A vegan Lent?

photo of hands holding various colours of beansMarch 6, 2019 — With Lent comes the beginning of the lean days of the liturgical calendar, after the excesses of the table, the fat feasts and the well-drunk evenings of the carnival and the Mardi Gras. Why not take advantage of Lent to refrain completely from eating meat, not even fish or seafood? This is the challenge that ecologists have given to Pope Francis. The One million dollar Vegan campaign, supported by several public and media personalities, invites the Pope, the Church and the whole people of God to eat vegan during Lent.

Referring explicitly to the Encyclical Laudato si and Pope Francis' commitment to the fight against climate change, this group of ecologists invites the Holy Father to preach by example.

"Your Holiness, we must act. Moving towards a plant-based diet will have substantial environmental benefits. It will protect our land, trees, oceans, and air, and help feed the world’s most vulnerable. It can also benefit human health, as a plant-based diet has been proven to reduce the risk of many common chronic diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. As a result, a growing number of doctors and dieticians are advocating vegan diets in documentaries such as What the Health."

Veganism in debates

In the last few weeks, a controversy has been raging on both sides of the Atlantic about the virtues of the vegan diet.

In a vitriolic text, essayist Paul Ariès accused vegans of deception (in french), even going so far as to say that veganism would be... harmful to the environment. This debate has not spared Canada and Quebec, as evidenced by the many opinion papers published on this subject in recent days. Just like the heated debates that have taken place in recent months, after the federal government amended Canada's Food Guide and invited Canadians to make legumes a part of their diet.

Throughout the Americas, from Montreal to Buenos Aires, meat consumption is slowly but surely declining. What about Catholics? How is veganism compatible with Catholic ethics? This is the question that philosopher Louis-André Richard tries to answer in this video posted by ECDQ.tv, the web TV of the Quebec Diocese:





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July 11, 2019 — This year, the Manresa Spiritual Center is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Many things have changed since the first laymen retreats in Toronto in 1925 and the foundation of Manresa in 1949, including the addition of retreats for women and for members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

July 9, 2019 — This second part of the Praying With the Preferences series focuses on the first two Apostolic Preferences: showing the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment; as well as walking with the poor and the outcasts of this world.

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July 1, 2019 — The Jesuits in Honduras are denouncing the Honduran government’s repression of protests over the past two months.

June 28, 2019 — This week is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This feast, whose origins date back to the XVIIth century, gives us the opportunity to meditate on how Jesus expressed his love. It was also an occasion for the Jesuits of Canada to consecrate their Toronto offices on June 25.  

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