Bishop Dennis Sullivan Grants Dispensation from the Obligation to Abstain from Meat on March 17 in the Diocese of Camden
In accord with the Code of Canon Law, Bishop Dennis Sullivan has granted a dispensation to all Roman Catholics in the Diocese of Camden from the obligation to abstain from meat on March 17, 2017, the Feast Day of Saint Patrick.
However, in order to maintain the solemn spirit of the Holy Season of Lent, Bishop Sullivan asks Catholics within the Diocese of Camden, who choose to utilize this dispensation from meat abstinence, to instead either make another appropriate sacrifice on the day itself or to abstain from meat on another weekday during the Second Week of Lent.
During Lent, Catholics are expected to “observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence” which among other things, serve to “prepare us for the liturgical feasts” and “help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2043).
The Roman Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law allows Diocesan Bishops to grant dispensations on a penitential day such as a Friday in Lent when it coincides with a customary occasion of celebration like Saint Patrick’s Day.