Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Bill wrote:

Hi guys,

I am a 50-year-old Catholic father of seven living in the USA. My sister, also a Catholic, sings in a Methodist choir and has been going to a Bible study with the Seventh Day Adventists.

While studying the Bible (a good thing) she has stopped eating pork, even though she loved to buy pork roast from the Amish market, because in the Old Testament it's considered unclean.
I couldn't remember if it was Leviticus or Deuteronomy that stated this. She also stopped eating shellfish for the same reason.

I remember reading in Acts where Peter went to a Greek town and they offered him unkosher food which he refused to eat and later had a vision from Christ stating that nothing He has created is unclean. (New Jerusalem Bible)

  • What is the Catholic approach to the common Hebrew customs of refraining from eating pork, shellfish, etc.?



  { What is the Catholic view of routine Hebrew customs of refraining from eating pork and shellfish? }

John replied:


Thanks for your questions.

You have good reason to be concerned about your sister. She's not attending a typical Evangelical Bible Study.

She's attending a bible study of a community that, at best, can be called an aberrational group. The Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) have, for all intents and purposes, separated themselves from orthodox Christianity, be it Catholic or Protestant.

The SDA is nothing but a rehash of the Judaizer heresy that St. Paul railed against.

Let's deal with some specifics. St. Paul addresses the issue of what foods can be eaten extensively. Christ, Himself, speaking on the subject, said, it's what comes out of the mouth and not what goes in, that makes us unclean. (Matthew 15:11)

To understand the dietary laws, we need to understand the history of Israel. When Israel was enslaved in Egypt, they adopted the idolatrous practices of their masters. They worshiped bulls and sheep. That worship included sacrificing pigs and other animals the Bible calls unclean to the idols representing a bull or a sheep. These sacrificial animals were then eaten.

Hence, when God's Call delivered them from Egypt, He called on them to sacrifice the animals they had worshiped in Egypt. He also forbade them from eating or sacrificing those animals they had eaten and sacrificed in Egypt. The sacrifice originally was only supposed to happen once at Sinai, when God gave them the Ten Commandments, however, as they waited for Moses, they fell back into idolatry.

As a result, the entire sacrificial system described in Leviticus and Deuteronomy was instituted to remind the Israelites, on a daily basis, that the god's of Egypt were not gods, but animals to be eaten. The dietary prohibition on pork, and so forth, was again given to remind Israel that they were separate and different from the nations. They would not eat the animals, the nations sacrificed to idols.


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.