Theodore's World: Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown

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October 05, 2013

Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown

Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown

In a stunning development, some military priests are facing arrest if they celebrate mass or practice their faith on military bases during the federal government shutdown.

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.”

In his piece, Schlageter worries about this restriction as Sunday nears. “If the government shutdown continues through the weekend, there will be no Catholic priest to celebrate Mass this Sunday in the chapels at some U.S. military installations where non-active-duty priests serve as government contractors,” he wrote.

Because of the lack of active-duty Catholic chaplains, the military relies on hiring civilian priests to serve as government service and contract ministers. Those civilian priests are not allowed on the bases during a shutdown, Schlageter wrote.

One Republican lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee told The Daily Caller on Friday that this “crosses a constitutional line.”

“The constitutional rights of those who put their lives on the line for this nation do not end with a government slowdown,” Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran, said in a Friday statement. ”It is completely irresponsible for the president to turn his back on every American’s First Amendment rights by furloughing military contract clergy.”

Added Pompeo: “The President’s strategy during the slowdown, just as during the sequestration, is to create as much pain as possible. However, this action crosses a constitutional line of obstructing every U.S. service member’s ability to practice his or her religion.”

Wild Thing's comment............

Wow this is terrible!!!! I'm not Catholic, but I have to say this is a complete, total outrage. I feel so badly for our troops.

That Obama is evil !

They also talked about this on Fox news last night.

The Muslim Obama at work. .

Some of the politicians have commented about this.... here is the comment from Senator Ted Cruz:

"Unbelievable. These priests have a First Amendment right to practice their faith, and I hope President Obama takes any possible criminal penalties off the table for them."

Posted by Wild Thing at October 5, 2013 12:55 AM


He’s punishing the military. Military voters voted 3 to 1 against Obama. He’s not respected by military personnel and has an immense disdain for those serving in the military. What better way to punish the military than to forbid their civilian Christian ministers from ministering to them on a volunteer basis. But, you can bet if these were Muslims, they would be permitted.

Posted by: bobf at October 5, 2013 10:52 AM

I believe when a President takes the oath of office he is sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States - which this guy has shown time and time again blatant disregard for. You can't tell me that there isn't an attorney in this country that wouldn't take the case for treason, deceit and all those other cute legal terms they come up with for flat out lying.

Posted by: Mt at October 11, 2013 01:07 PM