Good news for Catholics in the DC metro area!

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, has granted Catholics a dispensation from being required to abstain from eating red meat on Friday, March 17.

This exemption is designed to allow Catholics to be able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with corned beef and cabbage, if they so choose.

Catholics who decide to use this exemption are being encouraged to consider abstaining from eating meat on Saturday, March 18 instead.

Catholic guidelines in the United States require Catholics age 14 or older to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

Lent is the 40-day period that leads up to Easter Sunday.