The Conversation

Contract Priests Threatened With Arrest If They Minister On Military Bases During Shutdown

In an oped for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, John Schlageter, the General Counsel for the Archdiocese made a stunning allegation. He claims that some priests could face arrest if they minister (say Mass, marry, bury or baptize)  to Catholics on US military bases around  the world - a real problem for many Catholics with Sunday only a couple of days away. 

There is a chronic shortage of active duty Catholic chaplains. While roughly 25% of the military is Catholic, Catholic priests make up only about 8% of the chaplain corps. That means approximately 275,000 men and women in uniform, and their families, are served by only 234 active-duty priests.  

The temporary solution to this shortage is to provide GS and contract priests.   These men are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present.  

With the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer.  During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.

As an example, if a Catholic family has a Baptism scheduled this weekend at an Air Force base that is staffed by a GS or contract priest, unless they can locate a priest who is not a GS or contract priest, the Baptism is most likely cancelled.    If you are a Catholic stationed in Japan or Korea and are served by a Contract or GS priest, unless you speak Korean or Japanese and can find a church nearby, then you have no choice but to go without Mass this weekend.  Until the Federal Government resumes normal operations, or an exemption is granted to contract or GS priests, Catholic services are indefinitely suspended at many of those worldwide installations served by contract and GS priests.

It is a precept of the Catholic Church that Catholics must worship God on Sundays and holy days of obligation by participating in the Holy Mass. But the church of Obama has imposed  its own precepts to override those of the Catholic Church.

Really.....The U.S. has entered new and awful territory when it has become illegal for a priest to say Mass.

Hat tip: The Daily Caller


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