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NY Post
New York Post
11 Mar 2023

NextImg:Cardinal Dolan’s Lenten loophole for St. Patrick’s corned beef

Irish eyes — and stomachs — are smiling.

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, and during Lent, Catholics are supposed to abstain from eating meat — including the traditional holiday favorite of corned beef and cabbage.

But luckily for Catholic carnivores, the Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan decreed that he will again allow special dispensation to chow down on meat on March 17.

“As a rule, the church makes laws and expects us to abide by them,” vicar general of the Archdiocese of New York, Monsignor Joseph P. LaMorte, said in a statement. “But sometimes there are circumstances that make it possible to obtain a dispensation from obeying a law.”

The meaty clause came as a “big relief” to Irish bar owner Noel Donovan.

Noel Donovan, owner of Bloom’s Tavern, said he sells around 300 pounds of corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day.
J.C. Rice

Corned beef

LaMorte said Catholics should give something else up for the day.
J.C. Rice

230309, Katie Winders, Waitress, Bloom's Tavern, NY, NY._ J.C. RIce

Irish eyes — and stomachs — are smiling about the relaxed rule.
J.C. Rice

“Being an ex-altar boy from Limerick, it’s good to see the Catholic Church bending a little bit. It makes people’s decision-making easier on the big day,” said Donovan, who owns Bloom’s Tavern in Midtown East, which goes through 300 pounds of corned beef on St. Paddy’s, their biggest sales day.

Catholics should “choose some other penitential practice instead by making an equivalent sacrifice on the day itself,” Lamorte suggested.

Father David Nolan, pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on the Upper West Side, believes that Catholics shouldn’t have to give up something in place of meat.

Father David Nolan, Church of the Blessed Sacrament

Father David Nolan agrees with Cardinal Dolan’s decree.
J.C. Rice

“That’s not really the spirit of it,” he said. “It’s supposed to be a day of celebration and in that spirit, that fast is lifted.”

Donovan disagreed.

“People definitely should give up something else. There’s a lot of crazy cardinal sin going around,” he said. “Give up something you care about — as long as it’s not Guinness or whiskey.”

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