Chicken Ok on Fridays during Lent?

I have a coworker who says it is ok to eat Chicken on Fridays, and that Fish and Chicken have been declared acceptable. I never knew this to be true, and I didn’t want to embarrass her in front of others… is it possible she has been told this by her parish? Are there diocese and parishes who allow this? Or do I assume she was just making it up so she could have the chicken salad she was eating… ?

Nope, Chicken isn’t OK, just fish and other sea food.


Definitely nope. But I’ve been researching the past few days, even asked my parish priest and youth leader.

(In Singapore Context)
The answer that I got is (extracted from Father’s email)

“In Singapore, all Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence from meat. All Fridays of other season are also days of penance and are to abstain from meat.”

“There is no question of sin in any of the church’s recommendation towards penance. Its not a moral issue. Sin comes in only in a case of a moral lapse. In the case of a choice of penance, it is a free choice which has been encouraged by the church.”

So it’s only a suggestion that one does not eat meat on all Fridays of Lent.

However, to answer your question, in my understanding, chicken is still considered meat, which shouldn’t be eaten when one does meatless abstinence.

Chicken and fish in the same category? hmm… something to think about. :stuck_out_tongue:

No chicken is not Ok.

Perhaps she had it confused with “Chicken of the Sea?”?;):smiley:

Thank you. I really didn’t think so. But knowing so many other things have changed, I began to wonder if maybe my ideas were just really out of date… And maybe there is a certain population of Catholics out there truly believe it is ok :confused:

Chicken, and indeed all poultry, have warm, red blood. So they are not to be eaten on days of abstinance. Seafood is OK. (Exception: sea mammals such as whales or seals, as they also have warm red blood.) Eggs are OK, and so are dairy products like cheese. I am quite happy with a Tuna melt for Friday lunch.

I have to ask. I was involved with returning Catholics last year. You said “But knowing so many other things have changed”. Could you post some of them. I’m curious what you perceive as major changes. Another thread if necessary.

What were significant changes for me, may not be considered major to another individual. I truly hope that my answering this question does not open the door for reproach/attack… as that seems to happen a bit around here (not this forum) when I least expect it…

There are other things too, but I don’t think it appropriate I post them here.

Margaret :slight_smile:

Do not assume. She is incorrect and perhaps it is not a good idea to assume one way or the other as to how she came to her incorrect belief unless she offers the explanation herself. Therefore, what is called for is for you to charitably inform her of the error without further judgment as to what led to it. God bless.

Maybe someone told her that “red meat” was what we are to abstain from, meaning warm-blooded meat (or maybe they told her “warm-blooded” and she immediately equated that to red meat - who can say?)

Chicken, of course, is white meat, so she might have thought that it is not “red meat” or warm-blooded meat.

How did people figure this stuff out in the past? I don’t even know where any of it is written down - I just was very lucky to have an excellent priest to help me with my RCIA, who made sure to go over all of these details.

It’s such an easy mistake to make, though; a very devout friend of mine who rants and raves about all sorts of nit-picky things gives his children chicken to eat on Fridays. I pointed out to his wife that chicken is warm-blooded; I don’t know if she ever told him, though. But he is under the impression that birds are cold-blooded.

I’m a convert (RCIA only two years ago). I’m glad for this thread. I knew chicken was not OK. And I hadn’t given it a thought at all but somehow knew eggs, cheese were OK. Probably I knew some things because I grew up in a town where there were a lot of Catholics.

Regarding fish, Jewish teaching is fins and scales. Other fish are not kosher. Non-kosher types of fish are OK as long as they are not warm red blood? For example, scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp, lobsters or crawdads? Generally for Fridays in lent this year my lunch has been tuna salad sandwich and my dinner meat has been talapia (prepared however my non-Catholic wife cooks it). Breakfast can sometimes be eggs (and once I had to pick out the ham of an omelette a co-worker offered me to share). The talapia fillets are a kosher type of fish – I’m pretty sure it is a normal type of fish that has fins and scales. It tastes like it.

Since I love seafood, Fridays in lent for me seem less like lent because I don’t suffer any by eating fish instead of chicken.


Well, it is somewhat symbolic, and seeing how many catholics will go to any lengths to get around the abstinance provisions, your feelings are a minority.

By the way, I am with you. My local Chinese restaurant serves Scallop Rice Soup. I’m happy to eat it on ANY day of the week.:smiley:

Thanks, I can agree with #5, been there done that. That is why I asked because most things have really not changed that much. May things are actually results of other things.

Years ago, I used to go to a Chinese restaurant almost every Sunday after (Baptist) Church. Have you discovered Thai food yet? We have a good number of Thai restaurants around here in Northern VA at this time. Years ago, when I first tried it, it seemed so strange and terrible. But now I like it. However, my breath is so bad my wife hardly stands being in the same bed for at least two nights. With Thai food, The really hot spices or peppers is part of what makes the food so good. Suggestion: when you eat the really, really hot spices or peppers pray it is penance that Mary can use for the Holy Souls and put off drinking water for a few seconds. It builds the experience, and I think in retrospect improves enjoyment.

Oriental seafood can be really good – I like sushi and sashimi too. And the green mustard, etc.

My wife was born in Jamaica. So I often get food for dinner that most people have never tried. About a week ago, we had some tamarinds. And we often eat sweet potatos (the kind found in the carribean). And sometimes we have Jamaican ackee and saltfish. Ackee grows on an ackee tree, so it would be another good lenten dish.

Here in Northern VA, grocery stores stock a lot more international food. And we have a large new brightly colored grocery store that looks like it was planted here directly from Mexico.

Is she Mexican?

Our RCIA leaders (Who are VERY orthodox, it’s been a real blessing having them) told us that fish wasn’t considered a meat in Europe and the Middle East because it was such a common food, and if you could afford ‘real’ meat (pork, beef, etc.) then you were well off. As such we were told to not eat meat on Fridays, but fish wasn’t anything special, so it didn’t count. They then told us that in Mexico a lot of people don’t think of chicken as meat because it’s so common. (They were then very clear about the fact that chicken does count as meat here, LoL).

Maybe her line of thinking follow that line?

Chicken has never been declared to be okay on Fridays during Lent but fish has.

Really, in the final analysis, doesn’t God care more what is in our hearts than what is in our stomachs?

One reason Jesus came is because the Jewish people were so bound up with observing rules that they lost sight of what is really important: love, charity, forgiveness . . .

As to things in the Church changing – I lost interest in the so-called Holy Days of Obligation when the Feast of the Circumcision (failure to attend Mass on that day was a mortal sin!) was quietly replaced with yet another Mary holiday. How did something go from a holy day, whose non-observance could doom one’s immortal soul for all eternity, to a non-event?

I also recall learning, in high school religion class, the very limited circumstances under which an annulment could be granted. Today, it is relatively easy to dissolve a Catholic marriage. I am not saying that I am against this necessarily, especially in cases of abuse of any kind. But I think the Church needs to me more honest with itself such matters as divorce and birth control.

Emphasis mine. The abstinence from meat on Fridays provides a common act of penance in which the whole Church engages as a common sacrifice in commemoration of Good Friday.

Because the Holy Days of Obligation have always been governed by Canon Law, which is proclaimed by the Church. Just because the Church (who enumerated the Holy Days of Obligation in the first place) decided to change the number doesn’t mean that obligation is any less binding.

Yep, that ol’ Church better get with the times! :rolleyes: