With meat-free burgers now available, Archdiocese of St. Louis says faithful should stay ‘true to the spirit of Lent’

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ST. LOUIS – For practicing Catholics, it might seem an impossible task – giving up meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday.

As practicing Catholics enter the Lenten season, they’re encouraged to have one decent sized meal on Ash Wednesday and Fridays throughout Lent. But as meat-free alternatives find their way into restaurants and store shelves, some say they should not be a substitute during Lent.

Besides attending a mass, meatless meals are encouraged on this Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent.

And this is why you see the success of fish fry events in parishes across the region.

But this is the first Lenten season where meat-free burgers are popping up on menus. The real meat-like alternatives tested in St. Louis last April have been a success. But not so fast with that fasting and what you’re choosing to chew.

Ingesting the impossible patties isn’t in keeping with Catholic traditions of penance or giving something up during Lent.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has come out with disapproval of eating fake meat on Fridays. And on Wednesday afternoon, the Archdiocese of St. Louis issued its own statement, agreeing with their neighbors to the north.

“The Archdiocese of St. Louis advises its faithful to maintain the regular disciplines of the Lenten season, including abstinence from meat on all Fridays of Lent—as well as on Ash Wednesday, along with fasting. With the popularity of plant-based foods and imitation-meat products, the faithful must be careful to remain true to the spirit of Lent and not to circumvent the intent of the discipline.”

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