Archdiocese of Dubuque gives dispensation from some meat restrictions for Lent

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The authority for Catholics in a large part of Iowa has given its followers a break from some restrictions on eating meat during Lent, according to church officials.

The Archdiocese of Dubuque. (Allison Wong/KCRG-TV9)

Archbishop Michael Jackels said that Catholics are dispensed from their obligations to not eat meat on Friday, March 27, and Friday, April 3, 2020, in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The dispensation does not apply to April 10, which is Good Friday for Catholics.

"Archbishop Jackels understands the current difficulties associated with being in public and grocery shopping in particular," Deacon John Robbins, Archdiocesan director of communications, said in a statement. "We hope that this dispensation is not viewed strictly as a local 'rule change' but rather as a pastoral accommodation to help Catholics who are truly in need."

Jackels said that the prohibition on meat on Fridays should still be observed by Catholics who are able to do so. For those that need to eat meat for sustenance on Friday, they should perform another act of penance.

The Archdiocese had previously canceled masses and other gatherings during the public health emergency.