WASHINGTON — Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday in Lent this year, some U.S. bishops are issuing dispensations allowing Catholics to eat meat.
Dioceses and archdioceses in Baltimore, New York, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Savannah and Jefferson City, Missouri, announced the one-day lifting on their websites.
Cardinal Wuerl also granted the exception allowing Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington to eat meat on that Friday.
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The Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, also granted the dispensation.
According to the Lenten rule, Catholics are to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent as an act of penance. However, considering the St. Patrick’s Day tradition of eating corned beef and cabbage, some bishops are making an exception for Friday, March 17.
Despite the dispensation, bishops are advising Catholics over the age of 14 (who are required to abstain from meat) to participate in an act of charity or penance in exchange for eating meat, Catholic News Service reports.