RIVER NORTH — When St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday in Lent, can you eat corned beef anyway?
You sure can, says no less than Cardinal Blase Cupich.
The archbishop of Chicago is giving Catholics who abstain from eating meat on Fridays in Lent a dispensation this year because St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday.
But he wants you to give up something else to make up for it.
Here's what the Archdiocese of Chicago says about the meaty issue:
"St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, falls on a Friday this year. Cardinal Cupich has given a general dispensation to Catholics from abstaining from meat on this day. Instead, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago who choose to make use of this general dispensation are asked to substitute another form of penance for the Lenten Friday abstinence."
During a homily Cupich delivered March 11 at a St. Patrick's Day mass, he reminded Chicago Catholics that it was once the Irish who were once "objects of suspicion because of their different faith and ways."
Immigrants "regularly shunted aside by the harsh vetting message 'Irish Need Not Apply,'" they were "boxed in and boxed out by the sharp dividing lines of the dominant culture in power."
Speaking at Old St. Patrick's Church, 700 W. Adams St., Cupich said that today the world is still "saturated by divisive language, fears stoked by prejudice, and sharp edges that define who is in and who is out."
"Patrick and his Celtic friends would challenge us to look for signs in the world, for new opportunities to find traces of their world view that we are all connected and interdependent, that our stories fit into each other's stories," Cupich said.