Why forbid meat on Fridays? Christ said that nothing from without defiles a man, but that it is disposition of soul that counts. Mk.VII, 15.

It follows that meat is not evil in itself, and that the Church does not forbid meat on Fridays because she thinks that meat will defile men. That should be evident from the fact that the Church permits meat on other days, as she could not do if she believed meat to be evil. Therefore it must be a question of the day, and not of the meat. Why then does the Church forbid meat on Fridays? Because on that day Christ gave His life for us in misery and suffering. If a Catholic eats meat on that day, the meat does not defile him, but his interior disposition of ingratitude and disobedience certainly does. If a man is not prepared to give up a little meat on the day Christ gave up His life, he is not worthy to be ranked as a Christian. The Friday abstinence has kept Our Lord’s sacrifice and death before the minds of millions of Catholics for centuries. To the vast majority of the Protestant Churches which abolished this beautiful practice merely because the Catholic Church had the grace to fulfill it, Friday is just like Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday, and their members do not think week by week of the greatest event that ever occurred in history for love of us. I have never yet received a convert into the Church who has not seen the beauty of this devotedness to Christ, and of the loyalty with which the Church recalls Friday as the day of the greatest event in our redemption. That non-Catholics should he silent about this Catholic custom I could understand. But that they should still profess to be Christians and then blame the Catholic Church for such a generous and loving act in honor of Christ merely because they do not do it themselves is astonishing.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty

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The Case for Catholicism - Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections

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