Friday, March 17, 2000

Meat-eaters day in Covington

Dispensation changes menu

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ERLANGER — Mary Queen of Heaven Church has a St. Patrick's Day deal for you: Come to its fish fry today — and eat all the corned beef you want.

        No sooner had Covington Bishop Robert W. Muench granted special dispensation on St. Patrick's Day from the Friday Lenten observance of giving up meat, than the Erlanger church added corned beef to today's fish fry.

        The dispensation covers the 87,000 Catholics in the Covington Diocese, as well as Catholics who will be in the diocese today.

        The rule against eating meat on Lenten Fridays wasn't lifted in Cincinnati.

        The menu change was the inspiration of John Geisen, an 18-year parish member, who also is president of Izzy's restaurants of corned beef fame.

        Although Bishop Muench is not encouraging Catholics to come into the diocese just to eat meat, Mr. Geisen said he wouldn't be surprised if a few Cincinnati Izzy's customers patronized tonight's fish fry.

        The lack of a dispensation in Cincinnati has caused some concern.

        A woman from the Cleveland area went so far as to e-mail the Cincinnati Archdiocese about its policy “because that would determine where she eats today” when she visits Cincinnati, said Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Cincinnati Archdiocese.

        “I told her that there's no dispensation here, but if she really has a problem finding a nonmeat dish, the teaching of the pope is that she should not (have a) troubled conscience about that,” he said.

        Pubs toast St. Patrick's Day

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