Are you a recent convert to the Catholic faith looking out for dietary restrictions? Or perhaps you are just here out of curiosity to know if Catholics can eat pork. The answer is actually quite interesting.
Whatever your reason may be, the simple answer is yes, Catholics can, in fact, eat pork. However, there is a story behind this as it was once considered a sin.
Continue reading to uncover the Catholic perspective on eating pork as well as what Bible testaments have to say about pig consumption for Catholics.
Old Testaments About Eating Pork
Old Testament verses from the Bible expressly forbade pig consumption. Among other verses, one specific verse from the Bible refers to the animal as “unclean” and explicitly inhibits everyone from consuming a pig’s meat or touching its corpse.
This biblical passage is part of Moses’ farewell address to the Israelites. Therefore, the claim is, it was meant for a certain group of individuals during a particular epoch. Since Christians are God’s new chosen people, they are exempt from following certain of the laws of the past.
According to these passages, eating pork is unclean and akin to eating dead animals: that it is not safe for consumption. Because pigs are considered filthy creatures, it would seem that individuals who consume pork would also become unclean.
New Testaments About Eating Pork
Why then, despite the aforementioned scriptures, do Catholics still consume pork?
It is the Mosaic Law that forbids pork and other foods like shrimp. But according to the New Testament, Jesus put an end to all of that. In the new testaments, Jesus makes a definite statement that there are no unclean foods.
Although research has shown the health risks associated with eating pig and other “unclean” foods that God forbade, they are no longer prohibited.
This is seen in a number of passages in the New Testament. Primarily, Jesus sanctified EVERY meal by calling it “clean.”
Because of this proclamation, everything, even pig, is now considered clean to eat. The New Testament verses thus affirm the purity of all foods.
It is a Sin to Eat Pork?
Now to a question you may be wondering about: Is it a sin for Catholics to eat pork?
In most cases, no. Pork is not forbidden in Catholicism as it is in Islam and Judaism. Catholics are permitted to consume pork since Jesus said all foods were pure in the New Testament.
Yet there are times when consuming pork is morally wrong. If you choose to partake on Fridays other than Ash Wednesday and Good Friday during Lent, you are engaging in deliberate sin.
A Catholic commits a mortal sin if he consumes pork on a Friday that is neither a solemnity nor Lent, since the Church instructs its members to abstain from meat on certain days.
Disobedience to God and his Church is the root of the problem, not the consumption of pig or any other kind of meat.
The reason for this is that anyone who breaks it does not respect the Church’s teachings.
Freedom of Choice
However, Paul gives a crucial rule on food and freedom of eating in Corinthians 8:9. Christians, he says, ought to be careful not to cause anybody else to fall.
Just because you’re legally allowed to eat pork doesn’t mean you have to force it on anybody who objects. It’s not a smart thing to do since it might lead to other people having difficulty keeping their Christian religion or possibly abandoning it altogether.
Catholics do argue that Jews and Muslims shouldn’t be forced to eat pork because of their religious beliefs.
However, Catholics are encouraged to accept the religious convictions of Muslims and Jews who choose to refrain from eating pork while also defending their right to do so on the basis of their own beliefs.
This means that Catholics are no longer bound by the Old Covenant’s dietary laws. Jesus sanctified all foods, thus eating pork is perfectly fine for Catholics and NOT considered a sin.
Therefore, Catholics can and they do freely eat pork unlike Islam and Judaism. In fact, they feast on pork and it is a celebratory food among them.