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Priests who are contracted out to minister to the lay faithful may be arrested if they minister to Catholics in the military during the government shutdown.   Even if a priest volunteers he may be arrested. So if they practice their faith priests could be arrested.  Why the heck should a government shutdown determine whether a priest can say Mass, pray, do weddings and funerals, and hear confessions?  This is clearly a violation of the First Amendment. 

This was brought to my attention by Maggie’s Notebook yesterday.  This is from Maggie’s Notebook: 

Obama still has 129 staffers working directly for him during the shutdown. Biden has 12. Most don’t know how to do the lesser jobs that need doing – like send a news release! And that’s okay, but when it comes to the spiritual needs of our troops, contracted priests have been threatened with arrest if they voluntarily (unpaid) tend to the troop’s spiritual needs. Some Priests are “contracted” due to a “lack” of active-duty Catholic priests, so there is likely a shortage of Protestant pastors as well, although I can’t confirm it. Shutting down the Washington Mall Memorials and Monuments, which can cost nothing to keep open if done properly: post a few signs saying there is no security, you are responsible for your own safety, and ‘hey, please take your trash with you,’ could work. Just as Obama refused to divert funding to the Military during sequester, the goal seems to make those who give the most for their country, the least.

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“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.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.” Read more at The Daily Caller

 

While it is not concrete that the priests will be arrested for practicing their faith the fact that it is a possibility really irks me.

From The Blaze: 

The arrest claim is a bold one — but is it true? Recently, Politico did report that furloughed federal workers could be fired for using their BlackBerry phones during the shutdown. One warning noted that there could be penalties for conducting any work outside of the office during this time.

“Due to legal requirements, working in any way during a period of furlough (even as a volunteer) is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment,”read a recent letter from the House Administration Committee to nonessential employees. “To avoid violating this prohibition, we strongly recommend that you turn your BlackBerrys off for the duration of the furlough.”

Technically, this would translate over to faith leaders as well. As for events that might be scheduled on military bases — baptisms, weddings, etc. — unless a priest who is not contracted is found, Schlageter said that the event would potentially have to be canceled.

From CatholicVote: 

Our government is out of control.

First, it was the World War II veterans who had to break down barriers to see the open air, un-attended memorial erected in their honor.  A memorial which is on public land but is supported – including the National Park Service fee – with private funds. This week there was more security surrounding this memorial — just to keep elderly veterans out — than there was at our embassy in Benghazi the night it was attacked.

And for what? To inflict as much pain as possible through this government shutdown. It’s called Washington Monument Syndrome, and it’s pure political theater.

But now there’s a story just coming to light that takes things even further. According the Archdiocese for Military Services, GS and contract priests (who are paid by the federal government as independent contractors in places where there aren’t enough active-duty priests to meet the needs of Catholics in military service) are being forbidden from celebrating Mass, even on a volunteer basis.

If they violate this restriction, they face possible arrest. FOR CELEBRATING MASS. 

This shutdown impacts Catholics in the military worldwide. In the DC-metro area, it specifically impacts bases like Quantico. On the Facebook page for the Archdiocese, Catholic military members commenting on the story are not happy. Comments include:

“This is outrageous!!! Especially threatening them with arrest to voluntarily do their job.”

“Unbelievable! I was worried about this because our priest is contracted as well. It is bad enough to be furloughed but to not have a Mass to attend, is a real downer,”

“Just one example, a couple is getting married tomorrow at a large Air Force Base that is staffed by a Contract priest. That priest did all of their marriage prep, and has gotten to know the couple very well over the past few months. But with the shutdown, he cannot perform their wedding. Instead of the priest that the couple has come to know and love, an active duty priest has to be sent in to perform the wedding of two people who are strangers to him and he to them.”

” Is anyone up there going to start a protest?! A rosary ?!?!? A nice Catholic riot maybe?! PLEEEAAASSEEE?! SOMEONE?! ANYONE?! Any real Carholics out there?!!!!???!”

This is outrageous. It is a violation of the First Amendment. It is a prohibition of the free exercise of religion to order priests under penalty of arrest that they cannot volunteer their time to offer Mass to the faithful on base. This cannot be allowed to stand.

CatholicVote has a couple updates on this unconscionable situation.  Our government is indeed out of control. 

 

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I attended classes at Franciscan University and earned my associates degree from there. I spent a couple of summers there and thoroughly enjoyed attending the conferences. There are conferences for adults and teenagers. If you haven’t attended at least one conference I highly recommend you attend one. The atmosphere is amazing. Something I will never forget. Franciscan University helped me to become closer to God. Here are the different conferences: Defending the Faith,Summer Youth, Catholic Charismatic, Applied Biblical Studies, Priests Deacons and Seminarians, and St. John Bosco. Here is the site that has information on the various conferences — http://www.franciscanconferences.com/. I truly believe that Franciscan University is a special place. The video is of Life On The Rock spending a weekend at a Franciscan University Youth Conference.

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H/T Word On Fire

 

 

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This video has become an online hit – 300,000 hits in about a week. Samuel wears priestly garments as he ‘celebrates Mass.  He is adorable!! It is totally awesome to see the tremendous faith of this little one. Samuel lives in Colombia. He is an orphan who lives with his grandmother and an aunt.

From CNA:

His relatives told reporters that last Christmas, Jaramillo did not ask for toys like most kids his age. Instead, he wanted “priest’s clothes” and the objects necessary to “celebrate” Mass.

He has learned to recite the Mass from memory with the corresponding pauses, intonations and gestures of an experienced priest.

In a reflection published by El Colombiano, Father Daniel Monsalve noted Jaramillo’s “passion for what he says and the tenderness that inspires him” in the videos.

“Amid a changing world that is at times indifferent to religious matters, this child appears as a testimony of love for God and fascination for sacred celebrations, most certainly fostered by those who care for him and by the priest of his parish,” Fr. Monsalve wrote.

Cases like that of Jaramillo “should not only awaken religious fervor but also serve as an example for the promotion of priestly and religious vocations, supported always by the encouragement of parishes, seminaries and houses of formation,” he added.

Jaramillo’s aunt, Elizabeth Rojas Arango, said, “This isn’t something we taught him, and we don’t even attend church,” but Jaramillo goes to Mass every Sunday and on Tuesdays with his grandmother, Rosa Eva Arango. CONTINUED

H/T Jean’s Bistro2010’s Blog 

Matthew 18:3 

And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

 

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It wasn’t reported until recently, but about a month ago Muslims attacked Christians at St. Mark Cathedral in Egypt after a funeral Mass.  How dare Muslims show such utter disrespect during a most Holy occasion as a funeral Mass. The persecution and slaying of Christians breaks my heart.  The worldwide Islamization and the intolerance, persecution, and killing of people who believe in other faiths by Muslims has got to stop.  And Western governments thought Mubarek was bad?  Now there is a president in Egypt, Morsi, who is apart of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The attacks have progressively gotten worse. The U.S. government needs to stop giving Egypt aid of any kind, especially money.  The West should not have messed in the internal affairs of Egypt’s government because now we have a much bigger mess on our hands.  My prayers go out to all the Christians’ safety as they struggle while living in a hostile environment.

ChristianPost:

Coptic Christians attending a funeral service Sunday for four Copts killed two days earlier in an anti-Christian rampage were in turn attacked themselves by at least 200 Muslim rioters.

The incident, which started with a few dozen men pelting the mourners with stones, quickly escalated into a massive attack against Christians at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia area of Cairo involving firearms, flash-bang grenades, tear gas, fire bombs and other improvised weapons, besides cars set ablaze.

A Morning Star News reporter observed that police took more than an hour to respond, and when they arrived, they did nothing to stop the attack. Instead, most stood and watched men throw rocks at the Christians gathered at the gates of the cathedral compound or hurl stones over walls at the Christians trapped inside.

 

From the Catholic Herald:

Hundreds of Egyptian Christians were besieged inside Cairo’s Coptic cathedral last night after a mob, reportedly with the help of security forces, launched an attack on worshippers.

One person died and 84 were injured during the attack, which began after a funeral mass for five Copts who were killed in sectarian violence on Saturday, in which a Muslim man also died.

Wael Eskandar, an Egyptian blogger at the funeral, said he saw people being showered with broken bottles from the roof of a block of flats. After being attacked, he said, the people “started racing out of the side street and destroying the nearby cars”.

 

Here is another video which shows Christians being attacked as police stand by.

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From CNA:

In his homily following a July 20 mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila reminded a crowd of faithful that though there is evil in the world, there is also mercy.

“Sin, evil and death do not have the last word,” he said, citing Jesus’ victory over death through his resurrection.

The Mass was held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church – just blocks from Century 16 Theatre – where 12 people were killed and at least 59 were injured when a gunman opened fire at a midnight showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”

The newly-installed archbishop warned Catholics against responding to the violence with vengeance.

“That is not the way of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We must be peacemakers. We are called to love as Christ loved and commit ourselves to peace.”

Parishioner Juliet Younger said her daughter Jo Ann spent the hours leading up to the Mass at University Hospital in Denver where five of her friends are being treated for injuries. Jo Ann said one of them remains in critical condition.

They said they came to the Mass to find peace.

“And hopefully understand ‘why,’” Juliet said, with tears in her eyes. “I don’t understand this. Why go there and kill those people? Why?”

The archbishop said people like the Youngers can take hope from the fact that God is present in their suffering.

“What occurred … was an encounter with evil, and encounter with violence,” he said. “Certainly the love of the Father is stronger than the bullets that killed 12 and wounded (many more).”

Nearly two dozen priests concelebrated the Mass with the archbishop.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. 

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