DOJ Targeted Priest After He Sued Over Gov Shutdown Of Religious Services

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Father Leonard   

Last October, the Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in reaction to what they called “an astonishing attack on the religious freedom” of Catholics at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia who were denied access to religious services on the base and whose priest was locked out of his chapel.

Because of the priest shortage on military bases, contract priests are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present.

During the government shutdown – in keeping with the Regime’s efforts to make the shutdown as painful as possible for Americans,  many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide were banned from working –  even volunteering  – despite provisions in the Pay Our Military Act that for provided the funding of employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale and well-being of the military. Reportedly, Protestant services continue to take place and only Catholic services were shutdown.

Father Ray Leonard, the priest in question,  was threatened with arrest if he performed any sacraments during the shutdown. Breitbart News reports that a day after the reverend filed his lawsuit against the Department of Defense, he received a letter from the DOJ reinstating his right to serve Mass, but one week after receiving the letter, he was informed that his DOD contract was no longer valid.

The DOJ offered him a new contract that contained more “onerous” language, stipulating that, in order for the priest to be paid, he agree not to receive payment for services he had already rendered. “No other military chaplain contracts were under review or subjected to the same scrutiny as Father Leonard’s,” according to his lawyer at the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC). Father Leonard had not received any remuneration for November and suffered financial hardship. It is unclear whether he will receive pay for December.

Leonard lives close to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia, where he performs his duties as a priest. He is responsible for paying his own rent and his meals. Erin Mersino, counsel for Father Leonard, explained that “Father Leonard just returned to America after spending ten years ministering to impoverished Tibetans in China. Consequently, withholding Father Leonard’s earnings for approximately two months left Father Leonard himself in an impoverished condition. Yet, he continued to minister to his congregation by scraping up enough money for food and rent payments for housing near the Naval Base which he serves.”

Mersino says the TMLC has filed an amendment to the original law suit including adding the retaliation complaint. “The Petition Clause of the First Amendment protects individuals who challenge the unconstitutional actions of the government from retaliation. The Archdiocese for the Military Services confirmed that no other military chaplain contracts were under review or subjected to the same scrutiny as Father Leonard’s.  Thus, due to the timing of the Navy’s actions and the information gleaned from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, all signs point to Father Leonard being singled out and subjected to unlawful retaliation for bringing the government’s practices to light.”

Father Leonard remarked that, “In China, I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in China. I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community.”

What a sad commentary of the state of religious freedom in America, today.

Previously:

Thomas More Law Center Sues DoD For Shutting Down Catholic Services On Navy Base

Clear and Present Danger: Religious Persecution In The US Military (Video)

Your Sunday Hymn: Dies Irae

Felt like a Gregorian chant, this Sunday…

This is a rendition of the famous 13th century Latin Catholic hymn, “Dies Irae” (or, “Day of Wrath,” about the Second Coming of Christ and Judgment Day). This rendition is off the 1994 CD, “Ego sum Ressurectio,” and is difficult to find.

It’s Hillary’s Turn For The Woodshed On Justice With Jeanine Pirro (Video)

In this week’s opening statement of Justice with  Jeanne Pirro, the Judge took former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton to the woodshed, (and how) calling her conduct in the Benghazi affair, “a gross deviation from the standard of care that any reasonable Secretary of State would observe.”

“You knew it!” Pirro blasted.  “That’s why you didn’t go on the Sunday Shows!

You knew it! Which is why you waited until everyone else had spoken so you could get your ducks in a row.

You knew t because of the cables from your friend and the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi.

You knew it! which is why you appointed your friends to an Accountability Review Board – which never even called you to testify!

You knew it! Which is why no one was ever fired in your department.

You knew it! Which is why only one who suffered consequences was the whistleblower who who went against your dictates.”

“So which is it?” Pirro purred. “If you didn’t know, you’re incompetent, if you did know, you’re guilty of criminal negligence. People though, are so afraid of you that your name isn’t even mentioned in the review by the Senate Intelligence Committee.”

“What happened in Benghazi was preventable. You had a duty and a responsibility and they relied on you. They ASKED you for safety and security, and you not only breached that duty, but you breached the public trust we have in our government. ”

The judge concluded sagely that even though Hillary and her boss may not face consequences now, “Justice is about accountability and consequences, The facts have now been told, and the consequences have yet to be determined – and in the meantime, we continue to wait for justice.”

Pirro had on former Asst. Sec. of Defense, KT McFarland to talk about the Senate report.

Judge Jeanine Pirro – Benghazi Terror Attack Lawmakers Continue To Demand Answers From Obama Admin:

Judge Jeanine Pirro – Benghazi Terror Attack Lawmakers Continue To Demand Answers From Obama Admin:

“Let me make something very clear”, said former SEAL Christopher Mark Hebon. “Nobody who wears a SEALs trident on their chest…is a fan of Obama – nobody s a fan of Hillary Clinton, period.. Those four men who were killed in Benghazi should be getting the Congressional Gold Medal right now.”