What's the real history behind Catholics not being able to eat meat on Fridays during Lent?

Since You Asked
A priest is being sent away for studies
 
Q What's the real history behind Catholics not being able to eat meat on Fridays during Lent?
- Lauren
 
A

The real story is really more than one story: There's the biblical story, there's Christian practice, there's what happens in the Eastern Churches as it contrasts with the Church in the West; the older traditions (from 1917) and the newer practice from 1983.

The Bible describes partial and complete fasts as a religious or pious practice, especially in trying times and sad times. The Mosaic Law prescribed only one day of fasting: The Day of Atonement.

Christ fasted and the Apostles fasted. In the early times after Christ's death, both fasting (less food) and abstinence (none of certain categories of food, usually flesh meat) was a common practice.

When some people speak of fasting, they mean no food at all during a certain time period. The Church fast of Lent, however, is a modified fast, meaning to eat only at meals and that only one meal be of a typical size. Our U.S. bishops have said that penance is what is required--and if fasting qualifies, do it. Works of charity and the practice of prayer and receiving the sacraments are also suitable works during penitential times.

- Carol Ann
Fasting, Lent