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Issue Date:  March 17, 2006

Dioceses issue 'Corned Beef Indult' for St. Patrick's Day

Since Lent began, Rocco Palmo, a contributor on American affairs for the British Catholic weekly The Tablet, has been tracking on his Web log what he calls “The Corn Beef Indult,” the U.S. dioceses that are relaxing the Lenten meatless-Friday rule so that Catholics can eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Palmo reports the following dioceses have issued the exemption from the rule of abstaining from meat on the Fridays of Lent:

  • The archdiocese for the military services.
  • St. Paul-Minneapolis -- with an “encouragement to mark the day with some other form of special observance.”
  • Indianapolis -- the faithful are requested to transfer abstinence to a prior day of the week.
  • Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.
  • Detroit.
  • Providence, R.I. -- with a reminder that the faithful “should practice an alternate act of penance, charity, or prayer.”
  • Fall River, Mass.
  • Madison, Wis. -- “Those who avail themselves of this dispensation are asked to perform another form of penance such as acts of charity, prayer or almsgiving on or near the date of March 17.”
  • Washington -- those who indult are “encouraged to substitute another form of sacrifice on March 17.”
  • Rockville Centre, N.Y. -- with a request that the revelers “perform another act of penance in lieu of abstaining from meat March 17.”
  • Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., home diocese of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University -- “Everyone who accepts this dispensation [is asked] to do some holy act on or near that day. For example, attending Mass, especially on the feast of St. Patrick, would be a most worthy act. So also would be the recitation of the rosary. In addition, there could be an act of service or generosity towards the poor.”
  • New York -- “Since the day is the feast of the patron of the archdiocese, it is celebrated as a solemnity and, therefore, abstinence need not be observed by parishioners of the archdiocese or others present here on that day.”

Palmo’s blog is called Whispers in the Loggia and can be found at

-- NCR Staff

National Catholic Reporter, March 17, 2006

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