PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Roman Catholic bishop of Providence says Catholics who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day had better reschedule.
Valentine’s Day this year coincides with Ash Wednesday, a penitential holiday that is among the most solemn of the year. It begins Lent and carries with it an obligation to fast and abstain from meat.
Bishop Thomas Tobin says Ash Wednesday has priority. He tells WPRO-AM he’s not even sure he has the authority to issue dispensations from the holiday’s requirements.
Tobin says the day “belongs to God, and we shouldn’t take it away from him.”
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Rhode Island is the most Catholic state in the nation, with 44 percent of those surveyed by Gallup in 2017 identifying as Catholic.
Tobin suggests those who want to celebrate should do so on Tuesday instead.