In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, dispensations are being granted on a case by case basis for certain parish or diocesan groups or events that have successfully petitioned the bishop.
Many Dioceses have also publicly granted a dispensation for St. Patrick's Day, including Bridgeport, Connecticut; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; Jefferson City, Missouri; Oakland, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Providence, Rhode Island; Savannah, Georgia; Worcester, Massachusetts, and Venice, Florida.
Only two dioceses, the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado and the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, have publicly announced that they will not be granting any dispensations for the day.
So, technically, could a Catholic in Denver with a hankering for meat on St. Patrick's Day drive south for an hour and dine on corned beef once they are in the Diocese of Colorado Springs?
"Generally speaking dispensations, like other kinds of administrative acts, are territorial in the Church, they determine the obligations of those in a territory. There are many exceptions to this, but this is the general principle," Flynn said.
"In this case, a traveller who is in a place where a law has been dispensed is not bound to observe the law. It doesn't matter why the person goes to a diocese, just that they're there. A person should take a look at what the dispensation really says, though," he added.
What about extremely proud Irish grandmothers (my own) who declare a dispensation for themselves and all their Irish kin, regardless of where they reside?
"Your grandma was, with all due respect to her Irish brilliance, mistaken," Flynn said.
The Archdioceses and Dioceses listed here are not comprehensive. Catholics wanting to eat meat on St. Patrick's day should check with their local diocese regarding whether or not they are dispensed, and under what conditions.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.