Please provide a link to an official document on the rules of Lent for Filipino Roman Catholics (or non-Filipino Roman Catholics who are in the Philippines for Lent or something) specifically and where the rules aren't mentioned only in passing or in an FAQ.

Last night, my parent told me that my parent heard the only days of abstinence are ash wednesday and good friday, even though I've been practicing every friday of lent (plus ash wed and good fri) for over a decade. I have spent over an hour on this but could not find such reference.

What I've gathered so far:

  1. According to this website, the US Roman Catholic law of not having meat on all Fridays of Lent is not necessarily applicable to Roman Catholics who aren't American (or who aren't in the US). It says

    If you are outside the United States, check with the bishops' conference for your country for specific fasting rules.

    And this is really under the Roman Catholic section and not the Eastern Catholic section.

  2. I notice phjesuits.org mentions in number 5 but not in number 2. What's up with that? Additionally

    • 2.1. It's only an FAQ, so, ostensibly, this isn't quite a primary source.

    • 2.2. It doesn't seem to specify Filipino Roman Catholics. Is the article implying this is applicable to all Roman Catholics (eg even in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day and in Hong Kong on Chinese New Year, whenever either of those two holidays fall on a day of abstinence - Ah well, maybe that's what 'solemnity' covers, in which case 'solemnity' is local)?

  3. I was able to find A SINGLE BUT ONLY A SINGLE official reference from the CBCP saying that this applies to Filipino Roman Catholics but mentions only in passing as part of an article about love and stuff.

    • 3.1. Note that there's no mention of 'solemnity' here.

Happy Lent!

  • @KenGraham thanks for creating the philippines tag!
    – BCLC
    Mar 1, 2020 at 5:34

1 Answer 1


According to the website Filipino Catholic, in 1985 Pope St John Paul II approved a set of complementary norms for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. These included a variance to canon 1253 of the new Code of Canon Law relating to the Lenten fast and abstinence. According to the website, the norms were published in the CBCP Monitor, Volume 6, number VI, on pages 32-43. I have not yet been able to verify this.

According to the site, fasting is obligatory in all dioceses of the Philippines on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. Abstinence from meat is obligatory on those days as well, but some other form of penitential observance can be substituted for abstinence on the remaining Fridays in Lent:

Can. 1253: Other Forms of Penance as Substitute for Abstinence

Except on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday, abstinence may be substituted with exercise [sic] of piety, such as reading the Bible, going to Mass, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, praying the Holy Rosary, or with acts of charity, such as visiting the sick and prisoners, giving alms to the poor, teaching catechism.

  • Thanks. So the CBCP article I linked is wrong/outdated?
    – BCLC
    Mar 1, 2020 at 5:35
  • @BCLC with all due respect to Archbishop Villegas, his statement isn't exactly in accord with the (apparent - I can't confirm it through direct sources) norm for the Philippines. It's the general rule for the Church, and it's possible that's the customary observance in the Philippines or at least in his diocese. Mar 1, 2020 at 10:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .