Bishop Salvatore R. Matano has granted a dispensation from eating meat on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
Fridays during Lent are normally days of abstinence for Catholics ages 14 and older. However, Bishop Matano cited the Revised Code of Canon Law, No. 87.1, which states, "A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the church."
In a statement, Bishop Matano encouraged the faithful to abstain from meat on another day during the week and to attend Mass on St. Patrick's Day.
Bishop Matano further noted that the Solemnity of St. Joseph, normally observed on March 19, has been transferred to the following day, as March 19 falls on a Sunday this year. No dispensation for that day is required, he added.