In light of the toll a novel strain of coronavirus is taking on the country, some U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are upending church tradition by relaxing parishioners’ Lenten duties.

During Lent, a period of fasting and reflection leading up to Easter, Catholics over the age of 14 are traditionally obligated to refrain from eating meat on Fridays. But bishops in , ,  and other states have issued from this rule due to the social and economic upheaval caused by the pandemic.

In New York, the of the outbreak in the U.S., state officials ordered  for the foreseeable future. Brooklyn Bishop Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio that same day in an effort to lighten the loads of Catholics who have trouble shopping for food. 

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