After consulting with Eric Holder and DOJ lawyers, Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, decided, “Civilian Catholic priests, working under contract as chaplains, did not, among other things, ‘contribute to the morale and well-being’ of military personnel, reports CNS News.
As of the time of this report, 50 furloughed Roman Catholic priests are forbidden under penalty of arrest, from preaching, praying for DOD congregants, and using military property or facilities.
The priests are also barred from accessing their offices to retrieve personal property.
For the record, contracted secular “family support and mental health” workers are still on the job.
Father Ray Leonard, Senior Catholic Chaplain for Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, GA, is fighting this persecution in court!
Joined by several other priests, Father Leonard has filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama Administration for violating the First Amendment by impeding Catholics’ free expression of speech and religion.
According to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for Military Services, more than 25 percent of the military community practices Roman Catholic Christianity.
Yet, Roman Catholic Chaplains only comprise eight percent of the chaplaincy! By persecuting these contract priests, the Obama Administration is ensuring that this underserved community becomes even more underserved during the shutdown!
The Obama Administration has caused 14 days of cancelled weddings, Bible Studies, daily/weekly mass, Communion, Confession, and the administration of various Sacraments.
The Justice Department also says the “Anti-Deficiency Act” forbids the priests from volunteering their services without federal pay and is threatening to arrest them if they minister anyway!
So far, according to Father Leonard, the persecution is limited to Catholics. Protestant services are ongoing at the base chapels and Protestant pastors and priests have not yet been threatened.
If you want to send a clear message to military leaders that says STOP HELPING OBAMA DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ROMAN CATHOLICS, check out this link.