Meat on Fridays? Yes, Says Polish Priest – but Only from a Specific Store

Catholics in Poland are now allowed to eat meat on Fridays – but only if they buy it from a specifc producer.

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Father Bernard Mroncz, of St Mary the Virgin church in Gliwice, Śląsk, said the special dispensation had been granted following a request from the Marciniszyn company, which processes and sells meat.

The change is possible because of a rewording of the church laws – a set of precepts that Catholics are expected to follow, in addition to the Ten Commandments. Law number 4 was altered at a conference of the Polish Episcopate in 2013, to specify only Lent as a time of fasting and restraint.

Other laws include a requirement to attend mass on Sundays and holy days, to go to confession at least once a year, to receive the sacrament during Easter time, and to help provide for the needs of the church.

An article published by Przewodnik-Katolicki.pl cites Bishop Marek Mendyk on the changes to the law on fasting, who said that everyone has the right to ask for special dispensation to act outside these rules. He added that many family celebrations are now held on Fridays, as this was more practical than weekday parties. The portal also noted that, particularly in the case of vegetarians and vegans, abstaining from meat was not always an act of restraint.

However, the parish did not say why the Marciniszyn store in particular had been favoured with the dispensation.

Picture: “The Father Pastor of the parish of St Mary the Virgin church in Gliwice today gives dispenstion for the consumption of meat for clients of the factory store Marciniszyn.”