It's Ok to eat meat on one Lenten Friday

At least in many Dioceses.

"When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, as it does about every seven years, the Lenten rule requiring Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays collides with the long-held tradition of eating corned beef and cabbage.

The two occasions meet this year. March 17 marks the celebration of St. Patrick – known as the Apostle of Ireland for his years of missionary work there – and it also is a celebration of all things Irish and even green. This March 17, since it falls on a Friday in Lenten, also is a time of penitence.

The timing has not gone unnoticed by some U.S. bishops. Before Lent even started, many of them issued dispensations for Catholics in their dioceses allowing them to eat meat on St. Patrick’s Day.

The dispensation does not take Catholics totally off the hook. Many bishops advised Catholics over age 14, who are required to abstain from meat on Friday, to do an extra act of charity or penance in exchange for eating meat.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, took it a step further. In a statement, he said Catholics should also “exercise due moderation and temperance in festivities and celebrations of the memorial of St. Patrick, in keeping with the solemnity and honor that is due to so great a saint and his tireless efforts to inspire holiness in the Christian faithful.”"


In the dioceses of Canada, meat abstinence can be substituted with another penance…even on the Fridays of Lent. The only exceptions are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Personally (and I’m not being smart), I’ve never read in the Bible that we are to abstain from meat on Fridays. Given the current climate, I don’t really understand why I should abide a non-Biblical tradition of fasting?

I’ll still eat fish sticks or Mac and cheese that day.

I dislike corn beef and cabbage.

And how many will use this exemption as an excuse to go to the bars and drink?

It is my niece’s birthday…but she’s only going to be 13, so technically she could still eat meat.

I think people asking for the exemption probably don’t even know who saint Patrick was…

Personally, I don’t care that we can eat meat, I can’t stand St. Patrick’s day anymore. It has turned into a day that has nothing to do with St. Patrick at all. It isn’t even about whether one is Irish anymore like when I was a kid. Instead, it is an American made “Irish Mardi Gras” that for some reason, the church plays along with by allowing dispensations for meat that day. People can’t suck it up once in 7 years and not eat corned beef? It’s not even Irish! I cannot stand the green glittered everything, the green food, the beads, the drinking tee shirts, but most of all, the drunkenness, and chalking it up to be Irish.

It is disgusting to me that the Irish are portrayed as drunkards. It is a slur on a nationality that is wrong, and wouldn’t be tolerated if it were other countries that were being made the butt of jokes.

Rant over. :shamrock2:

P.S. Not eating meat on the 17th.

What does “given the current climate mean”?

Do you know how many references there are to fasting in the Bible? If anything, we should criticize the Western Church for its’ lax attention to fasting.

Well said!:four_leaf_clover:

It means that my conscience tells me that it’s wrong to abstain from eating meat.

Do you know how many references there are to fasting in the Bible? If anything, we should criticize the Western Church for its’ lax attention to fasting.

Where in the bible are we ordered to fast on Friday’s during lent? Or on any other Friday?

I’ll be having my corned beef & cabbage on Thursday evening. I’ll be keeping the fast & abstinence for the Lenten Friday. It isn’t going to kill me to do so. Offering it up to God. To each his own.

Christians fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays going as far back as the first century. It’s not about ritual impurity, it’s about spiritual preparation and strengthening. Where is this “it must be in the Bible” talk coming from? Such fasts and abstinences have been a historical and tradition of Christianity since it’s beginning. Jesus encouraged fasting, as did the apostles, as has the Church.

So there is a basis in scripture? Must be in the Bible? Well, that’s coming from an older understanding that the Bible is the divinely inspired word and the basis of the faith. I understand now that I’m free to disregard Church teaching but I would have held that I couldn’t disregard biblical teaching but it seems like you’re saying that I can?

Such fasts and abstinences have been a historical and tradition of Christianity since it’s beginning. Jesus encouraged fasting, as did the apostles, as has the Church.

I was under the impression that such things are now viewed as irrelevant depending on how strongly with which one dissents.

Matthew 18:18 for starters. The Church has the authority from Jesus to make the rules.

That wasn’t exactly what I was fishing for (pardon, the pun). That passage says nothing about abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent.

Why do you feel the Bible has to say anything about abstaining from meat on Fridays? It seems an odd thing to be required to be spelled out so clearly in Scripture.

My Archbishop granted the dispensation. Our neighbor has a celebration for St. Patrick’s Day and does all kinds of cooking of various Irish dishes, including the corned beef. It’s a special occation where I’d rather partake in this coming together of neighbors. My neighbor isn’t Catholic. I’m glad to have the dispensation. It makes sense in my case anyway. It’s not every day we gather as neighbors, and she lives on her own, so I’m happy to participate in this celebration where she enjoys cooking this meal for us.

Never mind–I withdraw the question. It doesn’t matter to me at this point.

Being Catholic, we don’t have to have everything spelled out in the Bible; we have Bishops who guide us. Not eating meat on Fridays of Lent is a spiritual discipline.

You are correct; Jesus Christ declared all food clean, including all types of meat. However, that declaration by Christ didn’t stop his apostles and other church leader from imposing certain temporary, disciplinary food restrictions on Christians in Acts 15. What does the Bible say about submitting and obeying your leaders, those whom the Holy Spirit has place over you? (Hebrews 13:17) So, if church leaders, who themselves must one day give an accounting to God for the spiritual well-being of the faithful they shepherd, decide that Christians at this time in history can benefit spiritually from the penitential practice of abstinence from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent, even though there in nothing intrinsically wrong with eating meat, it is best to submit and obey to them and not reject their God-given authority, like those who perished in Korah’s rebellion. The mark of a true Christian is obedience to authority, to familial, civil and ecclesiastical authority, as long as it can be done without sin.

We don’t abstain because the Bible tells us to. We abstain in honor of what the Bible DOES tell us, that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. We honor that sacrifice, which culminated on a Friday, with a tiny sacrifice of our own.

What rankles me about this whole thing is that people get bent out of shape over St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday, and wanting to have their corned beef.

… and yet we hear very little about the provision in Canon Law that automatically cancels the requirement to abstain, when St. Joseph’s Day (March 19) or the Annunciation (March 25) fall on a Lenten Friday. Those days are both solemnities, and per the law, are not days of penance.

Jimmy Akin wrote about this in 2010, when St. Joseph’s Day fell on a Friday:

(For the record: St. Joseph’s Day will next fall on a Friday in 2021.)

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