Catholic Church

DC-Area Catholics Can Eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick's Day, Cardinal Gregory Says

Cardinal Wilton Gregory granted Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington dispensation to eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, which falls on a Friday in Lent this year


St. Patrick’s Day falls on the third Friday of Lent this year, which would mean observant Catholics must abstain from eating meat — including corned beef. To some Irish Catholics, this is heartbreaking.

However, there is no need to worry if you are within the Archdiocese of Washington.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory has granted Catholics in Washington an exemption from the obligation to abstain from eating meat on the memorial of Saint Patrick, so you can divulge without breaking any rules.

In a statement to the archdiocese, Gregory recognized how many Catholic Americans value St. Patrick’s Day and the savory traditions that come with it.

“All Catholics of the Archdiocese of Washington, no matter where they may be, and all other Catholics actually present in the Archdiocese on that day, are, by my authority, dispensed from the obligation,” Gregory said, noting that the church allows local leaders to grant exceptions for feasting holidays.

The archdiocese encourages those who feast on corned beef, shepherd's pie or a sausage-y Irish breakfast on St. Patrick's Day to abstain from meat on some other day during Lent.

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