MANILA — If you are a Catholic and your birthday falls on a Friday of Lent, you may be allowed to eat meat but would be required to make a substitute sacrifice, an official of the Catholic Church said.

In an interview over the Church-run Radio Veritas, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Commission on Canon Law vice chairman Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso said the Church might allow a Catholic to eat meat on a Friday, depending on the reason.

The person “would have to make a substitute (sacrifice). We would like to be exempted on that but because of certain occasions we allow a substitution, so one of the substitutes is helping the poor or visiting the sick,” said Bishop Medroso.

The observance of a “meatless Friday” has been a practice of Catholics.

“This kind of penance is called abstinence. It means that one is not allowed to eat meat during Fridays, especially Fridays of Lent,” the prelate said.

Those obliged to abstain are those between the ages of 14 to 60.

“This is not something made up by legislators of the Catholic Church but...people are called to practice discipline in their lives,” Medroso said.

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