Thursday, January 31, 2008

Catholic Bishop says don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Wait, what?

From the Columbus Dispatch

Local Irish Catholics face a dilemma this St. Patrick's Day: Celebrate the feast day against the bishop's wishes or miss out on the fun.

This year, St. Patrick's Day (March 17) falls on the Monday of Holy Week, the most sacred period of the Christian calendar, from Palm Sunday to Easter.

Feast days cannot be celebrated during Holy Week, said Deacon Tom Berg Jr., vice chancellor of the Columbus Diocese. Columbus Bishop Frederick Campbell has asked that all St. Patrick's Day celebrations, including the traditional parade, be moved to another date.

The 2,200-member Shamrock Club said the Downtown parade and Irish Family Reunion at Veterans Memorial will go on as planned.

But another Irish group, the 200-member Ancient Order of Hibernians Patrick Pearse Division, will not participate because they are all Catholic.

The decision to move forward in Columbus has caused a rift in the Irish Catholic community, said Monsignor John K. Cody, who is chaplain of several Irish groups, including the Shamrock Club and the Ancient Order of Hibernians Patrick Pearse Division.

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