NEW YORK (AP) -- Many Roman Catholics who ordinarily abstain from eating meat on Fridays during the 40 days before Easter have been given a "Paddy Pardon" for St. Patrick's Day.
The Washington-based Catholic News Service reports that many bishops across the country are giving the green light to eating the traditional corned beef and cabbage this year.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York told parishioners in a letter in January they would be permitted to eat corned beef on the holiday.
As of late February, dioceses or archdioceses allowing the pardon also included Baltimore; Milwaukee; St. Paul and Minneapolis; Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Omaha, Nebraska; and Jefferson City, Missouri.
Catholics were advised that if they enjoyed the dispensation they should do an extra act of charity in exchange.
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