5 March 2009

Poll - March 2009

Does the Catholic Church teach that fasting is a way to make satisfaction for sin?

  • Yes 46 (50%)
  • No 38 (41%)
  • Don't know 7 (7%)
Total votes: 91. Poll closed.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church includes fasting as one form of penance (paragraph 1434). The same catechism defines penance thus:

"Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin; he must 'make satisfaction for' or 'expiate' his sins. This satisfaction is also called 'penance'." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph. 1459).

Therefore the Catholic Church definitely teaches that fasting is a way to make satisfaction for sin. It does not teach that satisfaction is the only purpose -- for instnace, in the Cathecism of Pius X, three reasons are given: "Fasting serves to dispose us better to prayer; to do penance for past sins; and to preserve us from sinning again." Still, one of the purposes, is to do penance or satisfaction for past sins.

This is contrary to the Bible; the Word of God does not teach that our fasting, or anything we do, makes reparation to the justice of God for our sins. The Bible teaches that their is only one way of reconciliation and propitiation: the cross of Jesus!