Meat Isn’t Off Limits Today
It’s long standing tradition in the Catholic Church and in other Christian denominations around the world to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. The tradition stems from the belief that while Christians observe Lent for 40 days and 40 nights leading up to Easter, each Friday is a reminder (and call to sacrifice) to remember the dead of Jesus, which is said to have happened on a Friday.
A product of Catholic School’s from preschool through a bachelors degree, I know this rule well.
Well this year, Saint Patrick’s Day, a widely celebrated Irish-Catholic holiday known for green beer, corned beef, and celebration has landed on a Friday. The predicament? No corned beef on the celebration of Saint Patrick just isn’t the same. That said, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise has made clear that today, on Friday March 17th, eating meat during the Lenten season is acceptable.
Released on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise website, Bishop Peter Christensen wrote:
Dispensation from Bishop Peter F. Christensen: By virtue of my authority as Bishop of the Diocese of Boise, I do hereby dispense those Catholics in the diocese who wish to celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick from the obligation to abstain from eating meat on March 17, 2017.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise encompasses the entire State of Idaho, so if you identify as a Roman Catholic in the State of Idaho, this dispensation applies to you and yes, you can eat meat today.
So far, other Lent-practicing denominations have not released statements of dispensation.