by SAMANTHA BOHNERT
The News Record (U. Cincinnati)
Saint Patrick will be getting no love this year, at least from the Catholic Church.
According to an Associated Press article, St. Patrick’s Day hasn’t fallen on Holy Week, the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter, since 1940. Roman Catholic leaders are urging their patrons, as well as everyone else, to celebrate on Saturday, March 15, or not at all.
When did a celebration of a saint become worthy of punishment? If St. Patrick’s Day cannot be observed in typical fashion, which for most is a lot of drinking and partying, then celebrating Christmas should be called into question.
So if Christmas Day is never moved from its Dec. 25 slot, then there should be no reason why St. Patrick’s Day should have to compromise its position.
“There’s no feast or anything that’s more important than the days of Holy Week,” said Al Hirt, pastor for St. Monica-St. George Church. “A number of feasts (including the feast of St. Patrick) that usually fall in that week will not be observed during Holy Week.”
The Catholic Church, according to Hirt, has a ranking of the importance of saints, and unfortunately, Patrick is on the lower end.
It is unfair to admonish a widely celebrated day, which is seen as a holiday among the Irish community, just because the Catholic Church doesn’t see St. Patrick as important as other saints.
If St. Patrick’s Day didn’t have as much emphasis on celebration, the Catholic Church might not have as much of a problem with it. But, there is no one or nothing to blame for the day to fall during Holy Week; so green beer enthusiasts should not be deprived of their rights to celebrate on this national holiday.
Even Priest Hirt, who does not think it’s appropriate to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, allows it.
Hirt’s attitude is surprising, yet refreshing. If a priest can accept people’s actions in relation to a beloved celebration like St. Patrick’s Day, then why can’t the rest of the Catholic community be more forgiving? It sounds like someone needs a beer, preferably green.