15 October 2013

Catholic services forbidden on military base, Protestant services continue; priest sues

The Reverend Ray Leonard, a Roman Catholic priest, was recently contracted to provide pastoral care at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.  However, he has been forbidden to provide pastoral care during the partial government shutdown though he wishes to do so completely free, though others have not been so forbidden, as CNN reports:
Leonard also claims "members of religions, other than the Roman Catholic religion, have been afforded access to the chapel to engage in religious exercise in conformity with their respective faiths."
The notice from chapel staff says, "Protestant services will continue to be held in the Subase chapel Sundays @ 1030. We apologize for the inconvenience" [more].
Frankly, this is simply outrageous.  The headline should have read: "Catholic services forbidden, Protestant services allowed".  To those who deny my claims that there is an coming persecution of Catholics in the United States of America, how do you explain this?  It cannot be simply an oversight.  Why this important piece of information comes at the bottom of the article and not at the top is beyond my understanding.

Because the free exercise of Father Leonard's religious liberty has clearly been violated, he has filed a law suit with the assistance of the Thomas More Law Society.

In his affidavit, Father Leonard provides what might be termed a "money quote":
In China, I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in China. I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do, and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community.


  1. Something is missing from the reporting. None of the reporting involved is even quizing the military on the discrepancy. Are there two buildings, thus two chapels and is the priest insisting on the closed location for reasons of Eucharist storage etc. The statement of the Thomas More Law Center is also evasive at even reporting the military's explanation. Some in the Catholic blogdom are linking this to Obama personally as though he has time to be involved in minutiae of a shutdown really brought on by the tea party...one of whose leaders linked this to Obama rather than to himself.

    1. Whether President Obama is directly responsible for the order is rather a moot point. His Administration is responsible, as this has never happened before during a partial government shutdown. Certainly he knows about this serious issue as it has been in the news for two weeks now and both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed resolutions allowing Catholic priests to offer pastoral care on base during the shutdown. All President Obama has to do is tell his Administration to back rescind their threat to fine or imprison priests (which, again, has not been done in previous Administrations).

    2. Post hoc ergo propter hoc...after Obama therefore because of Obama is not enough. Something is missing in the reporting which either involves questions of air conditioning bills, legal responsibility that prevents paid employess from volunteering, Eucharist storage etc. If Catholicism crys wolf too much, it will lessen credibility in valid cases like the HHS insurance area.

    3. To claim it is because of bills or legal issues is to ignore the fact that Protestants _can_ and _are_ using the chapel the Catholics _cannot_ use.

    4. But there may be missing facts that explain the Catholic/ Protestant discrepancy....otherwise Cardinal Dolan should be involved or someone of his rank and that is absent also. Read the Thomas More Law Center statement.....it is lawyer talk ( my client is innocent/ they are guilty). But it is being used as though it is reportorial rather than legalese.

    5. Certainly there is more and certainly the Law Center's statement is "legalese" (what other kind of statements do law centers issue?), but the "missing facts", as you call you, may very well prove the priest's case.

    6. In any event, God be with you. The pressures from the world definitely are increasing because the largest pulpit is TV and even years ago, it set bad example vis a vis Dean Martin whose faux drunkeness was laughed at as though it were harmless....both he and Sinatra were womanizers and it was all too acceptable to Catholics at the time just as now Two And A Half Men seems normal to many. I pray for priests right after I pray for the family...then others later.

    7. Daily I lament that sad reality that more people know what's happening on Dancing With the Stars (or worse) than what's happening in the world at large or even in their own state.

      Thank you for you prayers; I will remember you and your family in mine.