St Pat's, Advanced
When the conflict became apparent, officials from the Irish bishops' conference wrote the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The congregation approved the move earlier this year, but it only was made public in mid-July.Not as fun as covering Corned Beef Indults, but much more significant.
A source at the Irish bishops' conference who did not wish to be named told Catholic News Service that the bishops were "keen to keep a link with the civic celebrations by moving the feast to the nearest Saturday, in this case March 15."
"We hope that this will facilitate the religious celebration of the holy day while not interfering too much with people who wish to celebrate the importance of St. Patrick's Day as a symbol of all things Irish," he said.
It is the first time in almost 100 years that the feast of St Patrick will not be celebrated March 17. In 1913, the same conflict occurred, and in that case the church marked the feast April 1.
According to historians, March 17 is the traditional date given for the death of St. Patrick, and his feast has been celebrated on this day since the seventh century....
The next time St. Patrick's Day will fall during Holy Week will be 2160.
SVILUPPO: OK, habemus chaos....
So it appears that -- as next 19 March is the Wednesday of Holy Week -- the Holy See has universally moved the Solemnity of St Joseph to the aforementioned 15th. Since the 25's Solemnity of the Annunciation falls on Easter Tuesday, that'll be observed on 31 March.
Given the St Joe's judgment, as two feasts can't be celebrated concurrently, some dioceses have reported moving the observance of St Pat's to Friday, the 14th. Which means, gratefully, that the specter of the Corned Beef Indult returns....
And in some places, it's already been granted -- eight months in advance.
Mark your calendars.