New Jersey Catholics given dispensation to eat corned beef on … –

Fear not, New Jersey Catholics. Your corned beef and cabbage, Irish breakfast or shepherd’s pie can stay on the menu for this St. Patrick’s Day.
Leaders of the state’s Catholic dioceses have all issued dispensations this year allowing worshippers to eat meat on the holiday, which falls on Friday, March 17.
This year, that’s also the third Friday of Lent, which normally would make meat off-limits for observant revelers.
During the Lenten season, the 40 days (or 46 including Sundays) leading up to Easter, Catholics generally abstain from eating meat on Fridays in an act of penance that recognizes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It’s a time when Catholics over the age of 14 focus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Historically, the church has granted a dispensation — a waiver from the rules — when the celebration of St. Patrick’s also falls on a Friday in Lent. This year is no different. In New Jersey, home to about 3 million Catholics, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of the Newark Archdiocese and bishops Dennis Sullivan of Camden, James Checchio of Metuchen, Kevin Sweeny of Paterson and David O’Connell of Trenton have granted permission in recent weeks for Catholics to dine on meat on the 17th.
“For those members of the faithful celebrating this Solemnity and who desire it, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin has dispensed the penitential obligation to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17,” the Newark Archdiocese announced in a statement on its website. “A substitution should be made in the form of fasting, prayer and/or almsgiving.”
Archdiocese of Newark
Catholic leaders in Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Phoenix and Cleveland issued similar pronouncements.
St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration that commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland as well as the arrival of Christianity in Ireland that has also become a holiday of Irish pride. It is often celebrated with parades, festivals — and often, heaping portions of corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie or other delicacies.
Deena Yellin covers religion for For unlimited access to her work covering how the spiritual intersects with our daily lives, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
Twitter: @deenayellin


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »