Government Retaliates Against Navy Chaplain who Sued over Government Shutdown of Catholic Mass

Father Ray Leonard, the Catholic Navy Chaplain who sued the Department of Defense and the Navy after he was barred from celebrating Mass at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia during the recent the Government shutdown, is now the target of Government retaliation even though the Department of Justice indicated the day after the lawsuit was filed that he could resume his duties as a Navy Chaplain.

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The New Jersey Catholic priest who faced down the federal government — and won

During a decade spent teaching and helping the needy in some of China’s most impoverished and oppressed regions, the New Jersey priest learned what it was like to live in a land without religious freedom.

It kindled a greater appreciation for his liberties at home.

Which is why Leonard, 51, bristled at the U.S. government when it told him he couldn’t hold services at a Georgia naval base during last month’s government shutdown. Leonard, a civilian contractor on the base since Oct. 1, wasn’t deemed an “essential” employee.

In a case that made headlines across the country, Leonard filed suit against the Department of Defense, contending the directive violated his freedom of speech and his right to religious expression.

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