The Archdiocese of Chicago is not granting a general dispensation for the Memorial of St. Patrick from the obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent.
Instead, Catholics who find themselves at an event where meat is served in celebrating St. Patrick may in good conscience substitute the general rule of abstinence with another form of penance or a significant act of charity that benefits the poor.
Regardless, it is important to take seriously the obligation to observe Fridays in Lent as a way of uniting ourselves to Jesus who died on Good Friday. That should not be undervalued as we reflect on his sacrifice on the Cross for the salvation of the world in this holy season.
Bishop Robert Casey,