London, England, Sep 20, 2011 / 09:55 am
The practice of abstaining from eating meat on Fridays has returned to the Catholic Church in England and Wales after an absence of 27 years.
“I think it’s a very good idea,” father-of-three Dominic Schofield told CNA. He and his wife Margaret, along with their three young daughters, were about to sit down to a Friday dinner of fried fish in their London home.
“Over the past 20 to 30 years we’ve perhaps lost touch with some of the more grounded Catholic practices and that, in turn, has chipped away at belief in more fundamental things too. So the restoration of this ancient Catholic tradition can help reverse that trend,” Schofield said.
The decision to reinstate the custom was announced by the bishops of England and Wales in May. September 16 was chosen as the reintroduction date because it marks the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival in the United Kingdom.
The practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays was traditionally a way of remembering that Jesus Christ died on that day of the week. However, the Church in England and Wales abandoned the centuries-old custom back in 1984.