Exemption from abstinence on Chinese New Year in Archdiocese of Manila set by Cardinal Tagle.
By Leslie Ann Aquino
Filipino-Chinese and other Chinese Catholics in the Archdiocese of Manila are exempted from abstinence on February 16, the Friday after Ash Wednesday, which falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle granted the dispensation (exemption) from the obligation of abstinence to them in view of the celebration of the Chinese New Year on the said day.
"In view of the celebration of the Chinese New Year, its cultural and spiritual importance and the traditional practices associated with it, we therefore grant dispensation from the Lenten discipline of abstinence to our Chinese-Filipino and Chinese Catholics in the Archdiocese of Manila and their guests on February 16, 2018," he said in a circular addressed to all Filipino Chinese and Chinese Catholics in the Archdiocese of Manila dated January 19, 2018.
Based on the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, a dispensation is the exemption from the immediate obligation in certain cases.
Tagle, however, stressed that those who will avail of the dispensation must still perform other forms of penance and acts of charity.
"Those availing of the dispensation must engage in some other forms of penance, acts of mercy and charity, especially to the poor and those who suffer, in keeping with the penitential spirit of the season of Lent". He said.
Catholics will usher the start of the Season of Lent on February 14, Ash Wednesday wherein they are obliged to observe fasting and abstinence.
During Lent, Catholics, aged 18 to 59, are encouraged to practice fasting and abstinence, among others.
Fasting means limiting one's self to only one full meal a day while abstinence is the avoidance of meat or other things that individuals usually find hard to sacrifice.
Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (JOHN JEROME GANZON | Manila Bulletin File Photo)