WARSAW, Poland — Polish bishops have granted Catholics special dispensation to eat meat this Friday — an exception justified by the fact that Poles are enjoying a long holiday weekend that includes barbecues.

Catholics in Poland are supposed to abstain from eating meat on Fridays as a form of penance. In Poland, where more than 90 percent of the population is Catholic, it's common to find fish on menus on Fridays instead of meat.

Warsaw's Archdiocese said the dispensation was justified by the large number of family gatherings taking place.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw still urged Catholics to choose fish or vegetables if they could, saying "Jesus grilled fish, as we know."

The faithful were also reminded they should pray or engage in other acts of penance in exchange for the dispensation.