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Can Catholics in St. Louis eat meat this St. Patrick’s Day? It depends

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - St. Patrick's Day is going to put a kink into the corned beef and cabbage tradition in St. Louis this year. Most Catholics are to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. The holiday celebrating all things Irish falls on a Friday this year. Those living in Illinois may be allowed to partake. But, don't take the matter lightly.

There could be an exception for those in St. Louis. It means petitioning Archbishop Robert Carlson. But, before you do that, check with your parish priest.

"The Archbishop has granted certain dispensation to certain groups on a case by case basis. It is not a dispensation for all of St. Louis or a number of Fridays in Lent. It is for one certain group, at a certain time, on St. Patrick's Day for the dispensation of eating meat," said Elizabeth Westhoff with the St. Louis Archdiocese.

A selection from the Arch Dioceses's St. Louis Review says:

"This Canon also allows bishops to grant individual dispensations for certain situations. While the Archdiocese of St. Louis grants no general dispensation for abstinence from meat on March 17, the archdiocese will consider the dispensation on a case-by-case basis. If a dispensation for a specific event or organization is granted, Catholics partaking in those events should abstain from meat on one of the succeeding six days. This is a specific dispensation, applying only to the events or organizations granted the dispensation and not applying to Catholics in general for March 17."

So, you may just have to stick with fish if you live in St. Louis.  You can always check our Fish Fry Finder for an easy way to find dinner during Lent.

The Belleville News Democrat reports that Bishop Edward Braxton of the the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville issued a dispensation to more than 100 parishes. That order reaches to from the Mississippi river to Indiana and south to Cairo. They say he did not issue the dispensation lightly. If you don’t have to eat meat, don’t.

Cardinal Blase Cupich has some good news for Irish Catholics in Chicago worried about St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday during Lent this year.

WGN-TV reports that the Chicago cardinal is giving general dispensation to Catholics for abstaining from meat on Friday, March 17. Instead, Catholics who choose to eat meat are asked to substitute another form of penance.

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