Military chaplains on Sexual Revolution front lines

It was in 1775 that General George Washington authorized chaplains in the Continental Army. "Purity of Morals," he wrote, three years later, provided the "only sure foundation of publick happiness in any Country" and thus was "highly conducive to order, subordination and success in an Army.""Purity of Morals" might have provided unity during the American Revolution, but chaplains face more divisive issues decades after the Sexual Revolution."No Catholic priest or deacon may be forced by … [Read more...]

Gagging the military chaplains 2.0

Every now and then, bishops write letters for their priests to read to the faithful during Mass.In 1996 the Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services sent a letter to its chaplains instructing them to urge their flocks to back the "Project Life Postcard Campaign" in support of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.Father Vincent Rigdon wanted to follow this order in rites at Andrews Air Force Base. But there was a problem. Pentagon officials had issued a gag order against chaplains … [Read more...]

Don’t ask, don’t tell the chaplains

The setting: The office of a priest who serves as a military chaplain.The time: This hypothetical encounter occurs soon after the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forbids gays, lesbians and bisexuals to openly serve in America's armed forces.The scene: An officer requests counseling about tensions with her same-sex partner as they prepare for marriage. The priest says this would be inappropriate, since his church teaches that sex outside of marriage is sin and that the … [Read more...]

Soulforce preaches to the Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- All the Rev. Mel White, Jacob Reitan and the rest of their Soulforce team wanted to do was talk to people.That was the good news. The bad news was that they wanted to talk about God, politics and homosexuality, although not necessarily in that order. It also didn't help that the people they wanted to talk to were midshipmen on the U.S. Naval Academy campus -- on a football-weekend Friday, no less."Free speech is free speech," said White, who, before going public as a gay … [Read more...]