Lenten Obligation To Abstain From Eating Meat On Fridays Lifted On Saint Patrick's Day

March 9, 2017

In response to numerous inquiries and requests, Reverend Monsignor Alfred A. Schlert, Administrator of the Diocese of Allentown, will lift for Friday, March 17 only, the obligation of all Catholics to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during the penitential season of Lent.

Monsignor Schlert is granting the dispensation in view of the traditionally festive celebrations that occur annually on St. Patrick's Day, which falls on a Friday this year. Similar dispensations were granted in 2000 and 2006; the last two times that St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday during Lent.

Monsignor is acting under a provision of canon, or church law, which gives diocesan officials the authority to grant the faithful dispensations from church disciplines.

According to Monsignor Schlert, the dispensation "is not intended to lessen the faithful's obligation to abstain from meat on the other Fridays of Lent." He is also recommending that Catholics do some other form of penance in place of their being allowed to eat meat on that Lenten Friday.

Contact: Matt Kerr
               610-871-5200, Extension 265