Decree – Dispensation from the obligation to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17, 2023


Diocese of Davenport
Bishop’s Office
Davenport, Iowa 52804

Thomas R. Zinkula
By the Grace of God and the
Favor of the Apostolic See
Bishop of Davenport

Dispensation from the obligation to abstain from meat on Friday, March 17, 2023

During the holy season of Lent, we give thanks to God for this time of reflection and prayer when we can prepare to renew our baptismal promises and celebrate the great solemnity of Easter.
Part of our preparation involves engaging in penitential practices, namely, prayer, fasting, and works of charity. Given the penitential nature of the Season of Lent, the Bishops of the United States have preserved in our dioceses the tradition of abstinence from meat on each of the Fridays of Lent, “confident that no Catholic Christian will lightly hold himself excused from this penitential practice” (National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), Statement, November 18, 1966, n. 13). The law of abstinence binds those Catholics who have completed the fourteenth year of their age (can. 1252).
“During the Lenten season, certain feasts occur which the liturgy or local custom traditionally exempts from the Lenten spirit of penance. The observance of these will continue to be set by local diocesan regulations…” (NCCB Statement, n. 16). This year, the Memorial of Saint Patrick falls on Friday, March 17. It is well known that Saint Patrick’s Day is a day of convivial celebration for many American Catholics.
I, therefore, decree that on Friday, March 17, 2023, all Catholics of the Diocese of Davenport, no matter where they may be, and all other Catholics present in the Diocese on that day, are, by my authority, dispensed from the obligation to abstain from meat (can. 87 §1). It is not required that anyone make use of this dispensation. Those who do wish to make use of it are encouraged to abstain from meat on some other day as part of their penitential practices during Lent.
Given at Davenport, Iowa, on this 27th day of February 2023.


Thomas Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport

Deacon David Montgomery

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