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Can Catholics Eat Corned Beef This St. Patrick’s Day?

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Ok….every once in a while it happens—- a serious dilemma that goes back to my childhood.   St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday in Lent!   What do you do?  How much fun can you have without the threat of eternal damnation or at least having to say 100 hail mary’s.

So, can Catholics eat meat on Friday March 17th or not?   Well, it depends.

A Detroit Free Press article says that leaders have given “special dispensation” in the past.

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,

According to a church advisory, the current leader of the Detroit Diocese, Archbishop Allen Vigneron,

 “will rely on his priests to dispense or commute the obligation of an individual or family to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17.  Therefore, those wanting to partake in a celebratory meal on St. Patrick Day that includes meat, simply need to talk to a priest, who may grant this ‘for a just reason.’ ”

 

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This notice appeared in a recent church bulletin from the Kalamazoo Diocese:

To all the Faithful in the Diocese of Kalamazoo: The Most Rev. Paul J. Bradley, Bishop of Kalamazoo, has granted special dispensation from the Lenten abstinence from meat for Friday, March 17th , for those who wish to participate in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Members of the Faithful who "Members of the Faithful who choose to eat meat on this day are required to do another penance in accord with Lenten observance."choose to eat meat on this day are required to do another penance in accord with Lenten observance.

So…bottom line:  Eat whatever you want Friday, but be ready to do those 100 hail Marys or whatever your priest suggests.    If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

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