Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cardinal Dolan on Returning to Meatless Fridays, Penance, and His Annual Address to the USCCB

Cardianl Dolan is making headlines for suggesting that the Catholic Church in the United States to return to the practice of Friday Abstinence. However, this is only one small point of his larger push toward Catholics returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation ("confession") and doing penance.

Pope Paul VI kept Friday as a day of penance but dropped the abstinence of meat under penalty of sin. What actually happened is that Catholics heard the part about not abstaining from meat and were deaf to the rest of the message emphasizing Friday as a day for us to continue to do penance.

Friday abstinence was part of our identity as Catholics and an outward sign of our faith. It was identifiable to the public much like ashes on Ash Wednesday. Cardinal Dolan refers to sociologists that warn the Church of losing these external markers. These outward public signs orient us toward our membership in the Church; we are part of something meaningful and larger than ourselves, the Body of Christ.

Racco Palmo has posted the audio of Cardinal Dolan's interview on Sirius Radio following his address on this topic.

Cardinal Dolan's Presidential Address to the USCCB

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about more creativity: No red meat and no seafood either...only vegetables, fruits and grains. The danger (again) is external compliance, but no internal spirituality. I think Pope Paul had it right if we don't love God in this we are only noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.