Government shutdown halts Catholic Mass at Ga. naval base

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 8:26 AM
Last updated 8:15 PM
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ST. MARYS, Ga. -- Bloggers and congressmen are flogging Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, accusing it of shutting down Catholic services.

Kings Bay spokesman Scott Bassett acknowledged that Catholic Mass is not being offered on base, but said nearby Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in St. Marys has added a Sunday service for base personnel and families.

The problem is that the Rev. Ray Leonard was to have begun working under contract as the base Catholic priest on Oct. 1, the day all new contracts were put on hold by the government shutdown, Bassett said.

Federal law does not allow him to volunteer his services, Bassett said.

“Contractors can’t volunteer to do their jobs because that’s a gift. The federal government can’t accept gifts,” Bassett said.

Some have accused the base of discrimination against Catholics by allowing Protestant services to continue.

The Protestant services are being conducted by active-duty Navy chaplains, Bassett said. Unlike civilian contract workers, members of the military on active duty are not affected by the shutdown, he said. Some civilian administrative workers who were to have gone to work Oct. 1 are also on hold, Bassett said.

The criticism has been somewhat overblown, Bassett said.

“Our chapel is not closed. We didn’t chain up the door,” Bassett said. “We want the Father to come to work. It wasn’t at our level it was turned off.”

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Little Lamb
40104
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Little Lamb 10/12/13 - 08:33 am
4
3

President

Obama has never shown respect to the Catholic faith.

soapy_725
43306
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soapy_725 10/12/13 - 08:36 am
1
0

Tell us the truth about "God-less" religion in the new military.

Unpublished

Tell us the truth about the "chaplain corps". No Jesus. No Salvation. Only suedo psychology.

soapy_725
43306
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soapy_725 10/12/13 - 09:45 am
1
0

I thought the government wanted God out of their business?

Unpublished

I thought the government wanted God out of their business?

grouse
1580
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grouse 10/12/13 - 01:08 pm
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Little Lamb: it's the

Unpublished

Little Lamb: it's the Republicans who shut down the government...technically, he hasn't vetoed anything. It's never made it to his desk.

rational thought trumps emotion
2313
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rational thought trumps emotion 10/12/13 - 02:48 pm
7
2

Federal law does not allow him to volunteer his services...

We pay people to be furloughed and stay at home and those who wish to work for free are prohibited by law. This is not the same USA where I was born. There really are no words to describe how ridiculous our federal government has become.

myfather15
42140
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myfather15 10/12/13 - 03:38 pm
5
2

You have absolutely got to be

You have absolutely got to be kidding me!! I'm so frustrated with this government, I just don't really have any more to say!!

fedex227
8456
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fedex227 10/12/13 - 05:50 pm
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3

Sorry,

"This is not the same USA where I was born. There really are no words to describe how ridiculous our federal government has become."

Actually it is the same USA where you were born, you just forgot to pay attention and get involved. Complacency is no excuse.

KSL
105704
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KSL 10/12/13 - 06:52 pm
2
2

And the first dog walker

And the first dog walker marches on. And vacations.

corgimom
19208
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corgimom 10/12/13 - 06:52 pm
3
0

We are a nation of law. And

We are a nation of law. And there are too many people that are all rah-rah-rah when they don't like laws being broken, but then turn around and when it suits them, expect the government to break the law.

If there was a Catholic chaplain that was active-duty, there wouldn't be a problem. People don't get to change the laws to suit themselves.

Because that's just not Christian.

But perhaps people should be questioning why the base has to hire a Catholic priest in the first place. Hire a priest? Really?

nocnoc
30764
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nocnoc 10/13/13 - 07:40 am
1
0

Way to much Government in our lives.

When a Man of GOD cannot donate his services to speak of GOD.

myfather15
42140
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myfather15 10/14/13 - 05:52 am
0
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When ANY person can't

When ANY person can't volunteer their time to help, that is absurd!!! Whether it's a chaplain or the guy wanting to cut the grass at the Lincoln Memorial!! What has happened to this Country when men and women can't volunteer their services? I understand federal employees not being allowed to volunteer their services; that is a conflict of interest. I could easily see problems down the road from employees being allowed to volunteer. But not private citizens for petes sake!! Stop with all this ridiculous federal regulation!!

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