DIOCESE OF METUCHEN, NJ - In an unusual step that recognizes the ongoing abstinence being practiced by members of the Diocese of Metuchen  who are in the midst of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bishop has ordered a change to a centuries-old practice.

In a Twitter post today, the Most Rev. James F. Checchio, Bishop of Metuchen, stated "I have granted a dispensation from abstaining from meat on Fridays for the rest of Lent, except Good Friday which is universal law. " 

Why do Catholics forgo meat during Lent? According to the Catholic website Aletia, "The Church’s intention is to encourage the faithful to offer up a sacrifice to God that comes from the heart and unites one’s suffering to that of Christ on the cross. Meat is given as the very basic penance, while the purpose of the regulation should always be kept in mind. For example, it does not necessarily give a person the license to eat a lobster dinner every Friday in Lent. The whole point is to make a sacrifice that draws a person closer to Christ, who out of love for us made the ultimate sacrifice a person can make."