Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vegetarianism and the Church

Q & A with Fr Job, installment V.
Question: How does the Church relate to vegetarianism?

Answer: Vegetarianism is a teaching and movement which sees the fundamental way towards the resolution of moral and social problems in abstinence from animal products (from the Latin vegetalis -- vegetable). This is a false approach. It sows an illusion. The Lord calls people to salvation. There is one way to Him: the fulfillment of God’s commandments. In the words of the holy Apostle Paul: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men (Rom. 14:17-18). The Holy Fathers teach that authentic fasting means restraining from evil. The bodily fasts that our Church has laid down are not ends in themselves, but only means to obtaining the virtues. Experience demonstrates that not a few people who ate only vegetable products were still filled with the passions. Christian fasting, intended not only as physical restraint but as the guarding of the soul from sinful actions, leads man to purity and spiritual perfection.

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