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Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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In what has been described as an astonishing attack on religious freedom, Catholics at a Navy base were banned from attending worship services because of the partial shutdown of the federal government.
In response, the Thomas More Law Center announced it has filed a lawsuit over the orders at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.
The legal team said a Catholic priest who serves the community on the military base has been prohibited from even volunteering to celebrate Holy Mass without pay and was told that if he violated that order, he could be subject to arrest.
Without explanation, however, Protestant services continued.
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The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington on behalf of Father Ray Leonard, a Catholic priest contracted to serve as base chaplain, and Fred Naylor, one of Leonards parishioners and a retired veteran with more than 22 years of service.
Leonard, a civilian serving on a contract basis, had served Tibetan populations in China for years.
I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in China, he said in an affidavit. 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.
Ten days ago, Leonard was ordered to stop performing all of his duties as the bases Catholic chaplain, even as a volunteer. He was also told that he could be arrested if he violated the order. The approximately 300 Catholic families, including Naylors, served by Leonard at Kings Bay have been unable to attend Mass on base since the beginning of the shutdown, the legal team said.
Additionally, Fr. Leonard was locked out of his on-base office and the chapel. Fr. Leonard was also denied access to the Holy Eucharist and other articles of his Catholic faith. The order has caused the cancellation of daily and weekend Mass, confession, marriage preparation classes and baptisms as well as prevented Fr. Leonard from providing the spiritual guidance he was called by his faith to provide.
Read more at www.wnd.com