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N.J. Priest Sues After Government Shutdown Halts Catholic Services On Military Bases

Rev. Ray Leonard Wants Religious Services To Continue During Shutdowns
Scales of Justice (file / credit: clipart.com)

Scales of Justice (file / credit: clipart.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey priest has filed a lawsuit, after the government shutdown meant Catholic services on U.S. military bases were halted.

A lack of Roman Catholic chaplains in the military means the U.S. Department of Defense must contract with them.

And as 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported, as contractors, the chaplains were furloughed during the recent government shutdown. As a result, there were no services for Catholics on military bases.

“I thought that we were going to be exempted. There were a number of groups that were exempted like family counselors and day care workers and people like that, and we were under the impression that religious services were important and that people were going to just exempt us also,” said the Rev. Ray Leonard of New Jersey, who is assigned to a Georgia Navy base.

Leonard’s lawsuit against the Defense Department seeks to compel the military to allow Catholic services to continue if the federal government shuts down again.

Leonard his co-defendant, veteran Fred Naylor, are being represented by the Thomas More Law Center, according to published reports.

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