Fish for Lent, part 2Fish for Lent, part 2

Irish Catholics who live in New York will be able to eat the traditional corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day with no qualms of conscience, thanks to an indult, or exception, which has been granted to the Catholic rule of meatless Fridays during lent.

Pittsburghers aren’t so lucky, in fact six years ago when St. Patrick’s Day last fell on a Friday, Bishop Weurl, of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, was known to say, “Let them eat snake!”, in reference to St. Patrick’s fabled driving of the snakes out of Ireland. The snake, being a cold-blooded reptile, is permitted Lenten fare. Apparently, the law of the land prevails, meaning whatever the bishop of your particular diocese decrees is what you must obey.

I have gotten to know a lot of Catholics over the past couple of years through my involvement with Retrouvaille, but just when I think I’m starting to understand them along comes something like this and I am newly baffled. My favorite part is the way Pennsylvania is a crazy quilt of exceptions and non-exceptions, so that if you are driving across the state on St. Patrick’s Day eating a big corned beef sandwich you had better have your GPS system set on a diocese alert so you can pick the sandwich up and put it down, pick it up, put it down…


It took me about eight hours to get your last line there, but now I get it. Ha, you’re funny.

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