Corned beef allowed on St. Patrick’s Day? Depends where you live

(As originally published with bells and whistles, Fri, March 17th 2023, 1:33 PM EDT)

PHILADELPHIA (TND) — March 17 means St. Patrick’s Day, as it has for about the past 400 years, but there’s also the obligation for some Christians to abstain from meat during Lent.

That conflict happens once or twice a decade, including this year.

So what does one do if they’re observant but still want to enjoy a meal of corned beef on this feast day?

The answer may depend on residency.

In Philadelphia, there’s no problem.

FILE – Corned beef and cabbage meal for St. Patrick’s Day can be eaten in Philadelphia but not in Sioux City. (WLUK file)

Archbishop Nelson Pérez “has granted a dispensation to all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Archdiocese explained that in a news release, but there’s also a catch:

If a Catholic makes the choice not to abstain from meat, then some other penance of choice is to be observed.

In other words, “Choosing a penitential act other than abstaining from meat.”

The situation is not the same for Catholics in the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa.

There, KMEG reports Bishop R. Walker Nickless is not allowing Catholics to give up something else in order to enjoy a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage.

However, the station quoted Father David Esquiliano:

The Bishop said if nobody requests it, that means there is probably no interest or no need.

He added, “The only request came from priests asking not to lift the dispersion. Part of our lenten tradition in this area is to have fish fries, which helps us come together as a community on Fridays, so priests didn’t want it to affect that.”

Anybody in the diocese who hadn’t marked their calendar may want to head straight for the airport.

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