... and about that St. Patrick’s Day dispensation...

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 17, 2017

Just as a footnote to yesterday’s lament about the corned-beef dispensation, let me reproduce the statement from my own bishop, which I think is fairly typical. But if you don’t mind, I’ll add my own emphasis.

This year the Liturgical Memorial of St. Patrick, March 17, falls on a Friday of the Second Week of Lent, a day of abstinence. In light of the number of inquiries about my granting a dispensation from the requirement to refrain from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent, I am granting a diocesan-wide dispensation from the law of abstinence on Friday, March 17, 2017. I would ask the Catholic faithful who take advantage of this general dispensation to perform another act of penance on either the day before or after March 17, 2017.

During the past week I have read approximately two gazillion Facebook posts about the dispensation. Not one referred to an alternative act of penance—unless you count the people who argue that eating the cabbage in the “traditional” dish is in itself a mortification.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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