13 October 2013

Ministry of military chaplains still a legal question

Following Friday's vote by the United States Senate to strengthen a resolution from the United States House of Representatives that allows Catholic priests and others to minister to the spiritual needs of the members of the military on military bases during the partial government shutdown, the Archdiocese for the Military Services issued a statement that said, in part:
The amended resolution has been sent back to the House for further consideration and possible final passage. The congressional action follows publication of an op-ed by Mr. Schlageter bringing public attention to the shutdown’s impact on the Catholic military population. Pending final action, the contract priests remain on furlough.
The same statement included a quote from His Excellency the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services:
It seems beyond the pale of belief that elected officials are taking so long to resolve this denial of constitutional rights to the men and women in uniform.  It is not a controversial issue, but merely a lacuna in an old law that could be fixed to respond to current situations.  I continue to hope for the good will of those in Congress and the Administration.
It took the Senate a week to vote on the resolution, though I cannot imagine why it should have taken so long to vote after the House had already approved it 400-1.  Please encourage your Representative to call for a swift vote on this amended resolution, so important for the free exercise of religion in our nation.

If you are yet unaware of this situation, please follow the links above.


  1. The sad truth is that I bet soldiers didn't even notice.
    They get access to the sacraments so rarely anyway.
    My older brother was an army chaplain between 2008-2011 and could only get to certain bases every other month.
    And don't ask me how long he himself had to go without confession!
    Because you better believe that if one catholic chaplain was rare in a certain area- then two was just unheard of.

    1. I have to clarify and say that in referring to deployed soldiers here.
      And bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.