One of the most frequently asked questions related to Catholicism is about the food that they or they cannot eat. In this blog post, we will answer, can Catholics eat pork?
Let’s start by discussing the scriptural references.
These are the biblical passages from the Old Testament that prohibit eating pork.
“And the pig, which indeed has divided hooves, with cloven foot, but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their dead bodies you shall not touch.”
“Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who stands within, eating pig’s flesh, abominable things, and mice, shall all together come to an end, with their deeds and purposes—oracle of the Lord.”
These verses highlighted that pork is unclean. That one should not eat it.
On the contrary, Christ in the New Testament totally abolished it as follows.
“It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”
This statement from Christ made all food including pork clean.
In addition, it is supported by the vision of St. Peter.
“The next day, while they were on their way and nearing the city, Peter went up to the roof terrace to pray at about noontime. He was hungry and wished to eat, and while they were making preparations he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all the earth’s four-legged animals and reptiles and the birds of the sky. A voice said to him, Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat. But Peter said, Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean. The voice spoke to him again, a second time, What God has made clean, you are not to call profane. This happened three times, and then the object was taken up into the sky.”
St. Paul in his letters also confirmed it in the following passages.
“Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath.”
“Eat anything sold in the market, without raising questions on grounds of conscience”
1 Corinthians 10:25
These scriptural references from the New Testament changed the view about the uncleanliness of some food.
Catholics Eating Pork
Now that we already quoted some of the references, let’s answer the question.
Can Catholics Eat Pork?
Yes, Catholics can eat pork. Despite the prohibition in the old testament, Christ allowed it in the New Testament. He made all food clean.
Although allowed, eating pork can be a sin in a certain instance.
It is when someone deliberately does not abstain from it on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Friday outside lent (depending on the territory except when Solemnity falls on Friday).
Canon 1251 “Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.”
Those who break it do not believe in the authority of the Church, thus a sin.
Since Christ made everything clean, the Catholic Church allowed its faithful to eat pork. That said, As Catholics, we must also be cautious that eating meat specifically pork during Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and Friday outside Lent is prohibited.
May we give thanks to God for the grace of food.