Yes, the #Shutdown does impact chaplains, however…

During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.

via Shutdown Impacts Chapel Services.

This is from an op-ed. Not an actual news story, and yet many are stating an opinion piece as fact.

What the op-ed fails to tell you is how these contracted chaplains are different than those already in service — as in what laws they fall under. Under an 1870 federal law, if you can be arrested for indebting the U.S. Government if you are not authorized to do so. Without a budget, there is not monetary authorization.

Note, these chaplains are contracted out — paid money for services rendered. If money is not authorized, then contracts are null.

However, they can volunteer. Imagine that — religious leaders doing things for free…

Not, Imans and Rabbis who are under contract, clericals, website designers and ANYONE who does work under the shutdown the Government has to pay for that is not deemed essential could be arrested.


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6 Replies to “Yes, the #Shutdown does impact chaplains, however…”

  1. The article claims that the contract priests are not even allowed to volunteer. So why do you suggest that volunteering is a good idea?

    I’m also not sure how you claim that “the op-ed fails to tell you is that these chaplains are contracted” when “contractor” or “contract priest” appears in almost every paragraph…?

      1. Well, sure, most of them can hold services at their home parishes, if a “home parish” exists. But that’s the same as “no chapel services on base,” which was the point of the article.

        1. Don,

          That’s not really the point of the original op-ed, now is it? The original point is to fuzzy the line up a bit, to try to get people to believe priests will be arrested if they perform Mass. This article doesn’t include that reference to the 19th century law, or the fact Mass can be held off bass on a volunteer basis.

          The same ‘threat’ of arrest applies to all contracts and even federal workers who use their blackberries during the shutdown.

          1. I would say yes, it’s exactly the point of the article, and a paraphrase of the first paragraph. The article does deal with off-base services, in the sense that it is not always an option.

            To give you a concrete example, at the submarine base in Connecticut, Wednesday and Sunday night Mass is cancelled, and the Chaplain’s Office is handling Sunday morning Mass.

            If the article is leaving anything out, it’s the worldwide shortage of not just chaplains but priests in general. That’s the underlying cause, but kind of beyond the scope of the article.

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