We are in the middle of Lent, and Catholics cannot eat meat on Fridays during the 40-day period. However, this year is different than the past ones because of Coronavirus.
This year, a lot of the shelves in the grocery stores are empty, including the ones with that are normally filled with non-meat alternatives like fish. Therefore a Bishop in Massachusettes and one in New Jersey have given the go-ahead to eat meat on the remaining Fridays.
“Our plans for Lent this year have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. In support of the efforts to limit further transmission of the virus we have all been asked to give up many of the everyday activities we take for granted, including our usual participation in the life of the Church.
“One of the effects of the current events is uncertainty regarding what food products are available on any given day. At this time, we are called to make the best of what we have at hand or is available for purchase. Many people are using what they have stored in their freezers and on their shelves. Others are depending upon pre-packaged meals or food delivered through support agencies, which are providing an important service for individuals and families in our communities, especially for children and our senior citizens.
“In light of these circumstances, Cardinal Seán is dispensing all Catholics in the Archdiocese from the obligation of abstaining from meat during the remaining Fridays of Lent.”Rev. Peter J. Uglietto, Archdiocese of Boston in a statement
Further south in the North East, a New Jersey Bishop also gave their flock the all-clear.
“Given the difficulties of obtaining some types of food and the many other sacrifices which we 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 universal law.”Most. Rev. James F. Checchio, JCD, MBA Bishop of Metuchen on Twitter
Even though they said it is OK to eat meat on Fridays, they would prefer it if you could still try to abstain from eating it during this Lent.