I confess that even though I'm a recovering Catholic, and have Irish blood in me, this whole "can't we eat corned beef on Friday because it's St. Patrick's Day but it's Lent so we can't" matter confuses me.
Every time St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday during Lent, we hear these sad stories from Irish Catholics. "I have to have corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, but it's Friday." Over 75 U.S. bishops reportedly have granted dispensations.
Italian Catholics have similar issues on St. Joseph's Day (March 19), but we don't hear much about that. True, corned beef is tied in stronger to the Irish than meatballs or prosciutto for Italians. But if Irish Catholics should get dispensations, so should Italian Catholics.
So I ask the Irish Catholics, "Are you more Irish or Catholic?" Which is more important?
The ideal solution for Irish Catholics is to stay up late on Friday and start eating corned beef at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. It still feels like St. Patrick's Day, but as far as God is concerned, it's Saturday.