New Ulm Catholics won't get corned beef dispensation for St. Patrick's Day

Mar. 16—The Free Press

NEW ULM — More than 70% of U.S. diocesan bishops are allowing Catholics to eat meat on St. Patrick's Day this year, even though it's a Friday during Lent.

But New Ulm Catholics are not among those getting dispensation from eating meat.

A majority of the 176 dioceses in the country are providing a dispensation from the ordinary rules of Lent or a commutation offering Catholics another option to make up for celebrating the occasion by eating the flesh of a warm-blooded animal.

According to the National Catholic Register, 91 dioceses are providing a dispensation with no strings attached — although many of those bishops suggest extra prayers or spiritual exercises or abstaining from meat on another day. Thirty-four require a substitute, such as attending Mass on St. Patrick's Day, saying the "Breastplate of St. Patrick," praying the rosary, abstaining another day or helping the poor.

The Star Tribune reports that the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis is allowing Catholics to eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day. But the archbishop there said those who eat meat on Friday should pick a different day and give up something or do a good deed in return.

The New Ulm St. Patrick's Day committee sent a statement to The Journal in New Ulm saying:

"We are very, very sorry that (New Ulm Bishop Chad Zielinski) made that decision, but he must have had a reason," said Tom Donnelly, one of the founders of the annual New Ulm St. Patrick's Day parade. He said good Irishmen will abide by the decision. "We always do."

The Journal said the bishop did not release a statement on the issue.