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Muskrat on Fridays in Lent?

Q. Is it true that Catholics in Detroit are allowed to eat muskrat on Fridays in Lent?

A. Yes, they are. Early European immigrants who settled in that locale were largely Catholic. The harsh Michigan winters often left them little to eat other than the muskrat—a furry, marsh-dwelling rodent native to the area. To keep them from genuine hardship in near-starving conditions, an eighteenth-century bishop issued a special dispensation granting permission to eat the rodent “on days of abstinence [from meat], including Frida