To Eat Meat, or Not to Eat Meat, That is the Question...

When is it okay to eat meat as a Catholic on a Friday? The answer is, when it isn't!

According to the 'old calendar' today is the Feast of the Epiphany, so even though today is a Friday, a day on which we have been told by the Bishops we should abstain from meat, it is a first class Feast. Except, from another point of view, that proffered by our beloved Bishops of England and Wales, it isn't the Feast of Epiphany, because the 12th day of Christmas has been moved to Sunday.

Today was Epiphany, but still is for those who follow the old calendar, except the Bishops have moved it, so now there are two Epiphanies for those who follow, er, both calendars? Still, over in Poland, apparently this is the first year in which Epiphany is a proper National Feast!

Anyway, I ate meat today, because I looked on The Telegraph and saw that the Solemnity of the Epiphany was today being celebrated in where else but St Peter's, Rome, where Pope Benedict XVI made 22 new Cardinals and there's no way on God's green Earth that on a day in which the Pope himself presumably has a slice of salami, I'm not having a slice of salami as well! Thing is, I'm down with flu at the moment so I can't make it to Mass for what was once a Holy Day of Obligation but now isn't, except it seems it is in Rome. But I don't have to go to Mass today because I'm ill. Not that I have to go anyway, because...oh for Heaven's sake. Ultimately, we don't get many opportunities to eat meat on Friday and I can only assume His Lordships are all on their chickpea soups today. Party-poopers! I must say that even though I'm ill and are not really up to hardcore feasting, even when I ate my salami, the celebration all felt a bit muted, what with their Lordships mortifying themselves with sardines on toast.

I didn't apply for the job at Westminster, firstly because I don't have a solid background in journalism or PR (I have a background in blogging) and secondly because I believe that as things stand, were I the successful candidate (which would have been most unlikely) I think it likely that there would be times when I would have felt that I was selling out my Catholic Faith in order to work in support of the Archbishop of Westminster. Quite how that has happened is a great mystery but there we go. My Catholic voice may be small, but even small Catholic voices shouldn't be compromised for £25,000 a year. Would the Archbishop really want me issuing press releases in his name, telling the World that the SOHO Masses have been replaced with Mass in the Extraordinary Form and that he is personally going to undertake an investigation into the presence of Connexions in Catholic schools all without His Grace's authorisation?

It looks like His Grace was overlooked this time, presumably because His Eminence Cormac Murphy O'Connor is still the Cardinal of England and Wales. Does anyone know when is it likely that the Archbishop of Westminster will be ready to receive a red hat?

Comments

Haha! That's pretty funny ( about whether or not to eat meat) I was thinking the same thing, but I hadn't thought about the Pope eating salami. I'm having shepherds pie tonight, and then we will do an epiphany house blessing. It is pretty annoying having our feast days messed around with.
shadowlands said…
Mmmm....I'm having a chippy so maybe a steak and kidney pie is in order with mushy peas and tomatoe ketchup? Or chicken and curry sauce and chips? Or cod and salad and chips? The choices, the choices....(can you tell I'm hungry?)
And a mug of hot tea to wash it all down with. Life's good, just for today thank God.

Hope you feel better soon Lawrence.
mrs malaprop said…
I've been wondering the same thing since I discovered the hosts at the dinner party I'm going to tonight were making something delicious involving sausages.
Cettis Warbler said…
I think the appropriate response is : " Aaaaargh!" Well, as far as this nest is concerned it IS Epiphany and the chicks and I HAVE taken down the decorations.

I didn't eat any meat because I'm so used to Fridays being meatless that I forgot about the possibility...
Jonathan said…
Didn't St. Augustine have something to say about this?

"When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here [Milan] I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend, if you do not want to give or receive scandal."

Whether we like it or not the Bishops in England and Wales have used their legitimate authority to move the feast. When in England and Wales...
The Bones said…
I know I think I called that one wrong. Mea culpa. Eek!
The Bones said…
I know I think I called that one wrong. Mea culpa. Eek!
Eugene Gaffney said…
The vatican state may have celebrated Ephiany on Friday but what about in Italy? The two frequently depart in custom.