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N.K. Miller wrote:

Hi, guys —

I thought I heard that if you are over 65 you do not have to abstain from meat on Fridays.

  • Is this true?

N.K.

  { If you are over 65 do you have to abstain from meat on Fridays? }

and in a similar question:

Mariah wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How old do you have to be, to be exempt from not eating meat on Fridays during Lent?

Mariah

  { How old do you have to be, to be exempt from not eating meat on Fridays during Lent? }

Mike replied:

Dear N.K. and Mariah,

Michelle Arnold at Catholic Answers, gave a very good answer to this:

According to canon 1252 of the Code of Canon Law, all Latin-rite Catholics are required observe the laws of abstinence starting at the age of 14. There is no upper age limit on abstinence after which the person is automatically excused, but those who need to eat meat for a medical reason may be dispensed from the abstinence requirement.

In the United States, the fasting requirement begins at age 18 and continues until age 59. At that age, a person is automatically excused from the requirement to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, but, if health permits, may participate in the fast should he choose to do so.

So there is no upper age limit though those who need to eat meat for a medical reason may be dispensed from the abstinence requirement.

I would add that, if health permits, the elderly should follow the bishop's allowance and choose a different form of penance of their choosing, as stated in the regulations below.

Here are the Active Lenten Fasting Regulations from Catholic Culture:


Hope this helps,

Mike

Bob replied:

Mariah,

Just to be clear, above 14 must abstain, children under 14 are exempt and do not have to give meat up unless it is a parent or household rule to do so.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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