If you're Catholic, it's OK to eat meat on St. Patrick's Day
Catholic bishops in Pittsburgh and Greensburg have given their blessing for Catholics to eat meat on St. Patrick's Day, which falls on a Friday in Lent.
Lenten Fridays require Catholics to abstain from meat, but both leaders said they're giving people a break after fielding questions about the matter.
“Many people have been asking if I will allow Catholics to eat meat on St. Patrick's Day since March 17th falls on a Friday of Lent this year,” David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh, wrote in a letter issued Wednesday. “After much consideration, I have chosen to dispense Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh from the obligation to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17.”
Bishop Edward C. Malesic of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg granted the same dispensation.
Catholics aren't entirely off the hook, according to the Catholic leaders.
“I do appeal to those who choose to eat meat that day to do another act of self-sacrifice in the spirit of the Season of Lent with the mind and heart of Saint Patrick,” Zubik wrote.
Malesic encouraged Catholics to select another day to abstain from meat or “to make some offering on behalf of the poor, whether by prayer, fasting or almsgiving at another time during the Lenten season.”
Dioceses or archdioceses that have issued similar dispensations include Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Milwaukee.
Zubik encouraged Catholics to celebrate Saint Patrick in a manner that “truly honors this good and humble saint.”