Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Patty's Day quandary: corned beef vs. Lenten Friday

Catholic Region Catholics can eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day
Garry Little | 17 March, 2017, 00:55

But leadership in all three of the Roman Catholic dioceses that cover the state have lifted that rule for one day so their members can celebrate the Ireland apostle's holiday.

If you were gearing up for St. Patrick's Day celebrations that included corned beef and cabbage but then checked the calendar only to realize that the holiday falls on a Friday during Lent, it's OK. It's called a dispensation and not all dioceses grant them.

In the past, Cardinal Adam Maida and Cardinal Edmund Szoka both gave special dispensation and blessing allowing meat when St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday, although Maida, like Vigneron, advised Catholics to do prayer or alms giving, instead.

Gerard's says the Lent tradition is a way to honor Jesus for his sacrifice but, he says that because St. Patrick's Day is a big deal a dispensation is given. Ecclesiastical law is essentially set up by the Church hierarchy, and thus can be "dispensed" under certain circumstances.

With Pates' announcement, the Des Moines diocese joins more than 80 others across the country that have offered a St. Patrick's Day exemption to the Friday meat ban.

Catholics are supposed to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Don't worry, local Catholics. While several dioceses are ruling in favor of enjoying the Irish celebration with a meat meal, Catholics are still encouraged to compensate for this exemption by participating in an act of charity or penance.

"Many of our churches will still be running their fish fries and that is a great way to celebrate, too", he said.

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