Yes, it’s definitely the government making the distinction. It didn’t start out being a distinction between Protestants and Catholics; it was a distinction between whether the pastors were military personnel or Department of Defense civilians. That part I understand. When they refused to let priests go back to work when the law clearly allows it, it became more of a statement against Catholics. Denying priests the ability to minister voluntarily (and with it, denying Catholics the Sacraments), made it clear. This is denying religious freedom to Catholics.
((Same person from before, but now I’m wondering how it’s an attack on religious freedoms? Protestantism is merely another branch of Christianity as a whole that was brought about by one of the many schisms in the church. The majority of the country is Catholic or another branch of Christianity. Look, the shutdown is affecting everyone, but getting mad over some military bases closing their churches seems kind of conceited.))
It’s good that you keep asking questions. I will try to do a better job of explaining.
First, this isn’t a Protestant vs Catholic thing; it’s the government telling Catholics they can’t practice their faith on some military bases. I can see where I might have been unclear in that. You’re right, we are all Christians. By the way, you are probably aware that many Protestants would say that Catholics are not Christian; I appreciate that you recognize that we are.
I blogged about Catholic rights being violated while Protestant rights are not because this kind of discrimination would not be allowed in other categories, such as gender or race, and it’s very easily fixable in accordance with the laws we have, so it puzzles me. I do understand why Protestants are still being paid and some Priests are not. It’s the rest I struggle with.
You asked how it is a violation of religious freedom. The Constitution of the United States guarantees us the right to practice our religion. In Catholicism, that means access to Mass at least weekly. It means ability to receive other sacraments, like confession and, if necessary, Viaticum. For Catholics, to not be able to access the sacraments when there are priests available and willing is a significant denial of our ability to practice our religion. For a priest to not be able to offer them is to deny him as well. If you read the article I linked to, you would see that the nearest off-base Catholic church in the particular case that was discussed is 16 miles away, and that many of those on base don’t own cars and have no way to get to it.
You mention that the government shutdown affects everyone. It does, in a lot of ways, but it should not affect Constitutional rights. As far as I am aware, nobody else has lost their guaranteed rights.
Remember, too, that there are at least two good reasons that this shouldn’t be this way:
1. The priests are volunteering to minister to their people. Why should they not be allowed to do this on their own time? This isn’t an issue where there isn’t money to pay them.
2. If it was an issue about working, the Pay Our Military Act has sent around 400,000 or so DOD civilians back to work. Since a requirement is that the folks returning to work are those that contribute to the morale and well-being of military personnel, which is something that priests do, there is no reason for them not to return to work. I can tell you that Mass and Confession both make a huge difference to my morale and well-being, as they do with anybody who really cares about their Catholic faith.
So, in a nutshell, Catholics are being deprived of the Sacraments vital to practicing their faith, and priests are being deprived of offering them (at threat of being arrested) for no reason. When priests can’t even go in and minister on their own free time, that’s a violation of religious freedom for them and for their people.
I was sent a message that the reason Catholic priests aren’t allowed to offer religious services is because Protestants “most likely” have a different way of being paid, while Catholics are being paid by the government and are thus not able to work during the government shutdown.
I responded that Catholic priests are not allowed to even volunteer. I need to add a few notes about pay, though.
Military chaplains as a whole, both Catholics and Protestants, are paid by the government. Those who are on active duty right now are still being paid. That’s why Catholic services aren’t being shut down everywhere. Some priests, however, are paid through the Department of Defense as civilians, through the GS system, and it is those priests who are no longer being paid.
Yet many DOD civilians were just called back from furlough through the Pay Our Military Act. This provided provisions to fund employees who contribute to, among other things, morale and well-being of military personnel. This certainly should include Priests.
If there was something like this that affected women and not men, it would be called discrimination and there would be an outrage. People would demand it be rectified. In this case, the solution to allowing Priests to work alongside their Protestant brethren is to just follow what the Pay Our Military Act allows.
At least allow Catholic priests to volunteer their services! This is madness.
There are stories of shutdown of services of several Catholic military chapels. If you read the article at the Thomas More Law Center you will find that it is more than just Mass that is being stopped, and that the office and chapel of a priest was locked and he was not even allowed in to pick up any articles of faith. He was denied access to Eucharist.
He was threatened with arrest if he attempted, even on a voluntary basis, to serve his people.
This is about much more than who is paying who. It is about religious freedom.
All of that makes sense, assuming it’s true that Protestant chaplains don’t rely on military monetary support. (It’s not that I don’t trust what you say, it’s your wording that they “most likely” don’t rely on it.)
What doesn’t make sense is why Catholic chaplains can’t volunteer their services. I do realize that not all are shutting down, but with the ones who have, some priests have actually been threatened with arrest when they wanted to volunteer their services. In other words, no money is at stake.
I don’t understand this.
We’ve all heard the news that Catholic Priests cannot celebrate Mass on base during the Government shutdown. We’ve heard word of priests being threatened with arrests. I hated it, but assumed that if Catholics could not worship, neither could Protestants. According to the Thomas More Law Center, I was being naive.
In the wake of the government shutdown, despite provisions in the Pay Our Military Act, Catholics at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia are being denied religious services. The Catholic priest who serves this community has been prohibited from even volunteering to celebrate Holy Mass without pay, and was told that if he violated that order, he could be subject to arrest. Protestant services continue to take place. Only Catholic services have been shutdown.
I don’t know why this surprises me, but it does.
Some people are more blessed than they will ever deserve to be.
A lot of girls grow up hoping to be mothers one day. I was never one of them. It’s not that I didn’t want kids at all; it’s more like the thought scared me a lot, and I was fine with the idea of not being a mom.
So God decided to bless me with the best! 21 years ago today the sweetest baby girl was born, and she has grown into a woman any mom would be delighted to have for a daughter and a friend. She is crazy about God and His church, she is passionate, she’s a fighter, she’s talented…and she loves deeply. She’s the most trustworthy person I know.
I could say more, but that gives you the general idea!
Happy birthday, my wonderful daughter. You have my love forever.
And dear, dear God…I can never thank You enough!
Yet this is exactly what is happening. If this “contraception mandate” wasn’t about infringing on religious liberty, why are they attaching the requirement to insurance? The government already has programs in place where they provide free contraception to the poor and others without violating anybody’s freedom to practice religion. If it’s so important to offer it everybody, all they have to do is expand those programs.
Instead, they decided to make us choose. Have you ever wondered why? Once they obliterate our First Amendment freedoms, our country is no longer free.
And that day is here.
National Catholic Register: It’s Official: John Paul II and John XXIII to Be Canonized April 27.
The date was chosen because it’s also Divine Mercy Sunday!
Then there’s my daughter’s birthday this year, when Pope Francis is consecrating the world to Mary!
See me smile!!!!
Last night, I was able to get a glimpse at the real world. I was able to see this rape culture that I have always believed existed but never experienced personally.
Last night, I was verbally harassed by a stranger, and I watched as everyone I knew played perfectly into the rape culture handbook.
I know it happens all of the time. Women are constantly cat-called and objectified by strangers, sometimes on a daily basis or even multiple times a day, depending on where they live. I’m the type of woman who rarely goes out alone, and most of my friends are men, so I’m usually with some sort of masculine figure to deter this sort of behavior. The single place in the world that I feel safe going out in any group, or even by myself at night, is my school campus. Last night changed things for me.
This is the kind of thing women are subjected to over and over, and we just tell ourselves it’s no big deal. But it IS a big deal. Read what she says. When it is socially acceptable to treat someone as less than a person, it ultimately affects us all.
Last week, I ordered a bottle of Paul Mitchell Color Care Shampoo through Amazon.com. It ended up going through another company, which I wasn’t expecting. The company was called FragrenceNet.com and I ended up with a handful of free samples that had almost nothing to do with shampoo. Although all of them were terribly irrelevant to my life, I found myself realizing how insulting these items became when they were all put into one box.