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Canon 1251, regarding abstinence on Fridays, is one of them.It may seem logical enough to us Westerners that abstaining from meat on certain days is a traditional form of penance.
And canon 1251 gives further details on just how Catholics are to make these days penitential: Unless a solemnity falls on a Friday, abstinence from meat, or some other food as determined by the Bishops’ Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays; while Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of both abstinence and fasting.This is why traditionally bishops have announced that when an important feast-day within the diocese falls on a Friday, Catholics are not required to abstain from meat on that day.Once in a while, a pastor will dispense some of his parishioners for a more localized reason (like a wedding).Secondly, the canon states that abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Practicing Catholics here in the US are certainly familiar with this regulation, and so it need not concern us here. A Bishops’ Conference (also known as an Episcopal Conference) is a permanent institution comprising all the bishops of a country or a particular territory, that as a body exercises certain pastoral functions for the faithful of their territory (c. In the US, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is located here in Washington, DC, and all the bishops of dioceses within the United States are members.Q: Are we Catholics still supposed to be abstaining from meat on Fridays? –Vince A: Lent has just begun, and we Catholics are well aware of the obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays until the Easter season.