For the first time since 1945, Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day are on the SAME day. One calls for sacrifice while the other encourages gluttony. RI Catholics find themselves between a rock and hard place. A 2014 Gallup poll said the state's population if 54% Roman Catholic, more than twice the national average. Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin says there's no wiggle room here. Last year, Bishop Tobin offered Catholics a special dispensation so they could eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, even though it fell on a Friday during Lent but there can't be any slack when it comes to Ash Wednesday. The Bishop saying while the Friday's of Lent are very important for fasting, they don't have the same prominence as Ash Wednesday. Look at it this way, if you wait until Lent's over to celebrate Valentine's Day, it'll be easier to get a table for two at your favorite restaurant and the price of candy and roses will be a lot cheaper. For planning purposes, Lent and Valentines's Day don't collide again until 2024.


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