St. Patrick's Day falls on a Lenten Friday this year, a day when Catholics would normally be required to abstain from meat.
However, with the holiday falling on a Friday during Lent this year, Catholics are wondering if they'll be able to participate in the festivities.
If you are feeling conflicted about the urge to celebrate St. Coupled with the dispensation, however, is the injunction, "If you don't have to eat meat, then don't". But after the Second Vatican Council, during which many issues surrounding the faith's traditions were addressed, individual bishops were given authority to determine how their parishes would address the meat ban.
But in announcing the news, the diocese stressed it is not a free ticket to go, um, hog wild.
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Cunningham is reminding all priests that they should instruct their faithful of the need for fasting and abstaining from meat on Good Friday and the other Fridays of Lent.
Schlert said he is acting under a provision of canon, or church law, which gives diocesan officials the authority to grant the faithful dispensations from church disciplines.
Bishop Thomas Daly is making the exception for Spokane Catholics so they can partake in eating corned beef on Friday for St. Patrick's Day.
"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", according to a February 22 letter from Chancellor Susan Mulheron to church members and clergy.