No Lent Letdown: Philly Catholics Permitted to Eat Meat This Saint Patrick's Day

This year, the holiday conflicts with a Friday of Lent, where faithful are normally required to abstain from eating meat

Some Philadelphians will be able to enjoy their coveted corned beef and cabbage this Saint Patrick’s Day.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has granted an exemption that will permit all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be able to eat meat this upcoming holiday, on March 17.

This year, the holiday also happens to fall on a Friday of Lent -- Lent lasts 40 days from Ash Wednesday up to Easter weekend. The conflict of abstaining from meat for Lent and the traditional Saint Patrick’s Day meal prompted the exemption in Philadelphia.

Those faithful to the archdiocese can now choose another penance besides abstaining from meat on the holiday, which falls in two weeks.

Chaput granted the dispensation in accordance with Canon Law, which permits those practicing a reprieve from universal laws whenever it "contributes to their spiritual good."

The Church still upholds that practicing Roman Catholics over the age of 14 are restricted from eating meat on other Fridays of Lent.

The Wilmington Diocese followed Philly's example and will also permit eating meat on March 17 while the dioceses of Camden and Trenton issued no changes. [[223762671, C]]

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