Military Chaplains Face Arrest for Celebrating Mass…

during shutdown.

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  • Guest

    This article is inaccurate spin. You should be more responsible. Catholic Vote is a PAC not sponsored or endorsed by the Church. Read the author’s own comment on the Catholic Vote blog – he admits his own far-reaching spin.

    • Sean P. Dailey

      So priests won’t be getting arrested?

      • Guest

        No. And we’re not facing Sharia Law, nor developing Death Panels, nor requiring doctors to perform abortions, nor add your own talking point here. But I’m guessing that Catholic Vote is raising lots of money. Who are they?

      • Meggan

        The fact that the contract priests cannot celebrate Mass is not good. But, I think that headline was over the top. I also think that the thing with the memorial being shut off to World War II Vets seems very contrived to me. It was done to prove a point.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Ad hominem. Please prove it is inaccurate instead of just attacking the source.

      • Guest

        Go to the Catholic Vote blog. The author cites an obscure military code established after the Civil War, then extrapolates out to conclude that Catholic priests face arrest. Even he admits it is a stretch. I don’t doubt that the author sees a distant threat. But I’ve just read that he is also a marketing specialist and must be aware that panic is an effective fundraising strategy. Sorry for the cynicism.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          If there is a problem with his argument, state it and be done. It shouldn’t matter what the source is. For that matter, Thomas Peters, a large contributor to Catholic Vote, is usually on good ground.

          • Guest

            Accuracy to me depends on whether your focus is on the letter or the spirit of the law, or in this case a military ordinance certainly not intended to criminalize religious services. And I disagree with you, the source does matter. Anyway, my understanding is that the House overwhelmingly passed a measure to restore contracted chaplains. On to the next drama. . .

      • kwdayboise

        I think you may misunderstand the concept of ad hominem. Ad hominem is a form of argument, and while it doesn’t address subjects being debated that does not mean it is automatically a bad element for consideration. For example, it would be an ad hominem to say “that article can’t be trusted because it was published by The Onion”, but the ad hominem would still bring an important idea for consideration. An ad hominem being identified also does not force the other person to do research on your behalf. If anything, an accusation of a biased source should be a cause for deeper research. As it stands there is currently legislation going from the House to the Senate to allow furloughed chaplains to continue their activities and there has never been an actual threat of arrest. This was, to continue the debate lingo, a red herring.

    • Is the quote from the General Counsel of the Military Archdiocese accurate or inaccurate? Feel free to toss out PAC statements. A lawyer for an Archdiocese specifically tasked for military ministry is something much more serious. I’m off to research this myself.

      • Guest

        The Military Archdiocese website states a real concern that can be, and apparently is being addressed by Congress. Simply declaring that Catholic military priests face arrest seems to me to be irresponsible, divisive hyperbole. We certainly have enough of that already.

        • What is hyperbole about restating the opinion of the chief lawyer of the relevant archdiocese? That this is being addressed by Congress is news. Please give details, like a bill number, so I can tell my Congressman to vote for it.

          • Guest

            TM, I don’t know the bill number but my understanding is that the House passed a measure this morning to allow contracted military chaplains to provide services, i.e., celebrate Mass, during the shutdown. Passed 400 to 1 – I wonder who voted against it?

            • nonbinding resolutions would fix this if it were an accident. With evidence leaking out that this is part of a purposeful strategy to hurt the people, it’s not sufficient.

          • It was a non-binding resolution that already passed the House.


            Based on this article, it seems that all the resolution does is express Congress’ intent that religious services conducted by civilian contractors continue on military bases. It doesn’t allocate funding, but the Senate and the president have expressed their intention to block any piecemeal funding measures.

            • Do you think that my bringing this up is hyperbole as linda daily said? Do you think that the nonbinding resolution will affect application of the UCMJ or the Justice department in potential prosecutions?

              • “Do you think that my bringing this up is hyperbole as linda daily said?”

                No. I’m sorry my comment lacked clarity. As you said, the source was the General Counsel of the Military Archdiocese. Shrugging off potential First Amendment violations because Catholic Vote happens to be one of the media outlets quoting that source is a prime example of genetic fallacy.

                “Do you think that the nonbinding resolution will affect application of the UCMJ or the Justice department in potential prosecutions?”

                That question exceeds my expertise, but my gut reaction based on our government’s penchant for ignoring the rule of law is no.

                • Then we are in complete agreement. If that was not clear earlier, then I am the one to be sorry.

          • Chesire11

            When the lawyer is being hyperbolic, repeating the statement is hyperbolic. Call me when someone tries to arrest a priest for saying mass…until then, forgive the rolling of my eyes.

            (BTW, the House has voted 400-1 to settle the whole technicality in favor of allowing mass to be said)

            • Cheshire11 – please go up thread and look at how the goalposts are being moved. The first set was that this is just the opinion of a moneygrubbing PAC. When I pointed out that it was simply restating the diocese’s general counsel, it moved to “well Congress is taking care of it”.

              The federal government is moving people out of their own homes, engaging in unusually harsh treatment of tourists and visitors, closing things that have never been closed in previous shutdowns, and generally acting to maximize pain. I think it would be more accurate to say that general counsel was doing its job by issuing a brushback pitch before somebody actually ended up in legal jeopardy. That’s not hyperbole.

  • kirthigdon

    I yield to none in my dislike of the ruling class, but I simply don’t believe this.
    Kirt Higdon

  • Elaine T

    The Daily Caller had an article about it, based on an op-ed from the general counsel of the Archdiocese of Military Services. “With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract
    priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not
    permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the
    general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed
    this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on
    base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

    • EMS

      Basically, as contract employees, during the shutdown, they have no reason to be on base and would be denied access just as you or I would if we tried to get in. The same would hold true for any contract employees, including Protestant ministers and Jewish rabbis. This not directed solely at Catholics.

      • Stu

        No. As clergy in this situation they would have been vetted and continue to access.

      • jroberts548

        No, they’re denied access more than we are. The law expressly forbids government employees from working without appropriations, subject to criminal and civil sanctions. As a non-government employee, you or I would have more access to the base.

        • EMS

          You’re right; I should have added that part.

  • ganganelli

    Here’s an idea. How about we open the government without any political strings attached and then we can put this “worry” to rest.

    • Stu

      Congress has the power of the purse. All part of the checks and balances. Definitely a good thing. Obamacare passed through a Democrat controlled Congress (via shady means at that) in a completely partisan manner.

      This is the equal and opposite reaction to those politics.

      • ganganelli

        Huh huh…I’m sure you would have said the same thing if Dems had shut down the government unless Bush agreed to remove troops from Iraq. By the way, Obamacare is open.

        • Stu

          Yes, I would say the same thing. And Congress would have had a hard time doing that to Bush given there was bipartisan support for him taking action in Iraq. It would have been an indictment of themselves.

          And indeed Obamacare is open. I’m a government contractor myself and I am working as well. But that will continue only up until a point.

          President has a veto and Congress has the purse. Checks and Balances. Good things.

          • ganganelli

            So you can imagine a scenario where the President agrees to defund/delay/etc. his own health care program? Were you also one of those conservatives who was sure Romney was going to win?

            • Stu

              With this President, probably not. He is too beholden to Big Business.

              And I’m not a conservative.

            • The Deuce

              I can imagine such a scenario quite easily, since it already happened several times this year, only illegally and without Congress.

        • The Deuce

          And I’m sure *you* would’ve said the same thing in that situation. Please.

      • Chesire11

        Yes, they have the power of the purse. My wife has the power of the purse in my home, but if she chooses to stop paying the electric bill, or buying groceries to feed our children because she doesn’t think we should repair our leaky roof, then she is neglecting the duty which is conveyed by the power she wields.

        Don’t like the Affordable Care Act? Campaign against it, but don’t hold the rest of the country hostage because your side doesn’t get its way 100% of the time.

        • Stu

          If you decide on your own to buy a bunch of hookers and booze on a charge, don’t be surprised if she doesn’t pay for it.

          The Democrats passed Obamacare strictly on a party vote and even used some questionable tactics via reconciliation because they didn’t have the votes. Now the other party has a say in funding it.

          All because the Democrats wanted what they wanted 100% of the time.

          • Chesire11

            The Affordable Care Act passed on a party line vote because the republican Party is so hyper-partisan it has devolved into a virtual cult. For Pete’s sake, the ACA, which leverages the private sector, and demand personal responsibility, was modeled after a Heritage Foundation crafted alternative to Hillarycare, which was later enacted in Massachusetts under a republican governor who later received the GOP nomination for the presidency. If this thing were any more republican, it would be named “Reagan.”

            There is one, and only one reason why Congressional republicans opposed their own plan, and still oppose it, and that is because they are afraid that a Democratic president will get credit for it. All of the rest, the “death panels”, etc… was all just marketing.

            • Stu

              Well, all of that is irrelevant to my point. Fact remains that Obamacare is law passed on partisan lines which is a recipe for disaster for something so large. If you want success, then you have to get “all hands on the murder weapon.” Clearly the Democrats didn’t care about that then because they seemingly held all the cards.

              However, to your points about Obamacare being a regurgitated incarnation of something put forth by the Heritage Foundation 20 years ago. Who cares? It didn’t catch on back then for a reason and if the Democrats only version of original thought is to resurrect old GOP ideas then they are much more static in their thinking than I imagined.

              Obamacare is nothing but another Big Government hookup for Big Business though a bit more brazen. The only people it makes healthcare more affordable for are the insurance companies. It does nothing for the common man because it does nothing to break up the state/AMA monopolies on licensing practitioners and thus doesn’t increase the supply of people actually providing healthcare. In fact, evidence is showing that the supply will go down. Rationing under this paradigm is unavoidable. So don’t call them “Death Panels” if you don’t like heated rhetoric but at the end of the day, people will be denied care given the supply will not meet the demand. That’s just plain economics.

              No shortage of money for Big Insurance though. Should prove profitable for the Democrat party as well.

  • jroberts548

    If only the Republicans could have known about the Anti-Deficiency Act before shutting down the government. It’s too bad this 130 year old law (which has been revised repeatedly since then) came from out of nowhere. Who could have predicted that shutting down the government would have consequences?

  • Guest

    Oh please! This reminds me of the idiocy a few months ago about how the military was going to court martial any member of the armed forces who shares his or her religious faith with another service member.

    It’s nonsense.

    The fact that a thing could technically be done does not mean that it will be done, nor that any intention exists to do it. Perhaps, the government shutdown would allow a local military authority to assert a right on some procedural grounds to arrest a priest who tried to say mass on base. If it would allow such a thing, it is CLEARLY an unintended consequence of the shutdown, and one which nobody in their right mind would invoke, and not any master plan to deny Catholics the sacraments.

    I know that it goes against the peculiar modern victimization fetish to point this out, and it risks ruining a perfectly good “I’m being oppressed” buzz, but this is just not the way the real world works.

    Call me when someone tries to arrest a priest – THEN I’ll take it seriously, and will apologize copiously for my naivite. Until then, I’ll consider it just so much contrived outrage.