CLEVELAND (WJW) — While Good Friday is the day when Catholics reflect on the day Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross to atone for humanity’s sins, the day also happens to fall on the Cleveland Guardians’ home opener.
So what does that mean for spectators at Progressive Field wanting to eat a hot dog, when Catholics are to abstain from meat on the most holy Friday of Lent?
Bishop Edward C. Malesic of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland responded to the question posed for the game held on April 7.
“While we wish the Cleveland Guardians a very successful home opener on Friday, April 7, we cannot grant a dispensation to the practice of abstaining from meat for Catholics attending the baseball game on this most holy Friday of Lent,” Bishop Malesic said.
He responded with a different answer to “numerous requests for dispensation from obligation to abstain from eating meat on St. Patrick’s Day,” which falls on a Friday in Lent 2023 – March 17, that is.
“After prayerful consideration, I am granting this dispensation from the obligation to abstain from meat, for those who feel it absolutely necessary to be dispensed in order to celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick,” Bishop Malesic said. “I ask that those who exercise this dispensation and eat meat on the Feast of St. Patrick to 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.”
He says there is no more poignant day of the year for Catholic Christians than Good Friday, a day of reflection, and traditionally, a day of fasting, prayer and penance.
“Without the darkness of Good Friday, we would not have the joy of the resurrection on Easter Sunday,” Bishop Malesic.