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Catholics, don't fret – archbishop says it's OK to eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day

Traditionally, Catholics give up meat on Fridays. But there's an exception.

The Christian season of Lent begins March 1, and many Catholics have a tradition of giving up meat on Fridays.

Only one problem: this year, St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday.

Instead of celebrating with a massive fish fry – which is popular this time of year – Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis says go ahead, eat corned beef.

He made the announcement earlier this week saying members of the Archdiocese, as well as any visitors or travelers, are relieved of their duties to abstain from eating meat on March 17.

And that's a pretty rare exception.

The church's announcement explains, "As a general rule, a request for a dispensation from the obligation of abstinence on Fridays of Lent will not be considered unless some serious reason is present."

But it turns out St. Patrick's Day is a "serious reason" because the Archdiocese usually has celebrations on the holiday.

So after some meetings with leaders and a council, the archbishop decided being allowed to eat meat would "serve the common spiritual good."

However, if you are Catholic and you do eat meat, the Archdiocese says you should find a way to make up for it somehow – like doing something for charity or giving up something else.

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