The English and Welsh Episcopal Conference is inviting Catholics to return to meatless Fridays as a "simple and direct way" to testify the Christian faith to others, reports the Vatican Insider.
English and Welsh bishops requested the Friday fast in a communiqué dated September 5, signed by Markus Stock, General Secretary of the English and Welsh Episcopal Conference. They urged the faithful to "return" to this practice of penitence, for the entire year.
"And this is precisely what is new about the proposal: a return to this "healthy habit," not just during Lent, but every Friday each year," they added.
The bishops wrote: "Friday is the designated day of penitence as it commemorates the pain and death of the Lord."
The communiqué continued: "Bishops, however, have now decided to re-establish the practice of penitence which should be fulfilled by simply abstaining from eating meat and praying on top of this sacrifice."
The prelates also gave an indication of the date by which this "decision" would come into effect: Sept. 16 2011.
The bishops said that "simple acts of witnessing, coupled with sincere prayer, can be a strong boost to faith."
England's bishops: "Dear faithful, we are going back to the Friday Fast. For the entire year" (Vatican Insider)
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