Can Catholics Eat Pork?

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                                 Can Catholics Eat Pork?

Can Catholics eat pork? This is one of the many questions people have asked me about the Catholic view on eating pork. According to some Christian denominations ( i.e Seventh-Day Adventist), pork is prohibited in the Bible, and therefore consuming it is a sin.

In this article, we are going to explain from the Scriptures why Catholics can eat pork. Read to learn more on whether or not Catholics can eat pork.

What Does The Old Covenant say about pork consumption?

In the Mosaic law, God instructed the children of Israel to avoid eating or touching unclean animals.

- Leviticus: 11.7 (English Standard Version)

And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.

- Deuteronomy 14:8 (English Standard Version)

The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.

- Isaiah 66:17 (ESV)

“Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the LORD.

As you can see, according to the verses above, pork consumption is an abomination to the Lord God of Israel.

Let's get back to our initial question. Can Catholics eat pork? The short answer is Yes. Catholics are permitted to eat any type of food previously declared unclean (In the Old Covenant). 

The prohibition against consuming pork is found only in the Law of Moses which was required for only the Jewish people. Catholics are not under the Mosaic Covenant, and therefore are not bound by any restrictions. It is important to know that dietary restriction of the Old Covenant do not apply to Catholics. (Christians) any longer. 

God gave food laws to the Son's of Israel as a sign that they are set apart from the pagan nations in that time.

What Did Jesus Say About Unclean  Eating Unclean Food?

Mark 7: 18-19 (ESV)

And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

Mathew 15:11 (NIV)

What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

In these verses, we see Jesus saying that it is not what a person ingests that makes him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth. Therefore, eating pork is not a sin for Catholics and any other Christian.

If a Catholic decides not to eat pork, then it is for personal reasons, and that may be anything like not liking pork or fasting.

Pulpit summarized it this way in his commentary:

''The rabbis taught that certain meats of themselves polluted the soul, made it abominable in God's sight. This was a perversion of the law respecting clean and unclean food. The pollution or guilt arose, not from the nature of the meat, but from the eating of it in contravention of a positive command. It was the disobedience, not the food, which affected the soul.

It is remarkable that these distinctions of meats still obtain among half the civilized inhabitants of the world - Buddhists, Hindus, Mohammedans - and that one of the hardest tasks of Christian missionaries is to make men understand the non-importance of these differences. We do not see that Christ here abrogated the Levitical Law, but he certainly prepared the way for its supersession and transformation''

Another Christian commentator put it this way:

Jesus counters another traditional error from the scribes and Pharisees, explaining that food in and of itself does not make a person unclean. Rather, it is the intent of the heart that matters to God. He specifically condemns which effectively undo the original intent of God's commands. ( Ref. Bibleref commentary )

According to some critics, Jesus comments on Mark 7: 18 - 19 is ambiguous, and therefore taken out of context. According to most Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), Jesus did not do away with the law. According to them, it is evident in the gospel of Matthew.

Mathew 5 :17 (NIV)

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them

Mathew 5 :17 (KJV)

Can Catholics Eat Pork?

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Conclusion

Jesus' death and resurrection has established a new covenant with the Jewish people and all gentiles who accepted Him as their Personal Savior and Lord. To this day, if you are a Catholic (Christian), you are no longer defined as being clean or unclean based on what you eat, such as pork.

Catholics can eat pork as long as it wouldn't have medical effects on them.  Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Jesus is the end of the law. 

In summary, we have seen that Jesus declared all food clean. There is no need to worry as a Catholic about clean or unclean foods.

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