Church Daddy's Corner

No, Put the Chicken Broth Back!

Can you use meat-based broths on Fridays in Lent?

I vote no.

Rocco of Whispers in the Loggia asked the question this morning if chicken broth sans the chicken itself can be used today (as a Friday in Lent). A reader pointed him to Jimmy Akin (another Catholic blogger) who said yes.

I’m not a canon lawyer, but you don’t need to be to get a reasonable answer. The beauty of the Catholic faith is 99% of the teachings, rules and regulations simply make sense if you accept the premises and the authority of the Church to decree certain things, such as the whole notion of Lent.

First, the canon law argument. Mr. Akin tries to claim that since the 1917 Canon Law prohibits “meat and soups of meat, but not” milks, etc and that the Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini of Paul VI (which establishes the rules in force) simply says “use of meat, but not…”, we are no longer bound to avoid soups of meat. Wait… No, sir.

Boxes of Chicken Broth
photocredit: flickr/pswansen

I don’t know how you make chicken broth, but in my house, we take leftover pieces of chicken and leftover pieces of vegetables, place them in water and leave it heating on the stove a long time. Then, we extract the solid and the remaining liquid is the broth. I’m just a simple layman, but that seems to be using meat.

Paul VI, of blessed memory, stated that milk, eggs and condiments rendered from animal fat are acceptable. Thank you, as I have zero idea what is in any of my condiments. Wouldn’t it be easy to add broths if such an exemption was foreseen?