Religion: Whale Meat on Friday

The question called for a simple yes or no: Are Roman Catholics permitted to eat whale meat on fast days? No, according to the Archbishopric of Vienna; the whale is no fish but a warm-blooded mammal—hence forbidden. When the question was put to the Vatican, officials of the Holy Office deliberated long & hard. Last week came the answer: on Fridays and other abstinence days Catholics must abstain from "beasts of the fields and fowl of the air." Underwater creatures—even if they come up for air, or occasionally come ashore for a brief siesta—count as fish. Whale meat on Friday is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!