The evangelical church is now so enmeshed in our “affirming” contemporary society that it’s considered unkind and very bad form to point out the incorrect teachings of non-Biblical religious systems. But sometimes it’s impossible to remain silent as in the case below.
When I was a young Catholic boy way back in the 1960s, we could not eat meat on Fridays throughout the year. We were taught that if you ate meat on Fridays you were committing a “mortal” sin and were doomed to eternal hell fire unless you confessed the sin to a priest. But compulsory abstinence from meat wasn’t exactly a hardship for our family or other practicing Catholic families. On Fridays my Dad usually made a short trip to Karl’s Fish Market on Culver Road for three or four pounds of breaded and fried white fish along with some french fries and cole slaw. Sometimes he even bought some fried scallops! Boy, rather than being a sacrifice, those fried fish dinners were a real treat!
But in February 1966, pope Paul VI shook things up when he announced that he was leaving it up to the bishops of each nation to decide on whether the compulsory abstinence from meat should be year round. The U.S. bishops subsequently decided to restrict the meat abstinence to only lenten Fridays. But what about the Catholics who ate meat on non-lenten Fridays prior to 1966 and went to hell? Did they get a “Get Out of Hell Free” card? Curious minds want to know.
That takes us to 2017. This year Lent begins on Wednesday, March 1st and ends Thursday, April 13th. Meat is also not allowed on Good Friday, April 14th so that’s seven Fridays in a row without hot dogs, burgers, steak, or pork chops. I’m still not sure about the status of Chicken in a Biskit crackers.
Wait. What’s that you say? St. Patrick’s Day falls on Friday, March 17th this year? You mean to tell me there will be no corned beef on Irish-American tables for St. Patty’s Day 2017? Uh-oh. Now what? Worlds are colliding my friends. WORLDS ARE COLLIDING! People have left the church for much, much less.
But wait! Can it be? Yes, the U.S. bishops are coming to the rescue! I see from the article below that the bishops are issuing formal dispensations, which will allow Catholics to eat their fill of corned beef or bangers on St. Patrick’s Day without contracting mortal sin.
Now wait a minute. Slow it down. The Irish seem to be getting preferential treatment in this case, don’t you think? What I want to know is if a Catholic is NOT Irish, can they take a rain check on the March 17th dispensation and use it on one of the other five lenten Fridays? That seems fair. Do we need a canon lawyer to figure this out? Somebody call the Vatican!
Thank you, Lord, for freeing me from these kinds of man-made religious chains. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches the Gospel without compromise.
Bishop grants dispensation from abstinence on St. Patrick’s Day