Obama’s Shutdown: ‘No Catholic Mass’

| 10-10-AD2013 | [18]

Mary Rice Hasson - Obama Shut Down Mass

When Fr. Ray Leonard arrived to say Sunday Mass at the base chapel on Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base he got an unwelcome surprise: the doors were locked. Signs on the door sent a clear message to Catholic military personnel and their families: “Shutdown: No Catholic service till further notice.”

Fr. Leonard, who spent ten years in China and experienced that government’s hostility towards religion, sees troubling parallels. “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’…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.”

According to a press release from the Congressional office of Kansas Representative Tim Huelskamp, Fr. Leonard came as a volunteer, for one simple purpose: to serve his flock.

But the Emperor in the White House said no. It didn’t matter that Fr. Leonard’s presence wouldn’t cost the military one dime.

President Obama has his priorities—and religious freedom isn’t one of them.

Consider how the First Amendment is being sliced and diced during the shutdown. Catholics are not allowed to attend Sunday Mass, in their own Church with their own volunteer-priest, on a military base, because of the shutdown. (It’s only freedom of religion, after all.) But liberals are allowed to rally for immigration reform on the otherwise-closed National Mall, in spite of the shutdown. (It’s freedom of speech, after all!) When Park Service spokesman Michael Litterst explained that “groups will be granted access to the park for First Amendment activities,” what he really meant was that, for the Obama Administration, the ‘First Amendment’ means ‘free speech and assembly,’ but not ‘freedom of religion.’

Consider also President Obama’s near-silence on international issues of religious freedom. In his recent speech to the United Nations, President Obama criticized Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi for failing to govern in a “fully inclusive” manner, and urged him to recognize that “true democracy” requires “respect for minority rights and the rule of law, freedom of speech and assembly, and a strong civil society.”

He left out religious freedom.

It’s hard to believe that the omission was accidental. Egypt’s Coptic Christians can testify that the United States’ indifference to the plight of Egypt’s Christians has meant that religious persecution is “tolerated and even encouraged” by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood— with devastating results.

As I’ve written elsewhere, President Obama habitually gives short shrift to religious freedom, filing it away as an occasional subset of “minority rights” or “freedom of speech,” unless it proves useful to progressives’ social justice campaigns to fire up some old time ‘religion.’

But religion for its own sake? Bah. Who needs it? Certainly not Catholic soldiers and their families.

Only a few short weeks ago, the White House touted its support for religious liberty, in response to a petition seeking protection for non-believers serving in the military: “The Obama Administration strongly supports every American’s right to religious freedom.  This support extends equally both to the many members of our armed forces who hold religious beliefs and to those members of the military who do not hold such beliefs.”

Funny.  That statement can’t be accessed at the White House right now, due to the shutdown.

Maybe they forgot what it said.

 

About the Author:

Mary Rice Hasson is a Fellow in EPPC's Catholic Studies program. Mrs. Hasson is currently working on a book that offers new data on and explores the views of Catholic women on sexual morality and reproduction and on the Catholic Church's teachings on those topics. She recently co-authored an article on media ratings in the June 2011 issue of the professional journal Pediatrics. She writes commentary for the Catholic News Agency, which also distributes her columns to diocesan newspapers throughout the United States. She also writes from a natural law perspective for the international human rights website, MercatorNet.com, and for a variety of Catholic parenting websites. She blogs at Words from Cana. The mother of seven, Mrs. Hasson previously co-authored with Kimberly Hahn the leading book on Catholic homeschooling, Catholic Education Homeward Bound (Ignatius, 1995). She has spoken at numerous family conferences over the past 15 years, and has appeared on CNN, EWTN, and numerous local radio shows. A lawyer and member of the D.C. and Indiana bars, Mrs. Hasson graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1984 and from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, with a BA in Government.
Politics, Law Filed in: Faith, Law, Politics
×
  • Phil Dzialo

    Just wondering if the US Conference of Bishops are not a bit complicit in the Federal Government shutdown and it’s ramifications especially on the poor?

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/10/08/catholic-bishops-letter-birth-control/

  • cminca

    Can you explain to me why, when I read these sites, Russians legally persecuting gays is absolutely fine because they are “a sovereign nation”, but Egyptians legally persecuting Christians is something that you all feel the President needs to get involved in?

    • Ronky

      “Russians legally persecuting gays” is a total media beat-up. Russia is doing no such thing. In common with MOST countries of the world, Russia does not permit the wholesale public PROMOTION of sodomy as a lifestyle. (And unlike in most countries, sodomy itslef is not actually illegal in Russia>)

  • james

    And were not the other religious services also shut down ? Or just Catholic ?

    • Ronky

      Perhaps, but I haven’t yet heard them complain. Probably because their chaplains regarded it as a welcome surprise holiday. On the contrary, Catholics are OBLIGED by the laws of their Church to attend Mass EVERY Sunday. This action of the US Government is actually forcing Catholics to disobey their Church’s law.

    • james

      ” Probably because their chaplains regarded it as a welcome surprise holiday.”
      Sounds like something a Pharisee would say – we are not like thee..

    • Judith77

      Many other denominations do not require to keep the Sabbath, I’m sure there has to be frustration when other denomination chaplains do not step up and defend this persecuting action. They will have to receive Christ in the Eucharist clandestinely. Remind you of another period in history?

    • Ronky

      Actually your nitpicking comment sounds like something a Pharisee would say. I certainly didn’t say that Catholics are better people than non-Catholics. But it is foolish to deny that they have different religious laws, customs and beliefs.

    • James Hendrixs

      The GOP caused the shutdown! Blaming Obama for the actions of his enemies is as dishonest as it gets! Its like blaming the sun for the moonrise!

  • nannon31

    Mrs. Hasson, check the Wall Street Journal poll. 70% of the US thinks Republicans are putting politics ahead of the good of the country. Obama is awful in many areas but the shutdown belongs to the tea party which failed to repeal Obamacare so they are using defunding like a sore loser. It threatens to make the US …a government that can be shut down at every budget time by radicals of both parties and eventually at the service of ideas that would make you cringe.
    The tea party closed the room for Mass ( it involves air conditioning) and opened the National Mall
    ( no air conditioning bill). There’s an 8th commandment that forbids our bearing false witness even against Obama, Hitler, Bin Laden,….etc.

  • Brian
  • Name

    The congressman’s press release is a bit disingenuous. A faction in Congress is responsible for the shutdown. The president has repeatedly tried to speak with the Speaker who isn’t speaking. Spin doctors, especially disingenuous ones, aren’t helping matters much.

  • JohnRCMH

    how about a simple solution – open the government and pay the contract priests so they can say Mass. It’s amazing how the group that threatened to shut down the government if their demands weren’t met, then shut down the government, is now complaining that government services such as contract priests aren’t available.

    • nannon31

      A man as intelligent as Fr.Z is directing this Catholic tunnel vision away from the tea party also.
      I believe worse comes to worse, Obama as per the advice of the Brookings Institute will use emergency powers and i think it would be best or we are going to effectively become Italy with governmental breakdowns from here on in.

  • M. Bizzaro

    Are you currently being sent into Hell forever … automatically
    excommunicated (outside) of God’s Catholic Church ?

    Answer: Yes you are … you can reverse it … please continue.

    Council of Florence, Session 8, 22 Nov 1439 — infallible Source of Dogma >
    “Whoever wills to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he
    holds the Catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled,
    without doubt he shall perish eternally.”

    You must believe the Catholic Dogma to be in the Church … Dogma you have *never* seen.

    Site > Immaculata-one.com … infallible Dogma throughout.

    The Catholic Faith *is not* Bible interpretation … it is the Catholic infallible
    Sources of Dogma (of the Pope in union with the Bishops of the world). The
    Catholic Church didn’t even define the Bible’s New Testament Canon until 397
    A.D. at the Council of Carthage.

    - – - -

    Can a group which enforces the opposite, the opposite, and the opposite of the
    Catholic unchangeable Dogma be the Catholic Church?

    No, it cannot possibly be the Catholic Church … and promotion of the opposite of the Catholic Dogma is exactly what the vatican-2 heretic cult does … and has been
    doing since it’s founding on 8 December 1965 at the Vatican.

    The vatican-2 heresy does not have the Office of the Papacy … only the Catholic Church has the Papacy.

    The Dogma cannot “change” or be “reversed” … God does not “change”.

    The founding documents of the vatican-2 heretic cult … the “vatican-2 council” documents … have well over 200 heresies *against* prior defined Dogma. Every (apparent) bishop at the “council” approved the mountain of heresy, which caused their automatic excommunication, see Section 13.2 of the below site.

    - – - -

    Section 12 > Anti-Christ vatican-2 heresies (50 listed) … followed by many Catholic
    corrections.

    Sections 13 and 13.1 > Photographic *proof* of heresy at the Vatican.

    Because of … the Catholic Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy or for physical participation in a heretic cult (such as the v-2 cult) …

    … we were all placed, body and soul, *outside* of Christianity (the Catholic Church) on 8 December 1965 … the close date of the “council”.

    Section 13.2 > Catholic Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy or participating in a heretic cult such as … vatican-2, lutheran, methodist, evangelical, etc.

    Section 107 > St. Athanasius (died 373 A.D.) …
    “Even if the Church were reduced to a handful” … during the “arian” heresy
    … we are there again, but worse.

    Section 13.3 > Matt 16:18, Gates of Hell scripture … is *not* about the Office of
    the Papacy … four Dogmatic Councils defined it … that heresy will not cause
    the Dogma to disappear.

    Section 13.4 > The vatican-2 heretic cult does not have the Office of the Papacy
    only the Catholic Church has the Papacy.

    Section 13.6 > The Catholic Dogma on Jurisdiction and Automatic Excommunication for heresy define that … God has allowed Catholic Jurisdiction … for Mass and
    Confession to disappear from the world. There is no such thing as Catholic Mass
    outside of the Catholic Church.

    Non-Catholic heresies such as “vatican-2”, “sspx”, “sspv”, “cmri”, etc. … do not have
    Catholic Mass.

    Section 19.1 > Dogma on Abjuration for *re-entering* Christianity (the Catholic
    Church) … after being automatically excommunicated. A Formal Abjuration is
    provided here also.

    Section 10.2 > Returning to a state of grace, in places and times when Confession is not available, like now.

    - – - -

    Second Council of Constantinople, 553 A.D. — infallible Source of
    Dogma >
    “The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any
    individual, in reality brings anathema on himself, having cut himself off from
    the way of truth by his heresy.”

    Blessed John Eudes, died 1680 >
    “The greatest evil existing today is heresy, an infernal rage which hurls countless
    souls into eternal damnation.”

    Everything you need to know, believe, and do to get to Heaven > >
    Immaculata-one.com.

    Mike
    Our Lady of Conquest
    Pray for us

    • James Hendrixs

      Your screen name, and your decision to hide behind a cyber-mask only show dishonesty!

  • James Hendrixs

    Blaming the government shutdown on Obama is blatantly dishonest! The author seems constitutionally incapable of conveying information without twisting the facts.