Friday, September 23, 2011

CMA UK Midlands/ Worcs 2011

Catholic Medical Association Meeting Thurs 20 Oct ‘11

‘Induced Abortion: Its effect on Mental Health’

Speakers: Drs Pravin Thevasathan (CMA Worcs Branch Secretary, Cons Psychiatrist LD) & Greg Gardner (Birmingham GP and protestant ethicist for Midlands Ethics Group)

Chair: Dr Tony Cole
Venue: Newman House Catholic Chaplaincy, 29 Harrisons Rd, Edgbaston, Birmingham

19:30: Mass
20:10: Meeting Followed By Discussion & Light Buffet

To assist with catering, would those wishing to attend please notify (email) John Kelly ( by 12 Oct.

There is no charge for Buffet

Friday, September 16, 2011

Return of Friday Meat Abstinence

I am not eating meat today, by order of the Bishops Conference of England & Wales.

Today the Bishops are reviving this ancient custom and obligation of Abstince from Meat every Friday, in commemoration of 'Good Friday' the day Our Lord was crucified.

After 26 years of 'optional' acts of charity, this requirement is returned, to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Pope Benedict's visit to the UK.

Abstinence, or 'self denial,' are little acts of penance and sacrifice which are to be offered up by us people in union with Christ's ultimate sacrifice. Partaking in this is, and always has been, an essential part of Christianity. Even in the times of ancient Israel, sacrifice, especially when done communally, was offered to appease God's wrath. In the New Testament it is more indicative of ultimate love & life giving sacrifice, in imitation of the God-man. The Bishops particularly feel, by witnessing this in common, it will help Christ shine through into our society.

In the Western Church, fasting, which is going without food for a similar reason as abstinence, was relaxed. The strict Lenten fasting seemed to change its significance during the rationing of food in the Wars of 20th Century Europe, and was therefore all but abolished by Rome.

A cursory glance at current practice in the Eastern Church, reveals that not eating meat is the very least we can do. During Lent they abstain from Meat, fish, alcohol and dairy products. Sometimes really zealous Christians will only eat nuts for example.

In the Western Church the requirement is only to fast on 2 days a year (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, which commemorate either end of Jesus' 40 days in the desert).

The change today in UK Catholic Law just put into context the continued and prevailing English tradition of Fish & Chips on a Friday!

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