Archbishop Timothy Broglio doesn’t have many friends these days, or at least not many vocal ones.
As the Archbishop of the Military Services, Abp. Broglio has been waging a one-man battle against the efforts to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).
For this impudence, he has been labelled “an embarrassment” by Michael Winters at NCReporter. Others have said his arguments for continuing the DADT policy “wouldn’t get a passing grade in a moral reasoning midterm.” Just this week, Eugene McMullan wrote, “Someone should remind [Archbishop] Broglio that Catholic chaplains in the armed forces answer to the president, not the prelate.” And that’s only the “nice” criticisms.
In other words, in the eyes of many, Archbishop Broglio is an embarrassing, bigoted, stupid prelate who is fomenting dissent in the ranks.
Reading the Archbishop, however, that’s not what I see. Rather, I see a man who cares deeply about the Catholic chaplains and Catholic soldiers entrusted to his care. I see someone who refuses to turn his back on the teachings of Christ and his Church, however unpopular those teachings may be.
The Archdiocese for Military Services is already under duress. While Catholics represent a disproportionate percentage of those who serve in the military, the number of Catholic chaplains is disproportionately small. This November Abp. Broglio had to plea with the US Bishops to release more priests for service as military chaplains.
I believe that if DADT is repealed, it will become even more difficult for Catholic priests to serve our armed forces. During the course of the congressional and national debate over repealing DADT, these concerns have been completely dismissed by the other side. Frankly, the attitude I have encountered is one of, “So if we repeal DADT the priests will want to leave? Fine, good riddance.”
The Democrats have been attempting to repeal DADT for a long time, and this week, with literally days to go before the end of the year, they may succeed. The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the question of whether to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as early as today. It is expected to pass by a slim margin. That’s some present to our Catholic chaplains serving in the military, especially the ones overseas: a potent reminder from the ruling class in Washington DC that their beliefs and concerns don’t matter.
Please call your Senators’ office today and ask that they Vote NO on repealing DADT.
And please say a prayer for Archbishop Broglio, for our Catholic chaplains, and for our brave Catholic men and women who have answered the call to serve our country.