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Mary Moul wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Was any Catholic exempt from not eating meat yesterday (Friday) on the Feast of
    St. Joseph?

My sister said her priest from St. Joseph's parish told the entire parish that they all could eat meat yesterday on the Feast of St. Joseph, so all were invited to join him at breakfast for steak and eggs.

I never heard that the Church changed the rule for not eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

Please tell me if there is an exception during the Lenten season and what the correct rule is during Fridays of Lent.


Mary : )

  { Can Catholics eat meat on the Feast Day of St. Joseph though it falls during the Lenten season? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Mary —

Any Roman Rite Catholic was exempt from not eating meat yesterday. (Eastern Rite Catholics in Eastern Rite territories were not.) It's not so much the church changing the rule, as the rule has a built-in exception. The exception is that on Solemnities, fasting and abstinence are lifted, unless the Solemnity is transferred because it is superseded.

For example, St. Joseph's and Annunciation (March 25th) are the two solemnities that often fall during Lent. If either of them fall on Friday, unless it is Good Friday, abstinence is lifted.

Often abstinence is lifted by explicit dispensation if certain feasts in certain dioceses fall on Friday; for example, St. Patrick is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Boston, raising his feast to the dignity of a Solemnity, so the archbishop expressly lifts abstinence when that feast falls on Friday.

Hope this helps!

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