God Commands Pirates Fans To Skip The Hot Dogs

Opening Day at PNC Park is also Good Friday. This presents Catholics with a problem.

We're officially one week into the MLB season, and though we at The Takeout couldn't care less about the team rankings in 2023, we can't wait to head to a game, since each stadium has some great looking new menu items on offer this year. In Pittsburgh, however, Pirates fans might want to wait until next week to buy tickets, because Opening Day at PNC Park this Friday might not be very fun. Not for God-fearing Catholics, at least.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese has issued a reminder that this Friday, April 7, is Good Friday—a day to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ—and that Catholics should mark the occasion by eating no meat and, if possible, fasting throughout the day.

However, the Pirates' Opening Day game falls on this same Friday, and some sheepish Pittsburgh-area Catholics have been inquiring about whether the Diocese might issue a dispensation for those looking to indulge in some ballpark hot dogs while booing the White Sox. The answer has come in the form of a firm, ever so slightly scolding "no."

"We wish the Pirates well, and we will be rooting for them with all of Pittsburgh," read the prepared statement by the Diocese. "But we also need to hold to the priority importance of Good Friday."

A quick refresher for anyone who needs it: Good Friday is the home stretch of the 40-day Lenten season leading up to Easter, a period of time that mirrors the 40 days Jesus spent wandering the desert. Catholics are expected to abstain from meat every Friday of Lent, but the last one, Good Friday, cranks the piousness up to 11, requiring additional fasting and even periods of silence that correlate to the hours Jesus spent on the cross. Given the supreme importance of Good Friday in the Catholic faith, it's a fair guess that the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese does not appreciate being asked if ballpark franks are worthy of exception.

However, it wasn't totally out of line for Pirates fans to hope they might be given a green light to pair a burger with their beer this Friday. After all, just last month, a similar dispensation was made by just about every Diocese nationwide when St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday in Lent and Irish Catholics were told they could go ahead and eat corned beef to mark the occasion. God was, apparently, fine with it. Stadium food, though? Not so much.

"Fasting and abstinence is part of what we practice communally that day, out of respect, reverence, and deep gratitude for God's sacrifice and love," the Diocese wrote of Good Friday. "It is an essential part of the most sacred time of year for all Christians. Nothing should take precedence."

Well, at least those church-going baseball fans tried to shoot their shot, right? For any Yinzers who want to meet God halfway by staying away from meat but skipping the fast, there are plenty of delicious-looking options at PNC Park to indulge in. Otherwise, lead us not into temptation, at least until the Astros come to town.