It is unfortunate that the labor dispute in Major League Baseball this year resulted in the rescheduling of the Cleveland home opener to Good Friday, April 15. This change has generated questions about whether a dispensation from the requirement of Catholics to fast and abstain from meat on Good Friday might be granted.
Acknowledging the fervor of fans and the long tradition of Cleveland baseball, the fact remains that Good Friday, the observation and remembrance of the day Jesus Christ died for the sins of humankind, is one of the most holy and solemn days on the Church calendar. It is part of the Paschal Triduum, the three-day continuous liturgy of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, during which the Church recalls the darkness of the death of Jesus on Good Friday and the light of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Consequently, as an act of self-sacrifice and devotion, Bishop Edward Malesic is asking the faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland to observe the required Church discipline of fasting and abstaining from eating meat on Good Friday. Bishop Malesic also asks Catholics throughout the diocese – as they fast and abstain from eating meat on Good Friday – to dedicate their sacrifice and prayer to an end to the war in Ukraine and an immediate restoration of peace. We also pray together that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace, the Lord preserves the world from the madness of war and brings an end to all suffering across the globe.