Faith/Spirituality Forum: Fish on Fridays

Fish on Fridays QUESTION from Bob Rutzel on December 5, 2002 I have heard and am trying to research it too, that the REAL reason Catholics are to eat Fish on Fridays (years ago) is because the fishermen lobby (don't know who or where from) asked Rome for help in this matter. Fishermen were struggling at the time. Hence it was decreed (I do not know when) that Catholics will eat Fish on Fridays. Is this true?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 22, 2002 Dear Mr. Rutzel:
I am not sure of the answer, but I can say that the Rule of abstinence on Friday actually has nothing to do with fish. The rule is to abstain from flesh meat.
Catholics have NEVER been REQUIRED to eat fish.... only to abstain from meat. Fish is just a custom, a suggestion that one can take or leave
I do not know if fisherman lobbied the Church to encourage the recommendation of fish or not -- but it matters not as the point of the Penitential Friday is to abstain from meat as a religious practice of mortification. We can eat fish or not, it does not matter as long as we are abstaining from meat.
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