3-day Catholic fasting vs blasphemy can include Facebook

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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3-day Catholic fasting vs blasphemy can include Facebook

Angie de Silva

The Catholic Church is holding days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving from July 17 to 19 to atone for the sins of blasphemers, liars, and murderers in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The 3-day Catholic fasting against blasphemy and murder can include avoiding softdrinks, skipping merienda (snacks), or refraining from Facebook, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier invited Catholics to observe 3 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – from Tuesday to Thursday, July 17 to 19 – to atone for the sins of blasphemers, liars, and murderers in the Philippines.

Puwedeng individual acts of penance eh huwag na munang mag-softdrinks ngayon, huwag muna mag-Facebook, let go of a merienda, let go of one meal,” said David, vice president of the CBCP, on Church-run Radio Veritas.

(Individual acts of penance can include avoiding softdrinks, refraining from using Facebook, letting go of snacks, letting go of one meal.)

Magsantabi, at puwedeng ibigay sa charity ang anumang malikom natin at maisantabi as almsgiving, lalong lalo na sa mga kaanak ng mga biktima ng extrajudicial killings,” the bishop said. 

(Save money, and we can give to charity whatever we collect and save as almsgiving, especially for relatives of victims of extrajudicial killings.)

David told Rappler on Tuesday that this “applies to the 3 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.” He noted that the CBCP is “inviting” Catholics to join these 3 days, “not imposing.”

The CBCP made this call in its pastoral letter titled “Rejoice and Be Glad,” one of its strongest statements against government abuses. (READ: ‘Magsaya kayo at magalak!’: Liham ng CBCP sa 7 iba-ibang wika)

Before the 3-day fasting, Catholics marked a day of prayer on Monday, July 16, for blasphemers, liars, and murderers, as President Rodrigo Duterte calls God stupid, and as nearly 27,800 Filipinos die in vigilante-style killings and police operations combined. 

The CBCP said the day of prayer and penance aimed at “invoking God’s mercy and justice on those who have blasphemed God’s Holy Name, those who slander and bear false witness, and those who commit murder or justify murder as a means for fighting criminality in our country.” – Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior multimedia reporter covering religion for Rappler. He also teaches journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.