St. Patrick's Day falls on Monday of Holy Week this year. Let the hand-wringing begin. How dare the Church prefer you to honor Christ over one of his followers! The cheek of it all!
...in Columbus [Ohio], the Shamrock Club is going ahead with its March 17 parade, drawing protests from the local bishop. A handful of Irish-American politicians have lined up behind church leaders, breaking with tradition by refusing to march in the parade.
In a letter last fall, the Catholic Diocese of Columbus told the Shamrock Club, the group that organizes the parade, that Bishop Frederick Campbell wanted "all observances honouring St. Patrick" - religious or otherwise - removed from Holy Week.
"It's not a sin to celebrate your Irish culture," countered Mark Dempsey, the club's president.
"Actually, you're born Irish first," he said, "and then you're baptized Catholic."...
But you can be pretty dense at any age, apparently.
...The United States remains one of the few countries in the world to retain any religious traces of St. Patrick's Day, Cronin said. In Ireland, where the government sponsors the Dublin parade, the holiday has morphed into an arts festival that draws millions of people, he said.
Recognizing that, bishops there have moved the feast of the country's patron saint to March 15 this year. March 17 will remain an official Irish day off work and the Dublin parade will go on as scheduled.
Had Ireland's bishops shown the same insistence as some of their American counterparts, Cronin said, their comments almost certainly would have been ignored.
"It'd be like the (American) bishops arguing to move Super Bowl Sunday," he said....
Look, I like a good party. And I love St. Patrick. Geez, I'm even really, truly part Irish! But priorities people...have a parade the Friday before and do Holy Week right.
Full story here.