CNA Staff, Mar 27, 2020 / 12:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Several dioceses across the United States have dispensed Catholics from the canonical requirement to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in certain food items becoming difficult to acquire.
The Archdioceses of Boston and Dubuque, as well as the Dioceses of Brooklyn, Houma-Thibodeaux, Metuchen, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, have all issued letters stating that Catholics who may find it difficult to obtain other foods are permitted to eat meat on the last two Fridays of Lent.
In a letter to his diocese published March 26, Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodeaux, Louisiana, wrote that while the practices of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstinence on other Fridays during Lent was the law of the Church, he understood that many people in his diocese may be experiencing difficulty with grocery shopping or obtaining meat alternatives.
Since President Donald Trump announced a ban on travel between the United States and Europe on March 12, grocery stores have reported instances of increased buying of many items.
While there is not a shortage in the production of food, toilet paper, or other necessities nationwide, in many places, items have been purchased quicker than supply chains are able to replenish stocks.