15. THE QUESTION WAS: Not abstaining from meat on the Fridays of Lent would be a:
a. venial sin
b. mortal sin
THE ANSWER IS .. B
It would be a mortal sin for Catholics 14 and older, assuming the person did not just forget which day it was. Mortal sins always require the knowledge of what one is doing, of course.
On Ash Wednesday, Catholics may only have only one full meal for the day and no meat. If it is absolutely necessary for the person to fulfill his or her duties that day, the person may also have two lighter meals during the day, which together, cannot add up to the one regular-sized meal. No snacks in between. This is obligatory for people aged 18 to 58. It does not include people with a medical condition where fasting would put the persons life in danger. Those individuals may perform an act of penance or charity to fulfill their Christian duty for the day.
These are the only obligatory fasting rules for the entire year. Christians are encouraged to fast much more often than this. These are just the absolute minimum requirements for someone who considers themself a follower of Christ.
Likewise, Catholics are encouraged to attend daily mass. But the absolute minimum requirement is to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and to attend Confession once a year if there is an unconfessed mortal sin.
"All members of the Christian faithful in their own way are bound
to do penance in virtue of divine law; in order that all may be joined in a
common observance of penance, penitential days are prescribed in which the
Christian faithful in a special way pray, exercise works of piety and charity,
and deny themselves by fulfilling their responsibilities more faithfully and especially
by observing fast and abstinence according to the norm of the following
canons." Canon 1249
"All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the universal Church." Canon 1250
"Self-imposed observance of fasting on all weekdays of Lent is strongly recommended. Abstinence from meat on other Fridays of the year is recommended, but not required. Also recommended on all Fridays of the year is prayer, penance(especially by eating less food), and almsgiving for the sake of world peace." National Conference of Catholic Bishops
Fasting guidelines: http://www.webdesk.com/catholic/passages/lent/rules.html http://www.thecatholicspirit.com/articles.php?article_type=Bishop%20Frederick%20Campbell
Back to StillCatholic.com