CHICAGO (WGN) — Today is Ash Wednesday, when Christians get the sign of the cross rubbed on their forehead.
It’s the start of Lent when Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on Fridays. But what about plant-based meats?
Despite plant-based meat containing no animal flesh, the Archdiocese of Chicago expressed disapproval at the thought of eating soy or protein-based meat during Lent.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Chicago said you risk losing the whole spirit and meaning of abstaining from meat if you go the fake-meat route.
“What’s behind the whole tradition in practice is to go without in order to be in solidarity with those who are hungry, with those who can’t afford meat,” Todd Williamson, director of the Office of Divine Worship at the Archdiocese of Chicago told the Chicago Tribune. “By going without that we are reminded of others. We experience hunger ourselves. So it’s a bit deeper than whether it’s just a meat product.”
Other religious leaders said Lent would be better served by focusing less on rules, and more on finding better ways to live and help others.