Ruling by Dutch Hierarchy
From Out Netherlands Correspondent
Now that Holland is " off the ration," the joint Lenten pastoral letter of the Netherlands Hierarchy is completely devoted to the observance of abstinence and fasting.
After pointing out the need of fasting as the traditional means to strengthen the life of the spirit and to fight materialism and the temptation of sin, the bishops prescribe unconditionally the full observance of abstinence and fasting.
During the war years they had given a general dispensation in the laws. Now, however, with the exception of some groups of workers in the heavy industries and similar occupations, everybody is bound again by the general rules of the Church.
A new element has been introduced by a different interpretation of these laws.
' While pre-war practice allowed one full meal for dinner. with a fixed maximum for lunch and a very small breakfast of one or two slices of bread, the Hierarchy, realising the weakening of man's bodily strength, mainly due to the exhaustions of the hectic life of today, simply order the laity to take less food at breakfast and lunch.
Pastoral practice advises, I understand, two-thirds of the food usually taken at those meals, unless this quantity is already so small that it may be considered fasting anyhow.
No meat, however, is allowed at those two smaller meals.