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October 15, 2013

Shutdown Locks Up Eucharist

Priest files suit against DoD over offense.

Father Ray Leonard, who serves as the Catholic chaplain at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia, filed suit against the Obama Department of Defense after he and 50 Catholic priests were locked out of saying Mass at U.S. military installations during the government shutdown. This happened despite a new law providing for DoD contractors in support rolls to remain on the job. According to the lawsuit, “The doors to the Kings Bay Chapel were locked on October 4, 2013, with the Holy Eucharist, Holy water, Catholic hymn books, and vessels all locked inside.” Because Catholics believe that the elements are literally the body and blood of Jesus Christ, this would be a problem. But what’s religious freedom when political points are to be won?

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