The following comes from an Oct. 7 story on LifeSiteNews.com.
Civilian Catholic priests who serve the U.S. Military Archdiocese on a contract basis have been deemed “non-essential” and ordered to stop working during the government shutdown, resulting in canceled Masses and headaches for families planning weddings and baptisms.
Meanwhile, priests who have offered to work for free during the shutdown have been refused and threatened with disciplinary action and, according to one archdiocesan representative, even possible arrest.
John Schlageter, general counsel for the Archdiocese for Military Services, U.S.A., explained in an op-ed, “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.”
Priests who have offered to work for free during the shutdown have been refused and threatened with disciplinary action and, according to one archdiocesan representative, even possible arrest.
Added Schlageter, “Until the federal government resumes normal operations, or an exemption is granted to contract or GS priests, Catholic services are indefinitely suspended at those worldwide installations served by contract and GS priests.”
Lt. Col. Laurel P. Tingley, an Air Force spokesman, told The Blaze, “Any civilian employee who volunteers their time to the government while furloughed is violating the Anti-Deficiency Act, as is any supervisor who allows an employee to do so. The ADA provides for disciplinary action for individuals who are found in violation.” Tungley did not confirm whether disciplinary action included arrest.
On Saturday, in response to the controversy, the House passed a bill 400-1 to reinstate furloughed chaplains on a volunteer basis.
“Is it really the policy of this administration to make church services illegal? To threaten Catholic priests with jail?” asked Rep. Tim Huelskamp during a debate on the legislation.
While active duty priests have not been furloughed, there are only 234 of them serving 275,000 Catholic service members and their families, according to Schlageter. The contract priests serve on bases where there wouldn’t otherwise be enough priests to meet the spiritual needs of parishioners.
Wherever possible, active duty priests have scrambled to fill the gaps left by their civilian counterparts, but in many cases, that won’t be enough.
Schlageter told Catholic Vote, “Three Masses have been cancelled at local Fort Belvoir. I have been told but cannot confirm that Mass has been cancelled at the Navy Yard. In one situation, a couple that is to be married at an Air Force Base this Saturday and did all of their preparation with a GS priest will now be married by an active duty priest who is being taken in from somewhere else. This means that the priest that the couple got to know over the past few months will not be able to witness their marriage.”
Schlageter recommended those affected or concerned by the furlough call their Congress members to complain.
To read original story, click here.
Civilian Catholic chaplains, unable to perform religious duties at U.S. military bases during the first weekend of the federal government shutdown, were getting back on the job as the shutdown continued into its second week.
“We’re now being told priests can return to work,” said John Schlageter, general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services.
Schlageter, in an Oct. 7 telephone interview with Catholic News Service, said he did not know whether the priests’ return to work was a result of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s declaration Oct. 6 that far more civilian Defense Department employees would be considered “essential” and return to their jobs — or the reaction to Schlageter’s own Oct. 3 op-ed article about the shutdown adversely affecting the ability of civilian chaplains to minister at military bases with no resident Catholic chaplain.
He said the op-ed piece had gotten coverage or publication by The Washington Post, CNN.com, and the Fox News Channel.
The House passed a concurrent resolution, awaiting action by the Senate, to authorize the return of civilian Catholic chaplains to their military ministry. “I think the House resolution — (with a vote of) 400 to 1 — speaks for itself,” Schlageter said.
We should expect more of these attacks on the Christian faith. Scripture tells us to obey the laws of the land, unless those laws violate the laws of our Holy God. It is time to stand up for the laws of God.
Tempest in a tea (party) pot. No priest was ever in danger of arrest. Let’s resolve this mess and get everyone back to work again.
Gag and choke, Greg. As part of the military community, I take issue with your politically motivated diversionary condescension. How do you know this issue is a ‘tempest in the tea (party) pot?’ You don’t frankly as these issues do not effect you. Methinks the liberal spin (the same that voted in the most anti-Catholic administration under the Bidenesque notion of learning about life via Will and Grace) has muddled your mind.
Pray for deliverance from the demon already.
The real issue here is that the Chaplains were told that they couldn’t even come in to “volunteer” their services.
I saw a story of a man who has a private restaurant on federal land. The road his restaurant sits on is open to through traffic during the “shut down”. Although he still has to pay rent, the government had the resources to go out, put barricades up around his business and tell him that it is illegal for him to open up his business during this time. There are many more stories as unjust as these two.
If I didn’t know better, I would think that we were living in China as opposed to the USA. God help us! Oh, by the way I heard a Congress Man today complain that there is no “towel service” at the Congressional Gym!
Tracy, I went to a wedding reception the week before the shutdown at just such a restaurant, which is now closed due to the shutdown. The owner has had to find replacement venues for the receptions and parties ever since, and of course, he is losing business while he waits for government to do what they were sent to Washington to do. I hadn’t known he probably also has to pay rent while he is shuttered, but you are probably right.
So call the Republican Congressman and tell them to reopen government. At least ask them to demand that the Speaker have an up and down vote on a clean CR. At least then we will know which legislators value the Democratic process, and which ones obstruct it.
YFC, I think you have swallowed the propaganda, but then again you being in academia makes you part of the propaganda. There was no reason for government officials to go out an close down this man’s business. He is does not receive a government check, in fact it is the other way around. Obama has made it very clear that his plan is to “fundamentally change America”. Obamacare i.e the Unaffordable Care Act will have accomplished this like no other program in this country’s history and Obama is not going allow anyone or anything to stand in the way of this and I doubt that you have a problem with this. The truth is that Obama’s approval rating is now at 37%. The people of this nation do not want Obamacare. The Congress has the right of the purse string. They passed a budget with everything in it minus the Unaffordable Care Act. Obama will punish Americans until the Congress gives him what he wants and that is the downfall of America through Obamacare. God help us. Go ahead and parrot the talking heads on the government controlled main scream media, but you are with the minority of Americans who want this. Go ahead and convince your young impressionable students minds that Obamacare is good for them, I’m sure most of them have swallow the Koolaid. I have no doubt that your students are part of the 37% who still approve of Obama.
By the way, I have called my congresswoman to defund Obamacare.
I agree with Tracy…I don’t need to comment further because she pretty much covered it well.
Tracy: The real issue here is the anti-Catholic bias in the military period. That is from the leadership down. No kidding. The manifestations of singling out Catholic priests as ‘unnecessary’ during this present crisis, is just another in a long string of signs about what this administration stands for – or rather against.
China is the word. Or should I say the fast forward embracing of fascism/communism.
Ann, yes I agree with you. If anyone wants to look at history honestly and look at what is unfolding before our very eyes at this very moment in our country, there is only one conclusion to make. I pray that God may have mercy on us yet, but if not, I pray that I will be able to withstand the inevitable persecution that will soon be on every American’s doorstep.
Tracy: Please include my family and I in your prayers for perseverance. I will do the same for you and yours. As to mercy, I’m beginning to believe that a chastisement is the greatest mercy to be had.
As my father used to say of WWII, there are no atheists in foxholes.
Ann, I most gratefully accept your prayers. I will pray for you as well.
To all the Catholics who voted for Obama, are you proud that you elected him?
Yes, very much so.
YFC you are not Catholic. You do not adhere to Church teaching in most of your writings.
Why are you writing on this site?
Everyone, please constantly correct YFC and others who pretend to be Catholic yet violate Church teaching as stated in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.
The support for politicians who advance abortion (murder of innocents), same-sex marriage (sodomy), contraception, or violation of Church teaching and Church laws – is evil and sinful.
There is nothing proportionate in the USA to the murder of approximately 1 MILLION babies annually.
See “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion” https://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm
PETE I agree….and believe me, many are consistent in correcting him. I think for some it has become a full time job due to his resistance to repent.
This has nothing to do with Obama.
I’ll give, Peter. This has nothing to do with Obama. That individual, as evidenced by his complete lack of credentials to hold the highest office, is nothing but a front man for the movers and shakers who would willingly sign the American people over to whomever. As long as the deposit in their own Swiss bank account were big enough, it really doesn’t matter now does it!
You have to sign the sale agreement before you see who bought you – said with a Nancy Pelosi grin!
Everything that has to do with the Obama Administration has to do with Obama – he is the boss.
The President is also the Commander and Chief of the Armed Services – he is the boss.
Ideally that is the case, Pete, but there’s an amazing amount of negligent wiggle room given to the Commander in Chief in practice. He knows, but doesn’t know. Is in charge and is going to take action, but somehow never is or does. Is the bottom line, the same bottom line that seemingly is never reached because the abyss of culpability is without end.
Presto, change. He’s the Invisible Man!!! No! He’s just on vacation!
This one was caused by the Tea Party extremists. The GOP leadership needs to take back their own house
What, Greg, should the GOP leadership take back their own house as you say so that they can continue to sell out America to those who wish to call the Constitution (much like Catholic Tradition) passé?
Would you also say that the Demoncrat Party has to take back its own house from the ACLU, People for the (Anti)American Way, etc. etc. ad nauseam!
May God have mercy on an amoral America and on your poor soul,
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
GREG, simple everyday Republican citizens have been sold out by the GOP establishment. As far as I am concerned they are of the same ilk as the Democrats who are themselves hard core socialists. I for one am tired of their CONTROL. Tea Party members are ordinary Americans who want the constitution upheld. So in other words, we are as extreme as our founding fathers! What our founding fathers did by writing and signing our American Constitution was so EXTREME that it had never been done before in the history of the world!!!!! So keep calling the Tea Party Extreme!!!! By doing so you are putting us in the ranks of the signers of the Declaration of Independence!!!! And they were no cowards!!!! As for Obama, he is bullying America!!!
The President determines what is and is not funded.
He has discretionary funds (abt 17%) to determine what he chooses to fund during a government shut down. Hundreds of millions of dollars come into the Government every day.
Obama and his Democratic cronies need to quit spending. The US debt is now at almost $17 TRILLION.
Obama and the Democratic leaders who try to ridicule and demonize American citizens who have a difference of opinion on government spending and government waste is directly out of the Marxist handbook – “RULES for RADICALS” by Saul Alinksy. (Everyone should read this.)
GREG you do not make any sense…you have it all wrong and backwards. They are not the extremist, I assure you, you have it all wrong….I suggest you go to an abortion clinic or a gay pride parade and then tell me who are really the extremist…..but I suggest you read your bible and CCC first before you do so…..hopefully you are in good will to know the truth!
Abeca – Since the very thought of abortion turns my stomach, why would I go to an abortion clinic. I’ve been to a pride parade. Lot’s of political types waving and smiling, folks with very little clothing in the summer heat and a few topless women. Not much different than Marti Gras. Oh, I do read the bible. Acts of the Apostles is my favorite and I also read the CCC from time to time. worry that many in this forum have become, in the words of Pope Francis “self referential” and believe they have a lock on the truth.
Abecca, there you have your answer, Greg apparently doesn’t think the “gay pride” parades are extreme, since they are not much different from the “Marti Gras” parade! Wow!
Greg the word “extreme” means “to the utmost degree; radical.” So are you suggesting that participants in the Marti Gras parade and the participants in the various “gay pride” parades represent the “normal” groups in America? (i.e. not extreme?) Are those who uphold the Constitution of the United States of America now the “extremist” of society in your eyes? Do you also think that those who follow the Ten Commandments are “extreme”? What other thoughts or behaviors do you consider to be “extreme”?
Ah, but the seamless garment argument of Marxism – oops, I mean Social Justice – should expunge all culpability in for voting for Obama. After all, according to him, “Faith means not knowing.” That’s a lot of what is preached in the upper echelon at the Vatican these days so what can we expect.
This is totally outrageous! This makes Orwell’s novel, 1984 even more realistic. How dare the federal government prohibit a priest from what he is supposed to do. Where is the outcry of the American bishops? All they are interested in is illegal aliens and more welfare. Talk about a sick society, and an even sicker American episcopacy. Illegal aliens are allowed to march on the Washington Mall, which is supposed to be closed, and priests, who are ordained to celebrate Mass, are forbidden to do their priestly duties. Is this Stalinist Russia? Is it Mao’s China? America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. God is NOT going to bless this nation. It is the last straw which has broken the camel’s back. Together with abortion, homosexual marriage, assisted suicide, this latest dictum from dictator Obama has made America an atheistic state. Only divine intervention can save the United States from the wrath of Almighty God. Besides the hope of many for Pope Francis to consecrate Russia (and not the whole world) to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, we can pray that he also, at a later date, consecrate the United States as well. Good is evil, and wickedness is virtue. This is the work of Satan and his evil disciples. The terrible silence of the American hierarchy on this matter is despicable. May God have mercy on us all!
Thank you for the distinction of Russia as opposed to the whole world, Father. Sadly, following the supposed Spirit of Vatican II has done nothing for the virtue of humbly following directions.
I pray Our Lady intercedes for her tardy, recalcitrant children.
Fr. Karl~ The Anti-Diffency Act applies to all contract employees including contract chaplains. I imagine this falls harder on our Catholic troops because we have been unable to produce enough military Chaplains and use contract priests more. No one is anti-Catholic in this situation. Now that we’re aware of it congress and the Administration will develop exemptions Let’s get all our federal services and empolyees and the necessary services they provide back in action
GREG, this is not the first “government shut down”. In fact since the modern congressional budgeting process took effect in 1976, there have been a total of seventeen separate government shutdowns. This however, is THE FIRST TIME that priest in the military have been FORBIDDEN to say Holy Mass!!!!!! Fr. Karl knows of what he is talking about.
Tracy ~ And in these 17 other times were contract priests dispensed from the Anti-Deficency Act’s provision? This needs to be changed, and in fact is, but I don’t see how this very temporary problem can be blamed on the current administration. The Speaker of the House needs to step up to the plate and gather the bi-partisan votes to end this thing.
GREG SMITH, you naively think that ending the shutdown and funding Obamacare will allow the ship to continue cruising happily along its merry way. WAKE UP!!
If you think there is misery now, just wait and see the misery Americans will experience if this evil program is allowed to go forward.
Would you have any problems attending a State run Catholic Church? Somehow I doubt it. I imagine you would probably feel safer in the pew with Father Uncle Sam overseeing things.
Oops!, make that Pope Uncle Sam.
Father, it’s the regs about civilian contractors, and covers them all.
Our military members are suffering in MANY ways due to this government snafu, and they’ll continue to suffer until the dumb politicians get together and do their job.
There was a film, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Perhaps another film should be produced entitled THE SILENCE OF THE WOLVES. The absolute silence of the American hierarchy is deafening in regards to this horrible law. To think of Father Miguel Pro and other martyrs of the faith ,should be a cry to all faithful Catholics to stand up for our true religion. Ave Maria Purrisssima!
All this will get worked out.
Yes, good cause, it will all work out. But do we have to take the Annakin to Darth Vader back to Annakin route? Seems like such a circuitous waste of time, resources, and gray cells.
good cause, sounds like you have to get back to watching the game on t.v. or playing your video games, or doing whatever it is that brings you joy. Of course, that’s why we vote in the “professionals” to “take care of us” so that we can continue to enjoy our lives. Yes, all will be well. All well be well. All will be well. All will be well. All will be well. You are a well educated dupe.
I frequently reflect on the “40 Holy Martyrs of England and Wales” who were canonized by PPVI, in 1970. I have always had a special devotion to Saint Margaret Clitherow…when I visit England again, I will make it a point to visit her shrine in Yorkshire. She was called “The Pearl of York”… I call her one of my spiritual friends and helpers, who is gloriously a member of the Church Triumphant!
You can also visit the London Bridge on which she was “Pressed”. As her holy body with her expectant child was being pressed, she prophesied the Henry VIII would have his bowels spread out over England. When Henry died after vainly trying to get his protest-ant flunkies to bring him a priest, his bowels burst, thus fulfilling that prophecy!
May God have mercy on an amoral America and its very bad “bishops”
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Absolute insanity. Since when has anyone ever worried about being arrested for working for free, especially to serve in your capacity as an ordained priest in celebrating Mass? I wish though that people would stop asking if Obama is the anti-Christ. He’s just a garden variety revolutionary by family background and training as a community organizer, and he isn’t worthy of pronouncing his name in the same sentence with Christ, no matter how opposed he may be to all that we believe in. Anti-Catholic, yes; anti-American, many wonder; but anti-Christ?
To even suggest such a thing belies the incorrect impression that Obama is even more all-powerful than he actually is, which is nothing more than a stubborn, divisive, self-important failure unfit for the job of the leader of the free world.
I think he has overlooked the simple fact that Americans enjoy freedom of worship and freedom to worship, and nowhere is that freedom more important than when Americans are putting their lives on the line in service of their country, even when it is being led by an incompetent narcissist. Even Obama can’t take that away from America.
Where possible, the soldiers and their families should turn to the local parishes right outside the base.
Or, they could ask the priest to minister to them in a non-base home.
If the Catholics are being affected, so are all the others who rely on civilian clergy who are contracted for services.
You still don’t understand, it is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church that Obama knows he has to destroy, the others may follow once he has accomplished what he thinks he can accomplish, Satan thought the same thing!
May God have mercy on an amoral America and its very bad “bishops”
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Kenneth, as a former military member I agree with Richard.
When the regulations say “no,” soldiers, sailors, and airman must obey; and sometimes this means great inconvenience. Our service members are indeed suffering, but so are the civilian contractors who are out of a job right now and have no way to feed their families. This includes many of the basic and much needed services they provide to our active duty personnel: everything from business offices to contract chaplains to the barber shops to those who work at the commissary.
Whether this horrible snag happened under Obama, Bush or any other president, the results would be, tragically, the same.
Until, of course, the darned political leaders start to lead and come to the table and get beyond this mess.
Suzanne, you said, “Our service members are indeed suffering, but so are the civilian contractors who are out of a job right now and have NO WAY TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES”!
I’m wondering Suzanne, how many days has it been so far that these unfortunate families have gone without food? I imagine that some of them might be close to death right now or may have even already died! This is so sad!
Richard, so I guess in a sense we have Catholic priest who happen to be in the military who are now forced to go “underground”.
Tracy, those Catholic priests who are indeed in the military (Air Force, Army, etc.), have no need to “go underground,” as they are commissioned officers and are still on duty, still getting paid, still required to show up.
Only the CIVILIAN priests are being told “stay home,” just as all the CIVILIAN workers on base are being told — the active duty military chaplains are still hard at work.
Harder than ever, in fact, because now they can’t rely on the civilian chaplains for support.
The same applies to active duty personnel who are now not only doing their jobs, but also the jobs of their civilian counterparts who have been “laid off.”
Richard, a priest who is forbidden to offer up the Holy Mass on a military base even if he volunteers is being censored by the government. The truth is that there are service men and women who will not have access to Sunday Mass because of this evil action by the Obama administration.
What bothers me about your statements is that you seem to have no problem with the STATE interfering with our Faith. This all seems so logical to you.
All this chaos is happening under the Obama administration. We need to keep our priests in our prayers. They get attacked so often.
Der Fuhrer vould be proud!