Catholics from Mbarara Archdiocese have been exempted from fasting and abstinence today March 08, 2019, as the world is celebrating Women’s Day.
The Catholic Church commenced their 40-day Lent season on Wednesday, April 6th. Lent is a period observed by Christians as preparation for Easter, involving fasting and penitence.
In non-Catholic denominations, Lent runs until Easter Saturday, while in the Catholic Church lent runs until the Thursday before Easter (Holy Thursday).
However, in a statement dated March 06, Fr Deusdedit Bukenya, the Vicar General of Mbarara Archdiocese, Catholics are free to eat and consume anything as they celebrate Women’s Day.
“Please be informed that Archbishop Paul K Bakyenga has granted dispensation from the obligation of fast and abstinence of the Friday of lent of March 08, 2019 for the occasion of Word Women’s Day,” the statement reads.
According to the Catholic canon law code 1250, all Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.
Canon 1251 states that abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless (nisi) they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year.
The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honour of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl.
In 2015, Reverend Michael Mukhwana, Provost of All Saints’ Cathedral, Kampala, said that “for those who cannot commit themselves to fast from food, sexual abstinence is a good alternative.
He, however, said couples should discuss this decision with their spouses to avoid misunderstandings.