Bishop Malesic has issued the following statement regarding numerous requests for dispensation from obligation to abstain from eating meat on St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Friday in Lent this year:
“Throughout the season of Lent we are encouraged to take advantage of greater opportunities for prayer, fasting and almsgiving in order to deepen our awareness of and better appreciate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This is equally true when we abstain from meat on the Fridays of Lent as a reminder that on Good Friday, the Lord offered his flesh for us as the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday in Lent and several have inquired regarding the possibility of a dispensation from the obligation to abstain from eating meat this day.
After prayerful consideration, I hereby dispense from the obligation to abstain from meat on St. Patrick’s feast day, March 17, 2023, for those who find it spiritually advantageous to eat meat as a way to celebrate this important feast day in the life of our local Church. This dispensation extends to all members of the Diocese of Cleveland no matter where they are on the feast of St. Patrick, as well as for all Catholics who are actually present in the Diocese of Cleveland on the feast of St. Patrick. I ask that those who exercise this dispensation select another non-Friday day during Lent to abstain from eating meat or to make some offering on behalf of the poor, whether by prayer, fasting or almsgiving in order to recognize and honor our Lord’s mission and passion for the sake of the salvation of souls.
Be assured of my prayers for all the faithful who continue to strive to imitate the joy of the saints and follow their example with the same seriousness and commitment with which they practiced their faith.
May God bless you and those you love.”