“Does it please Thee, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children whom I have nourished with Thy Love?” - St. Clare of Assisi

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The Greatest Theological Letter from an Archbishop...Ever!

There aren't many places in America where the question asked of Archbishop Aymond would be relevant. But I'm thinking New Orleans is definitely one of them. I love sincerity of the question and the response.


For a fuller theological response, check out Mirror of Justice.

*subhead*Alligator.*subhead*

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12 comments:

Mack Hall, HSG said...

Ich.

What do alligators abstain from for Fridays in Lent? Puppies? Kittens? Deer? Children?

matthew archbold said...

Great question. I guess it depends on whether the gator's a modern Catholic that doesn't really believe in rules or a traditionalist.

April said...

There was a similar request of the Archbishop in Michigan. They asked about muskrat. The bishop said eating muskrat was penance in and of itself. (I read the article in Cincinnati's "Catholic Telegraph" a couple years ago.)

Anita Thomer said...

We were JUST wondering about this when putting together some Lenten Friday recipes! Alligator obviously isn't fish, but it's always sold as seafood down here. WOO Alligator Gumbo is back on the menu! Thanks!

Frank Niesink said...

See you later alligator .... !

whart said...

After while, Crocodile.

Sherry Antonetti said...

Fried Gator rocks...though it doesn't feel like a fast to eat it.

Mack Hall, HSG said...

So if I fall into the Nile River, and a crocodile eats me, am I then aNILElated?

kyei charles said...

the battle is of the lord.

Jason said...

In fact, fasting should include abstinence, in addition to meat, from fancy foods that one does not often eat due to high price such as lobsters, alligators, abalone and so on.

Sophia's Favorite said...

@Jason: in the case of going out to a restaurant, certainly, but what of some backwoods guy who hunts gators for food? Plus, they sell it in supermarkets in places where it's eaten—people raise gators for meat—and I doubt it's all that expensive.

Meatlessness was originally to make the rich experience the life of the poor, hence the exemption for seafood, which was the main non-vegetable protein in poor peoples' diets. If Lent were invented now, it would probably involve abstaining from expensive, trendy, more-often-than-not vegetarian diets, and eating fast or frozen food instead.

Sophia's Favorite said...

'Scuse the double-comment, but it occurs to me, the reason that cold-blooded aquatic animals are not considered meat is apparently obscure. But has anyone considered...Judaism? Fish are pareve ("neutral"), neither meat nor dairy.

In Leviticus, "anything that lives in the water" is considered fish, but to be kosher it must have both fins and scales. Sharks, whales, and lobsters have fins but not scales; alligators and turtles have scales but not fins; clams, capybaras, and frogs have neither; so they're not kosher.

However, Christians are not under kashrut law—we may consider no animal treif ("unclean")—so while we inherit the Jewish category of "pareve because aquatic", we do not inherit the Jewish category of "treif because lacking either scales, fins, or both". Thus we're allowed to eat aquatic things because of a Jewish tradition, just modified by our lack of kashrut.

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