Catholic chaplains given marching orders barring service to gay couples

RNS () — Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

The rules, sent to chaplains on Sept. 18 by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, head of the AMS, also bar chaplains from taking part in a funeral for a Catholic if that participation “would give the impression that the church approves of same sex ‘marital’ relationships.”

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Goodbye, Good Military Chaplains!

Crews, whose group represents over half of all chaplains serving on active duty, agreed that no chaplains have yet been ordered to perform same-sex ceremonies.

But the retired military chaplain told CNSNews.com that military chaplains have increasingly been facing negative repercussions since the military policy on homosexuality (“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”) was lifted.

“We already have some examples of a chaplain being pulled from an assignment simply because he forwarded an e-mail that was critical of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. He was told that ‘You need to be closely supervised.’ He was threatened that he would have to retire early,” Crews said.

“We have another chaplain who asked, “Can I speak about this issue? And the commander told him, ‘If you can’t get in line (with the military policy in support of homosexuality), resign your commission.’ So we have those kind of real life cases that the American public doesn’t realize is going on.” [I am convinced that the Obama Administration is trying to drive good chaplains out of the military.]

Read more from Father Z

“By dishonestly sanctioning the use of federal facilities for ‘marriage counterfeits’ that federal law and the vast majority of Americans have rejected, the Pentagon has launched a direct assault on the fundamental unit of society – husband and wife.”

(CNSNews.com) – A national group representing more than 2,000 military chaplains from evangelical Christian and Orthodox backgrounds said on Wednesday that the Pentagon has launched a “direct assault” on marriage, and the chaplains they endorse will not be allowed to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies under any circumstances.

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Inspiring, little known stories of Catholic chaplains in the war between the states.

On the other side of the front lines, Holy Cross Father William Corby, who would later become president of the University of Notre Dame, served Northern troops during the Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. He did so with such distinction that a statue of him now stands on that battleground.

The sculpture portrays him with his hand raised in blessing. A plaque informs visitors that the monument shows “Father Corby, a chaplain of the Irish brigade, giving general absolution and blessing before battle at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863.”

The priest really did don a stole, climb atop a rock and address hundreds of soldiers, offering them absolution if they were genuinely penitent and reminding them of the justice of their cause. The scene was witnessed by an officer who later wrote that “every man fell on his knees, his head bowed down. … The scene was more than impressive; it was awe-inspiring. … I do not think there was a man in the brigade who did not offer up a heartfelt prayer. For some, it was their last.”

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