CLEVELAND (WJW) – St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, so Catholics are wondering if they will still be allowed to enjoy a beloved corned beef sandwich, even though it’s Lent season.

Bishop Edward C. Malesic of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland said, “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.”

He said there have been “numerous requests for dispensation from the obligation to abstain from eating meat on St. Patrick’s Day,” which falls on a Friday in Lent 2023 – March 17, that is.

“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,” Malesic said.

But when it comes to the Cleveland Guardian’s home opener, which happens to fall on Good Friday, Malesic said “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.”

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.