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Quantico Marine Base will have Masses Provided by Contract Priest During Government Shutdown
A priest's Life ^ | October 5, 2013

Posted on 10/05/2013 2:02:35 PM PDT by NYer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/04/2013



Attention Editors:

               It has come to the attention of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA that contrary to earlier reports, Masses will in fact be held as scheduled this weekend at Marine Corps Base Quantico. In spite of the government shutdown, the terms of his contract allow the priest there to perform his pastoral duties because of the way the contract is funded. Nonetheless, many Masses at other installations remain cancelled due to the shutdown. The op-ed issued by the archdiocese on Oct. 3 is thus revised as follows:


Shutdown Impacts Chapel Services
By John Schlageter

                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.  

                Military personnel enjoy, like all Americans, the First Amendment guarantee of the “Free Exercise” of their particular religious faith.  But because military personnel are considered a “captive audience,” the laws of our country require the government to provide access to that faith.  This is why we have a military chaplaincy.  This all becomes very clear when one thinks of a military family stationed in Bahrain or Japan.  They cannot walk down the street to the local synagogue, church, mosque, etc.

                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, 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.

                 At a time when the military is considering alternative sources of funding for sporting events at the service academies, no one seems to be looking for funding to ensure the Free Exercise rights of Catholics in uniform. Why not?

*John Schlageter is General Counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; government; military; shutdown

1 posted on 10/05/2013 2:02:35 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 10/05/2013 2:02:59 PM PDT by NYer ("The wise man is the one who can save his soul. - St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini)
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To: NYer
You forgot to highlight this sentence:

With the government shutdown, 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.

3 posted on 10/05/2013 2:07:20 PM PDT by CedarDave (Benghazi victim's mom: "Hillary doesn't give a damn about you.")
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To: NYer

The WRATH of GOD was just about to come upon our country!!


4 posted on 10/05/2013 2:16:58 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: CedarDave

It’s against the law to even volunteer to do your job. They really stressed that.


5 posted on 10/05/2013 2:24:44 PM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: Ann Archy
The WRATH of GOD was just about to come upon our country!!

Mass is still banned at other bases.

6 posted on 10/05/2013 3:24:57 PM PDT by Steve1789 (I miss having a president who loves this country.)
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To: NYer; alphadog; infool7; Heart-Rest; HoosierDammit; red irish; fastrock; NorthernCrunchyCon; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

7 posted on 10/05/2013 4:01:13 PM PDT by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: NYer

Chaplains operate with 2 different kinds of funds: appropriated and non-appropriated.

Appropriated funds are US tax money. Non-appropriated funds are offering plate money.

Since law requires the military to provide for the religious needs of the military’s “captive audience”, the personnel expense, building expense, and supplies expense is provided out of tax money.

Other activities of a “church” are unique, a special singing group, speaker, program. These are taken out of offering plate money.

Conceivably, although it would cut into a chapel’s program money, the chapel could pay a contract priest with non-appropriated, offering plate funds.


8 posted on 10/05/2013 4:17:27 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: NYer

Even the explanation is tortured! No English-only-speaking Catholic requires an English language Mass to meet the Sunday obligation. Is this just one more unintended consequence not of the government shutdown but of Vatican II? The obligation of Mass attendance/participation has NEVER required a familiarity with the language in which the Mass is said. Remember? We’re the guys who went to Latin Mass. Mass is Mass whatever the language! And . . . any “contract” priest is free to accept the invitation to say Mass at the home or in the yard of any base-based Catholic. Or maybe it’s time to take a page from the English—priests’ holes.

It is beyond galling that the GOP leadership hasn’t exploited the real outrage of this stand-off. The shutdown politics of democrats make it patently obvious what the pitfalls of an imperial presidency (and Senate) are and can be when the government isn’t held in check. The democrats are proving that argument, and the GOP “leadership” stands mute. It’s time to stop channeling Romney. Playing nice works no better with democrats than it does with ayatollahs.
Big government is the CAUSE of the shutdown! If it weren’t attempting to run every aspect of our lives, we wouldn’t even notice. As Mark Levin has already mentioned, it’s gonna be a lot worse when shutting down the gov means shutting down healthcare.


9 posted on 10/05/2013 9:38:30 PM PDT by Mach9
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