Priest Sues Military Over Ban Against Mass On Military Base

Last week I reported that the Obama administration had ordered all contract and general service Catholic chaplains to stop performing any religious duties on military bases during the government shutdown.  The orders they received also banned them from volunteering their services under the threat of being arrested.

A number of military bases here in the US and abroad do not have active duty chaplains assigned to them so the military will contract with civilian priests to perform mass, weddings, baptisms, funerals, communion, etc. at these bases.  John Schlageter, General Counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, pointed out that the military is able to come up with the funds to continue military academy sporting events such as football games, but cannot see fit to even allow a Catholic priest to volunteer his services for the religious requirements of US military personnel.

Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia is one of the military bases that relies on a contract priest to perform the same duties and responsibilities of an active military chaplain.  Father Ray Leonard is the contract priest for the submarine base.  At the start of the government shutdown, Leonard received orders telling him to stop all religious service on the base until the shutdown is over and he is notified otherwise.

There are about 300 catholic families that gather to worship at King’s Bay and none of them have been allowed to attend mass or any other religious service on the base since the shutdown.  Although there is a Catholic church sixteen miles from the base, many of the parishioners live on base and don’t own a car and have no transportation to travel to the Catholic church in town.

Leonard and Fred Naylor, a parishioner of Leonard’s and a retired veteran of 22 years of service had filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of Washington challenging the legality of barring him from performing his religious duties and violating the religious rights of the military personnel stationed at the base.  Thomas More Law Center is representing Leonard and Naylor in their lawsuit.  The lawsuit lists the defendants as the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Department of the Navy and the Secretary of the Department of the Navy, Ray Mabus.

In an affidavit, Leonard stated:

“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.”

The Thomas More legal team commented about the lawsuit saying:

“Additionally, Fr. Leonard was locked out of his on-base office and the chapel. Fr. Leonard was also denied access to the Holy Eucharist and other articles of his Catholic faith. The order has caused the cancellation of daily and weekend Mass, confession, marriage preparation classes and baptisms as well as prevented Fr. Leonard from providing the spiritual guidance he was called by his faith to provide.”

Prior to the supposed government shutdown Congress passed the Pay Our Military Act, which provides funding for employees whose duties contributed to the morale and well-being of the military.  One would expect that to include the religious well-being of military personnel which is one of the issues being addressed in the lawsuit.  The Thomas More staff also pointed out that the ban on contract and general service chaplains has been applied to Catholics and not to Protestants.  They believe that the military has intentionally targeted the Catholic chaplains at the expense of the religious freedom of thousands of active duty Catholic military personnel.

I am not Catholic, but I also see this as another attack on non-Muslim religions by the White House.  Ever since Barack Hussein Obama took office in January 2009, he has purposefully launched one attack after another at Christians and Jews.  Yet I have yet to see one single similar attack launched at his Muslim brothers.  While I don’t have proof that Obama is a Muslim, I can say that he talks, acts and governs more like a Muslim than the Christian he declares himself to be.  When I see Obama doing things like this it reminds me of Matthew 7:15 which states:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”



Posted in Christianity, Ethics, Government Control, Military, Religion Tagged with: , , , , , ,
  • The Christian Solution

    This is a Stalinist ploy of Obama to drive religious chaplains out of the military, but there is a simple solution. All the priest has to do is to say he is a homosexual, because everyone knows that homosexuals now have a constitutional right to be in the military.
    (BTW, the second sentence was pure sarcasm to highlight the first sentence.)

  • The Christian Solution

    Naturally, being the fair and responsible citizen I am, I want to know how Rabbis are being treated in the military. Got to stop any future Hitlers and Holocausts.

    • Nan

      Keep in mind there were plenty of priests in concentration camps; they were tortured and experiments performed on them. Maximilian Kolbe gave his life for a fellow prisoner and is but one of thousands of priests martyred in concentration camps.

      • The Christian Solution

        Thanks for reminding me of Kolbe. Many Christian Martyrs died in the hands of the Jewish Commissars of the Soviet Union.

        • Nan

          He died in Dachau. The Soviet Union attempted to obliterate religion entirely. The soviets were not Jewish.

        • The Christian Solution

          The commissars were pretty much all Jewish. The statement that “The Soviet Union obliterated all religions” is a myth.
          Dennis Prager explodes that myth by stating the obvious.
          If the Soviet Union was atheist against all religions, why then were Christians in America only worried about Jews?
          In fact, the Jews already had it much better in the Soviet Union.
          Try to imagine a Christian religious leader, of the age to fight in the Vietnam War, traveling to the Soviet Union during the Vietnam War era bringing in Christian crosses and Bibles and asking Soviet leaders to let Christians out of the Soviet Union.

          Why Christians don’t help….Christians

          by Dennis Prager
          In 1969, at the age of 21, I was sent to the Soviet Union. I was a young American Jew who spoke Hebrew and Russian and who practiced Judaism. My task was to bring Jewish religious items into the Soviet Union and the names of Jews who wished to leave the Soviet Union out of that country. Upon returning to the United States, I became the national spokesman for the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, one of the most effective organizations for Soviet Jews in the world.
          Over time, the plight of the Soviet Jews awakened me to the plight of all Soviet dissidents, whether secular ones – such as that great man, the physicist Andrei Sakharov – or Christian.
          The latter were particularly persecuted. Though my work was with Soviet Jewry, I had no trouble acknowledging that Soviet Christians often had it worse. Few Soviet Jews were killed or locked away in dungeon-like conditions by the Soviet authorities, but Soviet Christians were.
          At some point in my early years, it dawned on me that I had not seen a single church with a “Save Soviet Christians” sign. Even more amazingly, I encountered Christian clergy – Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox – at every one of the scores of Soviet Jewry rallies at which I spoke. But while these wonderful Christians were outspoken on behalf of Soviet Jews, they were nearly all silent regarding – or even simply ignorant of – the dire plight of Soviet Christians.

  • patriotusa2

    I am very saddened by the actions of our military toward Christians. Obama’s blatant hatred for Christianity, especially Catholicism and all those who preach it, is having an adverse effect everywhere. Religion in general is being attacked and the homosexual agenda is taking priority. Obama certainly has made a big impact on this country and I’m sure all those in Hell are rejoicing! Hopefully, Old Scratch will come to claim him soon.

    • Walt

      Not soon enough as far as I am concerned.

      • patriotusa2

        Yeah, Obama’s commander-in-chief can’t come soon enough for me either.

  • OldmanRick

    Where are the bishops and cardinals on this travesty? They should be condemning this action by the government. It’s a violation of religious freedoms.

  • Brenda

    Why not obama, after all, it was his order that the military were following.

  • jayleigh

    The right to practice our religion is a Constitutional right – FREEDOM OF Religion is a constitutional guarantee, so to abridge the right of people to engage in the practice of their religion is illegal, as well as an outrage and an egregious over-reach on the part of the POTUS (How many illegal activities has the POTUS engaged in, not counting the huge, flaming evils such as Benghazi, et al)!!

  • Diane Ringen

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was one of the few pastors in Germany, who stood in opposition to the national church that supported Hitler. Regardless of personal cost and danger, Dietrich stood in courageous opposition to the Fuhrer and his policies. He was clear in his convictions, and while humble-minded, saw the truth and spoke it with complete absence of fear. He would lose his life in an extermination camp just 3 weeks before American forces liberated that camp. God raises up fearless men and women who fearlessly face down evil. I will strive to be one of those women. This complete story is found in God’s guest list by Debbie Macomber.

  • Washington22

    The first thing that comes to me is that it doesn’t matter if the next church is 16 miles away and that some don’t have cars…………so what? The fact is that the order infringes on their right to worship with their priest or pastor and is nonsense………….Obama is stepping over the Constitution’s red line……..he is such a pig. Are there any being kept for mosques?


    Don’t forget that Obama targeted the Catholic Church saying it was a hate group…

    • frank jackson

      It is a hate group. We hate him. Born a Catholic and will die a Catholic.

  • JohnC3Freeport

    If I was still in the Military, I would organize a mutiny! Every day, under obama this Country is looking more like Red China. People, we have to take our Country back now. Time is running out.

  • James Maxwell

    The government does not call Priest to join the Priesthood and preach the
    word of GOD. That calling comes from a much higher source.than some
    fool in the hate house or some genius with stars on his shoulder. By the
    same token Priest have gone with the military into battle for hundreds of
    years and given aid and comfort to our troops and the enemy as well as
    they lay dying on the battle field. Some have lost their lives doing so
    to provide comfort to the troops. I am not Catholic but when I was overseas
    and a person of my faith was not available I had consoled with a Priest
    and felt better afterwards for his counsel. To deny our troops that
    spiritual comfort is criminal at best and shows the spite spewing forth
    from the hate house. Meanwhile he and congress continue to live high
    on the hog enjoying the protection they are provided by the United States

  • f8tule

    Are we ready yet?? has it been enough yet??

  • cae973

    The object of this administration is to do away with christianity because socialism cannot flourish with a moral people!

  • Walt

    I am glad to see someone fighting back. I would wish you good luck but the Lord is on your side.

  • mogul264

    An old adage applies concerning zerobama’s faith, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, guess what? IT’S A DUCK!” With nearly every demonstration of, or mention of faith by Obama, Islam fits better than ANY other religion! Recall his inauguration was upon the Qu’ran, not the Bible!

    Since Islam demands obedience to ITS tenets over ANY other source, INCLUDING ANY GOVERNMENT, this would mean, assuming he IS Muslim, that his oath of office of President is NULL and VOID! Also, Islam allows a Muslim to lie to kaffir (infidels or non-believers) without penalty, if it benefits Islam!

    More quacking?

  • John1943

    I am an atheist, but I also believe in the freedom of others to practice their religion and furthermore I think it is essential that our soldiers and other military personnel, their families and others have access and availability to whatever religious advice and services they wish to partake in.

    Obama, following closely in the steps of the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Pot Pol, Ho Chee Min, Chairman Mao etc, is determined to stamp out all religion. So much for the oath he took on the Bible on taking his office.

    Disgusting. But too many people (some non-citizens, some imaginary, some dead and some more than once) believed in “Hope and Change” without realizing what they were unleashing.

  • HCUA

    Dave Jolly, the author of this article, does not have proof that the usurper is a Muslim. He must be deaf and blind not to know the truth. Quit beating around the bush.
    Like mogul264 says below, it’s a duck.

  • helm20558

    Good Luck and God Spead on the litigation.

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