Shut Down Theatrics Trample Religious Freedom

Posted: Oct 08, 2013 7:50 PM
Shut Down Theatrics Trample Religious Freedom

The Obama administration actually denied a Catholic priest the right voluntarily to conduct Mass for his parishioners, according to a press release from Congressman Tim Huelskamp's office:

Father Ray Leonard, who serves at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay inGeorgia, was denied access to the King Bays Chapel to celebrate Mass this past weekend. As a priest contracted by the Department of Defense to meet the spiritual needs of hundreds of Catholics on and around the Base, Fr. Leonard was met by locked chapel doors and posted signs: “Shutdown: No Catholic service till further notice.” Even after volunteering his time to celebrate Mass and hear confessions, Father Leonard was still denied access to his parishioners.

“This is our church, Catholics have an expectation and obligation to attend Mass and we were told, ‘no you can’t go to church this week,’” commented Father Leonard. After serving ten years as a teacher in China, he understands firsthand about government attacks on religious liberty: “My parishioners were upset. They were angry and dismayed. They couldn’t believe that in America they’d be denied access to Mass by the government.”

The Conference of Catholic Bishops has previously issued a statement discussing the various ways in which the Obama administration's policies has undermined religious freedom, including its infamous HHS abortifacient mandate and discrimination against Catholic humanitarian services. Sadly, the Obama administration's shut-down theatrics last weekend seem to be one more example.

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