I am sure you all remember Fridays in England and Wales are from today meatless.
I don't know how easy it is to get genies back into bottles once they are released but I think this an important step forward. I don't think I have ever eaten meat on Fridays, an Italian priest staying with me thought my abstinence was just another sign of my reactionary tendencies. Europe has largely abandoned abstinence I think it was one of the important factors in it secularisation.
There was a time when the last sign of lapsation was eating a ham sandwich on a Friday, older lapsed people tended to retain abstinence whilst the practicing, "in touch" with the Church, had given it up.
I'd be interested to know what happens in our school canteens today, maybe that might take a bit of time to work through.
We teach by signs and symbols, meatless Fridays says a great deal. It talks about asceticism as part of Christian life, it speaks about Catholicism touching the whole week, not Sundays, it speaks too about faith and our bodies, our diet, our choices about entertainment, public witness and a great deal more. It also says Catholics are different.
I really do commend our bishops on this initiative, including my own who I think was one of the" movers" on this, as a piece of practical catechesis it is worth a thousand sermons.