Speaking at Old St. Patrick's Church, 700 W. Adams St., Cupich said that today the world is still "saturated by divisive language, fears stoked by prejudice, and sharp edges that define who is in and who is out". That year, about half of the country's Roman Catholic dioceses granted some form of dispensation.
"It has been noted, however, that Friday of the second week of Lent this year corresponds with St. Patrick's Day (March 17), which has traditionally been an occasion for joy-filled celebrations in this Archdiocese", according to a February 22 letter from Chancellor Susan Mulheron to church members and clergy. Ecclesiastical law is essentially set up by the Church hierarchy, and thus can be "dispensed" under certain circumstances. He asked Catholics who choose to eat meat on St. Patrick's Day to pick another day to abstain or perform an act of penance that is a greater sacrifice.
If you are feeling conflicted about the urge to celebrate St. "Over time, the celebration has evolved, obviously, but this is a holiday that manifests both spiritual and cultural heritage and I think that is worth celebrating in whatever way you want to celebrate". While several dioceses are ruling in favor of enjoying the Irish celebration with a meat meal, Catholics are still encouraged to compensate for this exemption by participating in an act of charity or penance. Bishop Joseph Bambera has issued a dispensation for all the faithful in the 11-county Diocese of Scranton.
Outside of those few weeks, Catholics are free to fire up their grills for steaks, burgers and kabobs no matter the day.
While fish fry purveyors may not be thrilled, many area Catholics are relieved.
"Corned beef and cabbage!" he said.