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.

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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:

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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.

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Categories:Breaking News Church News Religious Liberty

48 thoughts on “UPDATED: House of Representatives Votes 400-1 to Allow Contract Priests to Celebrate Mass

  1. james roth says:

    Not sure what you are rejoicing about. This is a meaningless resolution that still leaves the final decision up to DoD. Based on your description, one has to wonder if you even read the text of the resolution.

  2. Joe says:

    Catherine – the president is a bully as well as congress playing his game. With all that I have been reading this situation of “contracting with the government for services” is trumping the first amendment of which the president has reinterpreted for his own liking any number of times.

  3. Reggie says:

    The law prohibits them from working b/c they are contractors paid by the government. That is why ALL contractors are furloughed and NONE of them a re allowed to volunteer. Notice, this only effects the non active duty priest. That is because the military is deemed essential so everything for them just goes on. By the way, if they were allowed to volunteer, every one up to the commander of the installation would be open to court marshal. In case you don’t believe, here is a teaser to the story and a link for the full thing:

    Administration officials now live in fear of a 19th-century law that could get them fired, penalized or even imprisoned if they make the wrong choices while the government is shut down.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/143-year-old-law-has-lawmakers-treading-gingerly-during-shutdown-8C11319714

  4. catherine says:

    The President and his administration had nothing to do with stopping this in the first place. Once the government is unfunded, there is a list of people who are furloghed that was developed years ago, long before this administration.
    In addition to which, no one can stop a religious person from the practice of their religion in this country.

  5. Susan Lunardini says:

    Good News! This tactic used by the Administration reminds me of an abusive husband.
    Surely someone has requested last rites or emergency baptism or confession. This is not just a blow to those who receive communion weekly.

    1. another mutant says:

      The “this administration” that you’re talking about was Grover Cleavland. The law in question has been on the books for over a century.

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