MANILA, April 25, 2014 — With a lot of Filipinos resorting to drunkenness and overeating as a means to get by the stress of their daily grind, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged the faithful to adopt a change their lifestyle, giving prime emphasis on good health and a sound outlook in life.
In its Easter Pastoral Introduction on the Stewardship of Health, the CBCP noted that specific ways like consuming food and drink in moderation and exercising regularly are key habits that lead to the wellness of one’s health.
Heart disease, diabetes, cancer
“Some of the leading causes of mortality for Filipinos, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, are either caused or aggravated by inordinate consumption of food and drink. Being responsible with one’s diet is one way of being a good steward of one’s health,” it said.
CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas, in behalf of the bishops, said that “maintaining proper health also requires sufficient rest to allow the body to renew its energy and repair itself.”
“Catholic social teaching reminds us that rest from work is a right. Human life has a rhythm of work and rest. Everyone should take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure,” they said.
The CBCP stressed the importance of taking care of one’s physical body, noting that it is not “an exercise of vanity,” but a “spiritual duty as good stewards of health.”
Physical bodies “are not simply material vessels for our souls” but “integral and essential aspects of who we are as persons created in the image and likeness of God,” it said.
The lay faithful were urged to shun vices, noting that continued use of harmful substances and activities “inflicts very grave damage on human health and life.”
“The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air,” it added.
While recognizing the need to take care of one’s health, the CBCP warned the faithful about excessive vanity, noting that “doing too much to achieve physical perfection can also be unhealthy and harmful.”
According to the bishops, examples of harmful manipulation to one’s physical body include the excessive use of cosmetic surgery, unhealthy forms of dieting, and the use of banned substances in sports.
“Morality rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports,” they said.
“Vanity, idealized body images, and excessive competitiveness can lead people to manipulate their bodies in ways that do not respect the human body’s health, integrity, dignity, and intrinsic value,” they added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)