaningful to me.

This year I ended up watching it late, late Good Friday and early, early Holy Saturday, after my family had gone to bed. Earlier in the day I had shared a meal with one of my dearest friends. This lady is a cradle Catholic who doesn’t analyze the Church, she just believes it. She also uses her computer for work and turns it off. She’s not an internet junkie. Since we are blessed to live in a diocese where the bishops have always allowed women’s feet to be washed along with men on Holy Thursday, she had never encountered the discussions about this that float around the internet.

During our conversation, I told her about the happenings on Public Catholic, including the debate about washing women’s feet on Holy Thursday. When I mentioned that some people don’t think that women’s feet should be washed, she stopped and stared for a moment, then said, “Reaalllllyyyyy?”

It was the first time in all the years I’ve known her that I’ve ever seen this woman, who once thought about becoming a nun, angry over her faith. Why? Because she understood instantly that this attitude put her, as a woman, outside the circle of grace that the servant priesthood and the eucharist are meant to create for all humanity.

I explained it as best I could and moved on to other topics.

Later that night, as I was watching Jesus, standing before the Sanhedrin, something changed in me. Specifically, it was that moment in the film where He is condemned to death and the mob begins spitting on Him, hitting him and pummeling Him. He is surrounded, almost lost in the mob, fists coming at him from every direction. It was, as He said earlier that same evening, “Satan’s hour.”

I wasn’t thinking about my conversation with my friend. I wasn’t thinking about the outrageous attacks on the Holy Father because he had the temerity, by his actions, to include women in the whole of the humanity the Church serves. It was as if all the pieces clicked together by themselves with an almost audible snap.

This blog is a Catholic blog. I am a Catholic woman. 

If you want to put the “teachings” of self-annointed internet magisteriums ahead of the legitimate authority of the bishops and the pope to determine the order of the mass and the liturgy, I can not stop you. But I will not publish you. This behavior is harming my Church, and I will not open my house to anything that furthers it. 

You do not have to love the Holy Father to comment on Public Catholic. But you do have to refrain from disrespecting him, including posting links to those who are trying to make themselves his teachers in the rubrics of the mass.

I am not expert on this, but I’ve read that the girm that these people claim cancels out the teaching authority of the pope and bishops (not to mention the Gospels) was written around 50 short years ago in the 1960s. If I understand it correctly, the bishops have clear authority to modify certain things (including this one) in the girm, as part of their pastoral calling. I’ve read that Cardinal O’Malley of Boston specifically queried the Vatican about this issue after he was appointed to the Archdiocese of Boston and that this was the answer. He subsequently allowed women’s feet to be washed on Holy Thursday.

Presumably, other bishops, who had years more experience in this office than the Cardinal did at this time, already knew this. I know that (then) Bishop Bevilacqua asked the USCCB to clarify this issue as long ago as 1987, and got the same answer as Cardinal O’Malley received from the Vatican later.

I would guess that if I’m aware of this, the self-annointed internet magisteriums of which I speak are also aware of it. Since they’re making what is probably a very good living based on their supposedly superior knowledge of what they imply is the absolute and infallible dogma of the girm, they certainly should.

This fixation on one word and the obvious misogyny that fuels it are both serious problems for the people who are encouraging it. I mean they are serious spiritual problems for them. They are leading people away from obedience to their bishops and the pope in the name of the girm. They are appealing to the dark temptations of self-righteousness and clannish cliquishness that destroy community, limit faith and — worst of all — deny the core message of the Gospels.

I’ve been warned that by criticizing these people I am making myself the target of on-line attacks and defamation. If that doesn’t tell you that they are not of the Lord, then what does? 

They should be ashamed of themselves.

Here is an excerpt from a Washington Post article describing the picayune grievances against the Holy Father by these people. Read it and weep.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has won over many hearts and minds with his simple style and focus on serving the world’s poorest, but he has devastated traditionalist Catholics who adored his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for restoring much of the traditional pomp to the papacy.

Francis’ decision to disregard church law and wash the feet of two girls — a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic — during a Holy Thursday ritual has become something of the final straw, evidence that Francis has little or no interest in one of the key priorities of Benedict’s papacy: reviving the pre-Vatican II traditions of the Catholic Church. (More here.)

  • Guest

    The best description for many of the rad trads is Pharisee. They are as blind to their error as the originals were. One can only hope that someday a reading of those passages in the Gospel where Jesus so criticizes them will open their eyes.

    • Rob

      I think you need to read my own comment, and perhaps a good study of a logic textbook may do you some good my friend! Ad hominem arguments are logically fallacious. To label someone “Pharisee” simply because they disagree with you is never good rational practice. Peter Kreeft has written a logic book that you may find helpful!

      • Guest

        I meant exactly what I said and it has nothing to do with me. In this context, pharisee means someone who is more focused on love of the law than the Law of Love. When people start finding fault with symbolic acts of love and service because they are not in the rubrics they are doing EXACTly same thing as the Pharisees who criticized Jesus for healing someone or letting his followers pluck and eat grain on the Sabbath. If the rubrics lead someone away from Love and into criticism of the pope, of all people, they have a law vs love problem.

  • Mike

    This issue is a distraction and is silly. If the Pope wants to wash live animals so? This is all a stupid wedge issue.

  • Christopher Hamel

    For what it’s worth, I’m one of the traditional types, which you will see in a moment. While this story initially gave me pause, it was not something that invoked a strong emotion in me one way or another.

    Regarding this statement in your article, “If I understand it correctly, the bishops have clear authority to modify certain things (including this one)…” Okay, yes, true enough. However, I will say that this authority to “modify” has resulted in many liberties that have gone beyond their intended reach. The most prominent and significant example is the use of extraordinary ministers. Note the term “extraordinary.” Tell me, how many parishes do you know that use them only in extraordinary circumstances? Perhaps even zero. Eucharistic ministers are commonplace, even scheduled in advance, which seems to contradict the notion of “extraordinary.” At my prior parish, I can recall one example of the use of extraordinary ministers, and that was where the priest had fallen down that day and was unable to walk. THAT is extraordinary.

    The priests hands are washed with Holy Water, and if I’m not mistaken, he holds the Body of Christ with the same two fingers each time. How about the ministers? Hand sanitizer, anyone?

    While I don’t deny this authority of the bishops, I can say it has led to many bad things, this being the most serious of them, although I’d put communion in the hand as a close second. Given an inch, some people will run all over the place, and there are faithful that unfortunately don’t know how wrong these things are. The mass is perfect, we we cannot add, remove or alter anything to make it better.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Christopher, I’m not particularly concerned about Extraordinary Eucharist Ministers as an issue. I do think that they greatly help the priests, particularly in larger parishes. I have no idea if I am a traditionalist or what. I’m just a pew-sitting Catholic who trusts her bishop and supports the pope.

      I agree that for the Church to be universal, the mass must be consistent. That is how I have found it. Wherever I go, no matter what region or country or hemisphere I am in, the mass is always the mass. I have never found anything else. I believe that this is because we are one, through the authority of the Pope exercised locally by our bishops. This is the grace of the Holy Spirit.

      I think we can trust in that and not worry about it in much the same way that I believe that when I stand up from my chair that I will not fly off into space, because I trust gravity. I don’t have to worry about gravity or think about it for it to do its job. I can trust it. I feel the same about the Holy Spirit, guiding the Pope and the bishops.

    • Guest

      I simply cannot understand the complaints about EMs or touching the host with our fingers. There just aren’t enough priests to go around. We have over 3000 families in our parish and one priest who celebrates all 4 Masses on the weekends. The church is packed and if he didn’t have EM’s assisting with communion we would have one Mass spilling over into the next. He also could not begin to take communion to all the homebound each week.

      As far as touching the host with our hands – what is necessarily unclean or disrespectful about it? I bathe before i come to church and I know how to receive reverently in the hand – and reverence is largely a matter of the heart and soul anyway. Our mouths are veritable bacteria chambers – there is nothing inherently reverent about putting the host into our mouths. I’m sure you don’t gargle with Holy Water, do you?

      • Brad Hays

        This is my second time on this blog. While both articles are interesting reads and have had some decent, valid points, there have also been some undertones of lukewarm Catholicism. The two responses here (one from the author) are perfect examples. My hands are clean enough to hold the body of Christ because I bathe? No, sir, they are not, and your gargling comment is obscene. The constant dog-piling of traditional Catholics doesn’t help.

        I don’t mean this as harsh as it sounds. I am happy to see fellow Catholics attempting to better themselves and grow in the faith, and I do see the good in discussions here that bring to light things that would otherwise be left unsaid. I wish you all well, but I don’t think reading that I am a Pharisee will help bring me closer to the faith. God bless you all, and God bless our wonderful Holy Father.

  • SteveP

    Rebecca: A blessed Easter Monday to you.

    My understanding is that the hermeneutic of suspicion that seeks to assign levels of privilege to situations and persons ultimately questioning our inheritance as daughters and sons of the Most High. I do not believe what has been apportioned by the Father can be taken away but by God.

  • MaryMargaret

    Rebecca, I agree with you regarding those who are being disrespectful of Pope Francis. There is no excuse for such behavior from Catholics. The Washington Post article to which you have linked, however, is also disgraceful. It sets up a totally false dichotomy between Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus BXVI. Nasty, little passive-aggressive lines such as “The cape has since come to symbolize his rejection of the trappings of the papacy and to some degree the pontificate of Benedict XVI, since the German pontiff relished in resurrecting many of the liturgical vestments of his predecessors.” Seriously..Pope Francis is rejecting “to some degree” Benedict XVI’s pontificate? Pope Francis has gone out of his way to do no such thing. Both the radical-traditionalists and the “progressives” need to chill out. A pox on both their houses.

    • CathyLouise

      MaryMargaret, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Theodore Seeber

    Very true- but the last revision of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal is even newer- it came out in 2000.

  • Anna Dawson

    Just that much of the article is disheartening. That was ‘the final straw’? What are they going to do, fire him and become sedevacantist? ‘Traditionalist Catholic’ here–SSPX variety, even–and I’m not devastated or appalled that our Pope would do something which he has the authority to do. Let the Holy Father be a blessing to his people; at least give him time to warm the Seat he’s occupying before we stone him.
    Keep up the good work, Rebecca.

  • abb3w

    Whether or not it’s within the purview of bishops generally (a point of canon law I’d leave to canon lawyers), and whether or not O’Malley did or did not get the official permission (a point of history I’ll leave to the Cardinals and the kooks), I can see no basis for arguing against it being within the authority of the Bishop of Rome to make such modification to the Mandatum liturgy.

    Personally, I consider it a good thing; contrariwise, I’m not exactly Catholic-in-good-standing. Nohow, I expect it will be symbolic fuel in the public debate on the ordination of women — or at least, remove one of the arguments that has been previously used by those opposed.

    I wouldn’t be too shocked if Pope Francis authorized ordaining of deaconesses before the end of his papacy (in which case this will certainly be termed a harbinger in retrospect), but I’d consider the odds against it; and would be surprised if ordaining women to the priesthood happened within even two decades of a hypothetical first ordination to the diaconate.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I don’t see why it would lead to a discussion of ordination of women — or, at least more of a discussion than we already have. I see that argument (not from you, but from some of the things I’ve seen out there on the internet) as a red herring being used to disguise what is obvious misogyny. There are some people who will raise the issue of ordination, regardless. They don’t need this to encourage them; they are already encouraged by their own thinking. In some ways, I see them as the astral twins of the girm/worshipping women bashers on the other side who appear to WANT this to intensify the call for women priests to justify their own behavior. Both of these groups refuse to accept the authority of the Pope, although their excuses for doing so differ. They are more like one another than they are the rest of us.

      • abb3w

        Indeed, not “leading to”, but nonetheless “fuel”. While those who seek the ordination of women will do so regardless, I suspect this will be seen as an encouragement. (The technical term in socio-psychology jargon appears to be “attitude bolstering”.)

        I’d disagree on the twinship. My conjecture is that the misogynist types tend high on the SDO scale, while those calling for women priests tend low on the RWA scale. (Once again, the curious not familiar with those can web search for “Altemeyer Authoritarians” for explanation.) You can console yourself with the schadenfreude that atheist groups appear likely to have even more problems with high-SDO types than the Church these days.

        Contrariwise, I don’t have hard data to particularly support such as a hypothesis.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          What is SDO scale and RWA scale?

          • abb3w

            Personality measures from social science, which correlate to some forms of prejudice. I’ll point to Dr. Bob Altemeyer’s popular audience introduction; I really can’t do them justice here, particularly since too brief a definition risks key misunderstandings.

            • Theodore Seeber

              Interesting, but rather flawed, especially given the resurgence in the past 5 years of LWA. I also can’t find any reference on that site to the SDO scale, can you give a more precise reference?

              • abb3w

                With apologies to Ms. Hamilton for my diminished civility, I bluntly suggest you read Altemeyer’s “Whole Book” from that link more carefully.

                While the comment seems deeply deserving of more, after trying I’m afraid it’s beyond me to find further response even near brief or polite enough to post here, let alone both. Anyone interesting in one more apt and willing to risk a bit of long-winded impoliteness, please feel free to track down one of my emails.

                • Theodore Seeber

                  I read the whole book. I read at 1500 WPM, one of the gifts of my autism.

                  I found his dismissal of LWAs as dying with the marxists of the 1960s to be utterly devoid of any actual thought, and his concentration on RWAs for the rest of the book to show him to be exhibiting the exact same double standard he accuses all authoritarians of holding.

                  • Theodore Seeber

                    Sorry- I was hoping this didn’t post. It’s on the wrong subject.

                    abb3w, I read the book from cover to cover, and never noticed anything that could refer to SDO. I then proceeded to use Adobe Acrobat’s word search, and likewise came up blank. Can you just give me a chapter reference?

                    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                      Try chapter 5.

    • savvy

      This is about service not the priesthood.

      • abb3w

        Playing devil’s advocate, the question is one of those called to service others… which is (nominally) fundamental to the priesthood.

    • Theodore Seeber

      Dogma is fixed. Doctrine Develops. Discipline, changes with culture, time, place.

      Male Ordination is dogma.

      Limiting the mandatum to men is discipline.

      Any questions?

      • Christopher Hamel

        Amen, brother.

  • Sus

    I’m watching a friend lose her mind on FB because of the women feet washing incident. I’m finding it kind of ridiculous. No matter what the Pope does or says, does not change your own personal faith. Either you believe or you don’t. Whether the Pope washes women’s feet shouldn’t have anything to do with your beliefs.

    He hasn’t even been a Pope for 3 weeks yet. Give him a chance!

  • Knower

    Actually, neither the Roman Missal nor the *Paschalis Sollemnitatis* of the Congregation for Divine Worship specify here “men only” (*viri soli*) or any phrase of the sort. Further, I’ve long asumed the adage was traditional among canonists which says, “Where the rule does not specify, neither should we [canonists] specify.”

  • Faith

    The Washington Post publishes whatever it can that is destructive to the Catholic Church. They have been anti-Catholic since I can remember (and that’s a long time). So I really wouldn’t get too worked up over the article as a sign of great divisiveness. It is just typical WP. I really think the Traditionalists have a hard time with change (obviously). They lost their beloved Pope BXVI and then swoosh suddenly it is Pope Francis doing everything differently. I feel sorry for them, actually. They are grieving and then along comes this upstart Pope! We should give them time to adjust. It is only charitable. We just need to pray for one another and everyone needs to learn to hold their tongues (or their fingers from the keyboard!). I personally find Pope Francis really appealing. I love his love for the poor. All our energy should go into being Christ-like and serving the least of us. Liturgy is important too but I do think we are always in a state of tension over the old and the new. So go pray your Divine Mercy novena, folks! Jesus, I trust in you!

  • MaryMargaret

    If you think that the really rad-traditionalists loved Pope Benedict XVI, you haven’t read enough of them. I have seen him called a modernist, coward, etc. Oh, they preferred him over JPII and now, of course, Francis, but many of them were terribly disappointed in him because he didn’t celebrate the TLM at St Peter’s, and also because he was one of those who actually participated in Vatican II.

    I am not what anyone could call a traditionalist, but I do have some sympathy for those who believe that the aftermath of VII created a major rupture in the Church. I am old enough to remember the 1965 Mass, and I clearly remember what happened in 1969-1970. It is very hard to describe, but it was very painful and confusing. I have not been to a TLM since those days, and I find certain things in the Mass of Paul VI to be very helpful, but in the early 80′s, I sure had some sympathy for Archbishop Lefebvre. I missed a lot from the older Mass..not the Latin, but the beauty and the poetry, the attitude of the priest, the altar rails and the reverence. I still believe that we need the reform of the reform. I believe that the two forms of the Mass need to grow closer together and inform each other. I DO NOT believe that Pope Francis is a threat to this. He is a good, orthodox man who has a different style and a different way of teaching us. We need to be quiet, patient and listen to him. Disobedience to the Church or the Pope, is never a good way forward.

    It is also not helpful to refer all those who are concerned about the liturgy, or canon law as pharisees. That is a pejorative term, and is not helpful to a Church which is Catholic. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ, just as the progressive members of the Church are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We may disagree, but we are still one family, one Church with Jesus as our head. Let’s try not to freak out or be too gleeful when we think “our side” is winning or losing. Jesus prayed that we might be one. That should be our goal..to do the will of God.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I don’t know if I would call it misogyny. I can’t believe they actually hate women. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are obssessed with Pharasaic rules. Perhaps it was a tradition to not wash women’s feet, but I find it difficult to believe it is a mandated rule or part of the magisterium. These Trads are as the white sepulcher that Jesus charges the Pharasees in Matthew 23:27. My pastors included women in the feet washing ceremony, and we had female altar girls as well. ;)

  • http://ephphatha13.blogspot.com/ Suellen

    I think the jump to calling anti-female-feet-washers misogynists is a bit egregious. I have not scoured the internet on this minor issue, but neither have I seen vitriol, only concern for upholding male priesthood. There is nothing misogynistic in that. I am thankful for your faithfulness to the faith, Rebecca. Keep up the excellent work while being careful of strong words.

  • Lewis Tillis

    Thanks for the links that showed the historical perspective of this being addressed as far back as 1987. I do think that it would be less confusing if the rules were changed, instead of just broken. Being a relatively recent convert, how would that be accomplished?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      When people say that the rules are being “broken” in this matter,(I’m talking about the ones who should know better; not those, like you, who just being misinformed) they are using the wrong word entirely, and I believe that they are doing it deliberately and for malicious purposes. In this particular instance, they are also playing to the misogynist impulses which are endemic throughout the world. I do not believe it is an accident that they have focused on something affecting women. They understand that there is a ready audience for them and their demagoguery, built in by the attitudes of some sad souls concerning women.

      Now, as to why “breaking” the rules is the wrong word.

      First, of all, the Pope basically is the rules when it comes to things like the liturgy. To accuse him of “breaking” these rules is an oxymoron. Secondly, when the Vatican grants bishops the right to use their judgement about a certain part of “the rules,” then the bishops are not “breaking” anything when they do so. They are exercising their legitimate authority as the bishop in the locality in which they preside. Third, the “experts” who are going on the internet and whipping people up to rageful self-righteousness should very will know this. After all, they purport themselves to be such experts that they feel free to correct the bishops and the pope in matters of the liturgy.

      As for whether or not the Vatican choses to re-edit the girm on this matter, that is their call. Either way, I accept their authority.

      Nothing I’ve said applies to people who simply long for a Latin mass or who find comfort in the beauty of the liturgy and do not want to see it maimed by oddball experimentation. That is something we all feel from time to time, and it is something I respect. I love the mass, too.

      But I think some of these internet magisteriums are abusing their followers by playing on this natural desire for a beautiful liturgy to keep people whipped up in order to garner traffic for their sites. In doing this, they focus on things affecting women because, as I said, misogyny is endemic throughout the world. It’s an easy vein of ready anger to tap into and motivate. These phony magisteriums are creating division in the Church. They are also diverting people from the very real attacks on Christianity in the larger culture. They are, in short doing damage to people’s souls, to our Church, and to Christianity’s ability to defend itself at a critical juncture in history.

      My advice to any Catholic, new or cradle, is to stop following false popes who are teaching them to disrespect the real pope.

  • Td Ta

    As the traditionalist Fr. Z said in his blog that perhaps through this event, Pope Francis is trying to project and emphasize the “compassion” image of our beloved Church. In the end, God’s law of love trumped ecclesial law.

  • thereserita

    OMGosh, I don’t know whether to be more amazed at this wonderful post or by the fact that Pewsitter linked to it. Suellen, if you haven’t seen ‘vitriol’ you haven’t visited Rorate Coeli… Make no mistake, screaming about washing the feet of 2 female inmates has much more to do with power than it does concern about male priesthood. In straining at gnats, they are swallowing camels.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    Well, firstly, the USCCB is not in any position to clarify anything, so Cdl. Bevilacqua went to the wrong authority. Cardinal O’Malley, on the other hand, appealed to the correct authority. From an excerpt I found, it seems that the Congregation for Divine Worship affirmed that the rule states that only men may have their feet washed, but allowed the Cardinal to make an exception for pastoral reasons. Note: anyone else (other than the Pope) wishing to make an exception would have also needed to contact the CDW.

    I don’t care one bit about women having their feet washed (in fact, I wish the whole feet-washing thing would be removed from the Mass completely), but liturgical law is there for a reason. Liturgical law is not divine law, but it does have the authority of the Church behind it. Similarly, priestly celibacy is a Church disciplinary law, not a divine law. However, it obtains force of divine law because “whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven.” The issue that concerns me here is disobedience.

    It would be much, much better if the law is now revised to allow women to be washed in the foot-washing rite, so as not to give the impression that the liturgical law is more of a recommendation.

  • Rob

    I am disturbed here by the “ad hominem” arguments, especially since the Catholic Church has always found philosophy and logic a necessary tool for promoting the faith. I personally am not sure what to think of the Holy Father’s actions of washing the feet of women, which is in direct contrast to what canon law prescribes. I see good arguments on both sides of this issue! What disturbs me is that many people on here are labeling as “Pharisee” anyone who disagrees with the Holy Father’s actions. There are good rational arguments for why a pope should not disobey canon law, and in an age where disobedient Catholics want to dismantle the faith, it could be argued that his actions are not good pastoral practice. You may disagree with this assessment of the Holy Father’s actions. However, to label someone a “Pharisee” who thinks this is not only a logical fallacy, but one wonders if it is not coming from a not so charitable heart!

  • http://Www.dsdoconnor.com Daniel O’Connor

    Never fight fire with fire, and never denounce vitriol with vitriol.

    Just my 2 cents.

    May God bless you,

    In Christ, through Mary,
    Daniel

  • Jason

    You “had a meal earlier in the day” on Good Friday? So was it lack of strength of lack of conviction that allowed you to ignore the fast? And don’t tell me the Church allows a meal.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You don’t know my age, my friend. Also, you are being hyper-critical just for the purpose of being hyper-critical.

    • Guest

      WOW Jason. Get off your high ‘Catholic” horse. So if the pope had something to eat too are you now more Catholic than the Pope? I think your judgemental put down probably undid any good that might have come from your fast.

      Did you know that you can also fast from things other than food too – like nasty comments and judgementalism? Did you know that fasting should bring about humility in recognition of our weakness – not pride in being ‘better’ than someone else? Which is the easier fast for you – food or pride? You should definitely being doing the one that is the hardest.

  • Will J

    The criticism of Pope Francis on some blogs makes me wonder about their priorities. There is a division in the church. I have seen where some people have called others non-catholics and told them that they should leave the Church. Now these same people are upset by what they call liturgical abuse by the Pope.

  • Sus

    Jason, what a perfect analogy of Rebecca’s post. Bravo!

  • Harold

    From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This is official Catholic law about fasting.

    “Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.

    “For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.

    “Members of the Eastern Catholic Churches are to observe the particular law of their own sui iuris Church.

    “If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the ‘paschal fast’ to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.”

    According to Canon Law: “Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.”

    So, Jason, I will tell you that the Church allows a meal. You are simply wrong here, with all due respect.


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