Throwback Thursday: Is it OK to eat Chicken in a Biskit crackers on Fridays during Lent?

Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the 40-day Lenten season for Roman Catholics. So for today’s Throwback Thursday installment, we’re rolling out this old chestnut that was originally published back on February 22, 2016 and has become an annual Lenten staple here at excatholic4christ. Enjoy!

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This morning, I was listening to the 10/30/15 podcast of the Calling All Catholics talk radio show on The Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, out of Buffalo, New York. Catholic priest, Dave Baker, was taking questions, assisted by moderator, Mike Denz.

One of the listeners had a question regarding the church’s rule on abstinence from meat on Fridays during Lent, which I thought was quite timely because we’re currently in the Lenten season. Because the Catholic church absolutely forbids meat on Fridays during Lent, any Catholic who defiantly consumes meat commits a “mortal” sin and is doomed to hell for eternity unless they confess the sin to a priest.

But the rule’s not always as cut and dry as a juicy rib-eye steak or a succulent pork chop. The listener wanted to know if the ban on meat even included something like beef bouillon. Priest Baker irresolutely suggested that beef bouillon was “probably” okay to eat, but encouraged the person to visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ web site to get the specific details.

Well, being the curious sinner-saved-by-grace that I am, I went to the USCCB website and found the following information:

Q. I understand that all the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat, but I’m not sure what is classified as meat. Does meat include chicken and dairy products?

A. 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.

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/lent/questions-and-answers-about-lent.cfm

So while the bishops say it’s “technically” OK to consume meat-based broths, gravies, and seasonings, they add that Catholic moral theologians have traditionally taught that Catholics should abstain from all animal-derived products with the exception of products that don’t taste like meat.

Yikes! I’m still confused. This is getting more complicated than college calculus. Okay, let’s try to break it down using my favorite cracker, Chicken in a Biskit, as an example. One of the ingredients listed on the box is “dehydrated cooked chicken.” So, is it a “mortal” sin for a Catholic to eat Chicken in a Biskit crackers on Friday during Lent? The U.S. bishops say meat-based seasonings are OK, but then turn around and say the church’s moral theologians forbid any meat derivative that tastes like meat. And, yes, Chicken in a Biskit crackers taste somewhat like chicken. So, which is it? I WANT TO KNOW! Is it OK to eat Chicken in a Biskit crackers or not? Will a Catholic go to hell for all eternity because they ate a Chicken in a Biskit cracker on Friday during Lent????

Ridiculous? Absolutely. The Bible doesn’t say anything about abstaining from meat on Fridays, but it does warn against religious leaders who forbid certain foods. All of these complicated abstinence rules remind me of the Pharisees who took the Mosaic Law that no one could obey absolutely anyway (except for Jesus Christ), and made it even more intricate and burdensome.

Praise the Lord for freeing me from the legalistic chains and man-made traditions of Roman Catholicism! We sin every day by breaking God’s Biblical commandments. But God loved us so much He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross. Then Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death, and offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent (turn from their rebellion against God) and accept Him as Savior by faith alone. Accept Christ and seek out an evangelical church in your area that teaches God’s Word without compromise.

For more of my thoughts regarding Lent see here and here and here.

Next Thursday: The attack of the Capybara!

52 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Is it OK to eat Chicken in a Biskit crackers on Fridays during Lent?

      1. Thanks, sister, and have a grateful day in the Lord, yourself! Yes, God is sooooo good for delivering us from the legalistic RC treadmill which included anguishing over whether such-and-such was okay to eat on Lenten Fridays (while priests were engaging in all kinds of deviancy).

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “while priests were engaging in all kinds of deviancy).”
        😭
        I may have shared this at one time but there was a priest here that gave mass at the RCC church we partook on that was assigned to a place called Shapiro Development Center. It’s a HUGE state run “home” for the disabled. That priest was caught in “an act” with one young man that couldn’t move because of his disability and mental capacity! I was so broken hearted for many reasons!
        When my father in law passed someone asked me about giving to the church I blurted out “after what that priest did to the developmentally disabled person I would NEVER give the RCC another penny!” That person practices RC! They didn’t! They donated to our boys’ (our Down syndromes boys) classroom!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks. Heartbreaking. These priests are supposed to be shining examples of works-righteousness salvation but instead we are finding out they are blatant examples of man’s sinfulness and absolute inability to merit salvation.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement and support! I’ve written several posts about Lenten Friday dietary restrictions, but I think this old Chicken in a Biskit post does a decent job pointing out the absolute inanities of this legalistic rabbit hole. This post had me jonesing for some Chicken in a Biskit. But guess what? I did pick up a box of Whales at the Dollar Store yesterday. I’ll get to them after I finish off my open box of Cheez-Its.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol! I wondered the other day if you had a chance to those Whales!! What flavor Cheez-Its did you get?

        Yes -in all seriousness it’s so sad to witness the bondage people put themselves into with these religious antics -so unnecessary-doesn’t change their hearts or their relationship with God 😢

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I bought a brand new variety of Cheez-It, Extra-Cheesy, and they are REALLY good. Our dog likes them as well. While I was at it, I also bought another box of Cheese Nips at a grocery in the same plaza as the Dollar Store so right now I’m MAXED out with cheese crackers. 🧀 I blame this dietary disaster on that post I wrote and your suggestion to buy Whales. 🥳

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 😂😂😂
        We are “fostering” a doggie who’s owner -a very good friend of ours-he couldn’t have her anymore because of his stem cell transplant for a cancer he had-we love her! The grandkids love her! She loves anything we give her extra but vegetables and some fruits 😁
        My husband was raised on a farm where dogs only outside-I was raised in what was a small town at the time-we always had an animal-mainly dogs-in the house and my mom was a neat freak so they weren’t messy or smelly!
        Well my husband gave in to taking this doggie because no one else was taking her -in fact he’s the one that said we needed to take her. Even though we live out in the country we don’t have shelter for her so eventually I got caught letting her in 😳 She’s a really good inside dog! Her owner before us says she’s too “spoiled “ for him now 😂Its kind of a joke!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Glad to hear you are having fun with your “foster” dog! I enjoyed the background story. Our 45 lb. labradoodle is 12 YO but shows no sign of slowing down. We go on at least one long walk together daily which helps keep her and me fit. She was always anxious which got worse as she got older and we finally took our vet’s advice and put her on a mild sedative. So for the past year we’ve all been sleeping restfully through the night.
        RE: she’s too spoiled
        Yeah, our dog rules the roost.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Glad that helped her and you and Mary!
        Our “foster” dog’s name is D O G!! She’s an Australian Blue Healer -she tends to lay by us when we are in groups as herding is her “job” ❤️
        She’s pretty mellow 👍🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      6. We had a medium poodle prior to Gracie and she was Super Diva! So ill-mannered. People used to come in the house and put their hand down to “make friends” with the Casey and I used to yell at them to pull back their hand immediately!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, sister! When I read the New Testament for the first time as a Catholic, many verses/passages such as that one hit me over the head and shook me up. I remember Hebrews being the final straw with the passages about no longer a need for priests or sacrifice.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Crissy!

      RE: I had no idea ash wed is this week.

      I’m generally not mindful of the Catholic liturgical calendar, but I think I anticipate Ash Wednesday and Lenten Friday meat abstention because of the inanity of it all.
      I remember as a child being so proud to display my ashes on Ash Wednesday, along with my parochial school classmates, all of which contradicted Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 6:16-18.

      Liked by 1 person

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