Skip to comments.Churches won't put kibosh on corned beef
Posted on 03/17/2006 12:59:07 PM PST by Coleus
To eat or not to eat corned beef and cabbage is a question worth chewing on.
It is a culinary decision facing many area Irish Roman Catholics celebrating St. Patrick's Day today who debated the issue this week, given that the holiday falls on a Lenten Friday.
But, as the luck of the Irish would have it, they don't have to feel guilty. Area Catholic bishops have given their parishioners a dispensation, meaning they won't have to avoid meat today. However, just in case people don't want to eat meat, the owners of Fitzgerald's Harp'n Bard in Clifton say the restaurant has plenty of fish and chips on the menu.
"We open at 7 in the morning," said Melissa Fitzgerald, who co-owns the bar with her husband, Matt. "People are eating corned beef and cabbage until the bar closes at night." The bar closes at 3 this morning. St. Patrick's Day is their biggest business day of the year, the couple said.
Meanwhile, some patrons at the bar on Thursday said they weren't worried much about the question of eating meat or not on St. Patrick's Day. "They've relaxed the rules so much over the past 20 years," Thomas J. McKay, sitting at the bar and puffing on a cigar, said of Catholic doctrines. McKay, the financial secretary of Passaic County's Ancient Order of Hibernians-- an Irish Catholic fraternity with chapters across the country -- said the tradition of corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day started for a simple reason:
"It's cheap meat," he said. "That's how it started. You boil one of the cheapest forms of meat." At Murph's Barin Totowa, the response among patrons was much the same about the St. Paddy's Day fare. "Corned beef and cabbage is a tradition on St. Patrick's Day," said Michael Joyce in between sips of Guinness lager. "It's good to get a little leeway once a year." Others said they planned to eat meat today regardless of the Catholic Diocese's position.
"Even though I'm a Catholic, I eat what I want when I want," said Felix Arena, 48 of Totowa. "I eat meat everyday," added Casey Kabana, 26, also of Totowa. "I can't live without it." Luciana Fontanarosa, co-owner of Fontanarosa Gourmet Specialty Foods, said she sells about 100 pounds of corned beef for St. Patrick's Day but plans to abstain from eating meat today for Lent. "It's only 40 days that you're sacrificing," Fontanarosa said.
My bishop issued a dispensation to allow Catholics in the Diocese of Richmond to eat meat today so they can ejoy corned beef. I'll have tuna salad for dinner tonight and corned beef and cabbage tomorrow. Lent is only 40 days long and we only have to abstain from meat on Fridays...it kind of cheapens the concept of a Lenten sacrifice to dispense with it on a day that has become a pagan bacchanlia in many places. I don't think St. Patrick would approve.
Days of Penance
Can. 1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.
Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.
How difficult is it to move the Saint Patrick's Day party to Saturday? (and that's only once every 7 years.)
the bar, restaurant and tavern business come before Jesus.
It's a Catfish night tonight -- right after the Stations! (May even go to an Irish pub and ask for it just to piss them off)
i had tuna.