This post is in answer to JT. It’s about the no meat on Fridays rule and is off topic to the thread so I apologize for that. Didn't want to start a whole new thread just to answer JT.
Hi JT, usually I enjoy your posts and your style and I can see what your point is but I don't 100% agree this time. I think you are wrong to assume that because your father-in-law said so that it is so. Have you ever heard the line, "A lie told often enough is believed by the masses."
I want to make it clear that at this point I am not 100% sure that the Catholic Church *really* ever taught or didn't teach that YOU WILL GO TO HELL if you eat meat on Fridays. I have done so much research on the Catholic religion in the past three years (not always agreeing with the RCC) but I never came across this.
I believe it is possible that it is an anti-Catholic *twist* on a Catholic discipline. For example, it is only during lent that Catholics avoid eating meat on Fridays. And I believe that it is for persons from 7th grade and older if memory serves me right -- not small children. I'm in my 30's. Probably younger than your FIL but I have asked my mom and dad who are 56 and 60 and they have never heard of the going to hell part either. I am STILL researching.
I do want to point out one thing though. You said I should do my own research. I think you are wrong. If you go to a JW and make a claim that the JWs taught that organ transplants were cannibalism and the JW turned to you and said, "Prove it", it would be up to YOU to do the research and substantiate your claim ("Have your ducks in line").
You made the claim that the Catholic Church taught that to eat meat on Fridays (notice you didn't even say during lent -- you implied ALL Fridays) was a sin worthy of going to hell and you said they later changed it. I said I think you are wrong. I never heard that. Show me where they taught that and you said "DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH."
I am not a JW and don't follow the dub rule of not looking at things opposed to my faith. I would look at any proof you could provide objectively. I have taken the time to do searches on www.catholic.com and on www.newadvent.org and in my catechism and on various other links. I have also put in a call to Catholic Answers and am waiting for a reply (which I will post whether or not I am right or wrong). They are researching it. I haven't found anything which says the Church used to teach that eating meat on Fridays = go straight to hell.
The closest I have come that sounds even *remotely* similar to what you claim is true is the fasting which is done during lent on Fridays and this hasn't been changed. Catholics still don't eat meat on Fridays during lent.
A *MORTAL* sin (a sin worthy of hell according to the RCC), according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Chapter III; Article IV #1857:
For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."#1858Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments ... the gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft ...
I also have found that it is one of the 5 precepts of the church but are presented as guidelines, not laws. Of course, depending on which Catholic you're talking to, some might be more insistent than others that they are followed. Typically, the older generation Catholics like my mom will insist on it. Perhaps it is because in her generation, there was much more contact with nuns who instilled those characteristics in them. I don't know. That's why I went to the Catechism itself. And nowhere in the Catechism does it say that breaking the lenten fast is a sin worthy of hell.
I also went into an older Catechism from the 1940s and has the imprimatur and it says that breaking the Lenten fast because a person ”sincerely believes it is not a sin” is a venial/minor sin. IOW, it is NOT a sin worthy of hell! That is a direct contradiction to what you claim from a catechism in the timeframe you indicated.
Okay, I did my homework. I believe I have substantial reasons not to believe what you claimed. I think that since YOU are the one making the claim, then you have the burden to back up your claim with your research (more is required than FIL's assertion). Specifically, you need to back up your claim that:
a) The Catholic church taught that eating meat on all Fridays was a sin.
b) That breaking that rule made one worthy of going to hell.
c) That they changed that rule and Catholics are now allowed to eat meat on Fridays.
PS: I will keep on looking and if I find that I am wrong (partially or wholly), I will admit it.