Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent, but Archbishop Bernard Hebda granted a dispensation from the practice for St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Friday this year.continue at The Catholic Spirit
Susan Mulheron, chancellor of canonical affairs for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, wrote in a Feb. 22 letter addressed to clergy, consecrated women and men, and lay faithful of the archdiocese that the dispensation has been “granted to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as well as any visitors or travelers who may be physically present within the territory of this archdiocese, a dispensation from the obligation of abstinence from meat on March 17, 2017.”
Archbishop Hebda made the decision in consultation with the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and took into consideration “both past practice and present circumstances” and “judged that [the dispensation] would serve the common spiritual good,” Mulheron wrote.
“As a general rule, a request for a dispensation from the obligation of abstinence on Fridays of Lent will not be considered unless some serious reason is present,” she wrote. “It has been noted, however, that Friday of the second week of Lent this year corresponds with St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), which has traditionally been an occasion for joy-filled celebrations in this archdiocese.”
If Catholics choose to eat corned beef — or any other meat — on St. Patricks’ Day, they must also “undertake a work of charity, an exercise of piety, or an act of comparable penance on some other occasion during the Second Week of Lent,” Mulheron wrote.