Washington D.C., Mar 16, 2006 / 22:00 pm
While the Catholic Church prohibits eating meat on Fridays during Lent, bishops in about one-third of the U.S.'s 197 dioceses have issued a one-day waiver of the rule for St. Patrick’s Day, citing the tradition of having meals of corned beef and cabbage, reported the Washington Post.
Among the bishops granting the dispensation are those in Washington, Baltimore, Arlington and Richmond. They said Catholics eating meat this St. Patrick’s Day should offset their action by making another sacrifice tomorrow or on another day during Lent.
Some local Catholics told the Post they still plan to avoid meat today, despite their bishop's permission to indulge.
In dioceses where bishops did not opt for the waiver, such as in Columbus, Ohio, Sioux City and Iowa, the Irish festivities there seemed to talk more of fish and chips—a Lenten staple for American Catholics.