PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday typically celebrated with a glass of green beer and a big plate of corned beef and cabbage.
But what about Catholics observing Lent, who aren’t supposed to eat meat on Fridays?
CBS Boston reports that Cardinal Seán O’Malley granted a one-day dispensation for members of the Archdiocese of Boston who wish to eat corned beef.
The Fall River Diocese has also granted a dispensation, encouraging Catholics in that diocese to carry out another act of Lenten charity or penance in substitute of abstinence from meat on March 17.
The policy is different in Rhode Island, where the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence will not be granting a general dispensation, Bishop Thomas Tobin tweeted. However, he said exceptions will be granted to anyone who asks.
Michael Kieloch, a spokesperson for the Providence diocese, told 12 News that Catholics seeking a dispensation can reach out to the diocese’s vice chancellor, the Rev. Nathan Ricci, at (401) 278-4664 or firstname.lastname@example.org or speak with the pastor of their parish.
“This permits Catholics to discern how best to make their Lenten observance on an individual basis and offers us the opportunity to remind those dispensed to substitute abstinence from meat with another suitable penance, act of charity, or prayer (which are the three pillars of Lent),” Kieloch wrote in an email.
Providence is the minority nationwide, according to the National Catholic Register which reached out to every diocese in the country.
The results showed more than 72% were offering some relief from the “no meat on Fridays during Lent” rule for St. Patrick’s Day.