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Posted: Wednesday, 15 March 2017 6:35AM

New Orleans Catholics given option of meat this St. Patrick's day, with stipulation

Good news for Catholics who want to take part in the traditional feast of St. Patrick, but have probably noticed that the day falls on a "meatless Friday" this year, creating something of a dilemma.

A St. Patrick's Day tradition that dates back to the first wave of Irish immigrants coming to America is the corned beef and cabbage dinner. But with St. Patrick's Day on a Friday this year, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond says it raised a few questions: "A number of people have asked if they can fully participate in St. Patrick's Day including being able to eat corned beef."

Archbishop  Aymond says he recognizes the importance of tradition, and is offering some leeway:

"What I have decided to do is that those who wish to participate fully in the festivities and eat corned beef and cabbage could be dispensed and they would choose another day of the week for abstinence," said Aymond, something many bishops in dioceses around the country are doing.

Aymond says even better than moving the day of dietary sacrifice to another day of the week would be to perform an act of penance that represents greater sacrifice -- like tending to the needs of the sick, poor, or elderly.

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