Mar 27, 2020 - Health

Citing coronavirus, some Catholic bishops allow meat on Lent Fridays

Catholic church
Photo: Laura Lezza/Getty Images

Catholic bishops around the U.S. are telling worshipers it's alright to eat meat on Fridays during Lent as the coronavirus has forced Americans to give up so much already.

The big picture: The global coronavirus pandemic has forced the hands of many religions and their institutions. Many religious leaders ordered the cancellations of mass prayers across the world.

The state of play:

  • Bishop James F. Checchio, who leads a diocese in New Jersey, announced on Thursday: "Given the difficulties of obtaining some types of food and the many other sacrifices which are suddenly experiencing given the coronavirus, I have granted a dispensation from abstaining from meat on Fridays for rest of Lent, except Good Friday which is a universal law."
  • Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio told worshipers in Brooklyn the change comes at this time "to assist people who may have difficulties in shopping for food or other reasons which would make this practice difficult at this time."
  • Bishop Shelton J. Fabre in Louisiana wrote the pandemic has made it difficult for some to find groceries and "make it clearly difficult for them to fulfill this practice."
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