Some North Carolina Catholics given special exemption to eat meat for St. Patrick's Day

Friday, March 17, 2017

RALEIGH -- Several archdioceses are granting a special dispensation for Saint Patrick's Day, which will allow Catholics in their dioceses to eat meat in order to celebrate the holiday.

Traditionally, Catholics are required to avoid consuming meat on the Fridays leading up to Easter during the time of Lent.

However, since Saint Patrick's Day lands on a Friday this year, some Catholic leaders are ruling in favor of this dispensation so that Catholics can celebrate the green holiday with a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

Msgr. Michael Shugrue, Raleigh diocesan administrator, has provided the following message regarding the observance of the Memorial of Saint Patrick this year:

In celebration of the Memorial of Saint Patrick on Friday, March 17, 2017 (a Friday in the Lenten season this year), a commutation from the Lenten observance of abstaining from meat on that day is granted. This commutation means that in order to maintain the Lenten spirit of prayer and penance, the faithful are directed to transfer the abstinence from eating meat to some other day during that week.

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.

Information about this dispensation and the dioceses observing it can be found online on individual dioceses' websites.