Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 26 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Joachim and Anne
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

This is what you can eat on Fridays during Lent

BEAVER

Lilla Frerichs | Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/02/18

The list may surprise you.

While Catholics are instructed to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent, it doesn’t mean fish is the only option. In fact, there are many different aquatic animals and foods derived from animals that are allowed.

In Latin the word used to describe what kind of “meat” is not permitted on Fridays is carnis, and specifically relates to “animal flesh.” This has left the door open to many other creatures that do not fall under this strict definition.

The USCCB gives a more complete explanation of what constitutes “meat.”

Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs — all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden. However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste). Fish are a different category of animal. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles (cold-blooded animals), and shellfish are permitted.

What this means is that animals such as alligator, beaver, turtle and frogs are permitted during Lent.

A popular Lenten dish in South America is the capybara, and according to tradition, “Padre Sojo, a famous Venezuelan priest, is held by one zoological text to have gone to Italy at the end of the 18th century and obtained a papal bull approving the capybara for Lenten dining because of its amphibious habits.”

Nevertheless, the Church instructs its faithful to observe the “spirit of the law” and not to engage in excessive celebration on a day that remembers the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.


Meat

Read more:
Here’s why Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent

Tags:
Devotions and FeastsLent
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
3
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
4
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
5
MACHAERUS
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
6
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.