UPDATED: House of Representatives Votes 400-1 to Allow Contract Priests to Celebrate Mass

Just as I was finishing up my last post, I got word of a very positive development: House Members will vote today to allow GS or contract priests to celebrate Mass on military bases this weekend.



From the Daily Caller:

One Republican lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee told The Daily Caller on Friday that this “crosses a constitutional line.”

“The constitutional rights of those who put their lives on the line for this nation do not end with a government slowdown,” Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran, said in a Friday statement. ”It is completely irresponsible for the president to turn his back on every American’s First Amendment rights by furloughing military contract clergy.”

Added Pompeo: “The President’s strategy during the slowdown, just as during the sequestration, is to create as much pain as possible. However, this action crosses a constitutional line of obstructing every U.S. service member’s ability to practice his or her religion.”

Senator Ted Cruz tweeted his own thoughts:



This is fantastic news. I am certain it will get bipartisan support in the House. Assuming it has to go to the Senate next, I can only hope that the Democrats’ position of “we will not negotiate” can find an exception here.

I honestly don’t believe this would be possible if all of the CatholicVote.org readers had not shared this story. Over 160K pageviews on the story and over 60K shares on Facebook is no small thing. You got the word out, and your representatives are listening. Thank you for proving the power of the voice of the American people and standing up for your religious liberty.

UPDATE: 10/5/2013 @5:15PM

The House of Representatives voted 400 to 1 today to reinstate furloughed chaplains on a volunteer basis. The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia (R) who serves as a U.S. Air Force Reserve chaplain. No word yet on when this hits the Senate for a vote.


Categories:Breaking News Church News Religious Liberty

  • DoubtingThomas

    It’s okay, Steven.

    I posted this and so did a bunch of my Catholic friends, and I had to deal with a particularly vociferous liberal self-identified Catholic who kept ranting about this was “no big deal.” He was especially incensed about your Benghazi reference…

  • Eleanor

    Linda Daily, butt out. If you want to be a part of an organization join. If you just want to accuse someone of something we know for whom you are working. His very name means ‘accuser’. I have to give Steve accolades. He put up with your ugly attitude much longer and more kindly/patiently than I would have. Way to Christian, Steve!

    • linda daily

      How can I but out if I don’t know what it means to be in? Is it a secret society?

  • Linda Smith

    To Linda Dailey, This is a true story; I have confirmation from a Protestant Army Chaplain who replied to my inquiry about this issue,: “Here is the deal. They cannot come to work during the shutdown due to contracts. This applies to every contract; has nothing do with the fact they are Catholic. Performing mass is part of their contract and a sign they are working. If they work they have to be paid. It is complex. During the shutdown there is no Awanas, Children Church or Club Beyond (Youth Group).”

    • linda daily

      Thanks Linda. My understanding is that the House passed a measure to allow contracted chaplains to perform religious services during the shutdown. Pass 400 to 1, good news.

  • http://www.thecatholicbeat.com Gail Finke

    Ha ha, Linda Daily’s post is hilarious! Thanks, CatholicVote, for pointing this whole thing out. I don’ t think it ever had anything to do with repressing religious rights on purpose, but that is how the laws involved worked out in practice, and the right thing to do is change the law immediately. I do think CV got a bit hysterical about it but HARDLY “created a non-existent threat.” The threat existed all right.

    • linda daily

      Why is the post hilarious? You’ve admitted yourself that the claim that priests face arrest is a stretch. Why create conflict where none exists? Do you truly believe that any priest would have been arrested under these circumstances? This type of rhetoric truly damages the Body of Christ. There more charitable ways to express concerns than hyperbole.

      • eric

        Linda, I’m confident that the Pope would agree with you. Based on his recent statements, I’d love to know what the Pope would think of a Catholic PAC site.

        • Julie T.

          Eric, have you forgotten that just recently Pope Francis urged Catholics to get involved in politics?

  • Mr. Paul

    LOL… Linda.

  • linda daily

    Utterly irresponsible to create a nonexistent threat then claim to have defeated it. Who are you, who is on your governing board? How are you funds used?

    • Steve Skojec

      You should really ask nicely.

      • linda daily

        Please disclose the names of your governing board, sponsors, and information about how donations are used. Thank you.

        • Steve Skojec

          Thanks, Linda. I feel like a human being now.

          I’m an independent contractor. My board of directors is my wife. She runs a tight ship.

          As for Catholicvote? They have a page dedicated to information about the organization here:


          • linda daily

            I’ve already read your about us page. I don’t doubt at all the you and your wife are responsible managers or faithful Catholics. I’m asking for more information about your PAC, who provides governance, how you use donations. Who is guiding your ship?

          • Steve Skojec

            Are we going to compare Catholic pedigrees now? That could get interesting. What shall we use for our data points? Do you add or take away points for being faithful to Catholic teaching?

            Your question is for the editorial staff, not for me. As I said, I am an independent contractor who writes for the organization on an ad-hoc basis, and I have quite a bit of latitude in choosing my topics. This story was mine and mine alone. For what it’s worth, I heard about it first on a mainstream, major media news outlet here in the DC area (WTOP) and chose to pursue it. Perhaps you should also contact them to ask about why they would make it up.

            If you really need to get to the bottom of some mystery, there’s contact information on that page. Why not use it?

          • linda daily

            No points involved, just noting that I’m not questioning you, your wife, your faith or integrity. I am a Roman Catholic and often wonder how organizations that affiliate by name with the Church are governed. I didn’t realize that you were independent of Catholic Vote’ s editorial policy and will contact the editors directly. Thank you for responding.

        • Jose

          what do you mean non-existent threat? all of that is actually happening right now. the house and Senate are really voting because clergy would have faced arrest for performing any of their duties. I hope t the couple that was going to be married today can still still have it presided over by their contract priest.

          • Steve Skojec

            Sometimes I think “non-existent” means “politically inconvenient.” But maybe that’s just me.

          • linda daily

            Okay, I take back my nonexistent and give you instead hyperbolic. Peace.



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