Rorate Caeli
Is the Navy discriminating against Catholic priests?

As our readers now know, there are 11 holy priests saying TLMs either weekly or monthly for the relief of the enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. One of those priests -- who says the Traditional Mass for the Society every Friday -- is an American military chaplain.

As a military chaplain, he's always concerned about the lack of priests in the military, and the chance that Catholic servicemen will be wooed to heresy by Protestant ministers looking for converts. Now, however, he's alerted me that the Navy is forcing Catholic priests out at the age of 62, while Protestants are allowed to stay. What is more troubling is that he is hearing high-ranking Navy officials basically saying, "Who cares, we have plenty of other chaplains who can 'minister' to the Catholics. They can do whatever priests can do."

Below, you'll find a column penned by His Excellency Edwin O'Brien, current Archbishop of Baltimore and former Military Archbishop. He certainly calls the Navy out for discrimination and urges everyone to contact their elected officials in Washington and ask them to change the age ban on chaplains so that priests can serve as long as their minds, bodies and God allow.

CLICK HERE to read H.E. O'Brien's column.

CLICK HERE to write your member of Congress.

CLICK HERE to write your senator.

After you do all that, there's another message that needs to be sent.
This one is for H.E. O'Brien who, while we certainly support his effort to protect Catholic priests, we need to send a gentle, respectful reminder. The reminder is, if you want the military officials to know why Catholic priests are so special, and why a Protestant can't simply do what a Catholic priest can do, then maybe it's time our Masses stop resembling their services and we drop the false ecumenism nonsense that blends the true Faith together with false religions.
Maybe, just maybe, if the Protestant officials would see a daily Traditional Low Mass and a Missa Cantata on Sundays, with lines to confessions a mile long as their are before Mass at all traditional churches, then just maybe they'd see the difference between their false sects and the Catholic Faith. Maybe you'd even convert some well-minded young Protestants over to the true Faith.
So, CLICK HERE to write to H.E. O'Brien. Ask him to, one, actually begin the process of implementing Summorum Pontificum in his Archdiocese after three years. He will claim he has a priest shortage. Yet, he won't allow the FSSP or anyone else into the Archdiocese to attend to traditional Catholics. And, except for one long-standing Mass in downtown Baltimore that precedes his becoming Archbishop, those an hour away in Annapolis have not a single Mass even once a year, even though they have over 150 names on a petition.
Also ask him to dedicate his next column to tradition and how Catholics acting like Catholics in public, and the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments, can help bring new priests into the military and truly distinguish themselves from the Protestant ministers. I'm told H.E. O'Brien, when he headed the Military Archdiocese, allowed the TLM. And he should be thanked for that. Now, maybe, he should urge the TLM to be said for our troops daily and help get every single chaplain trained to say it.

And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.


Danny said...

Mr Paulitz,
Just wrote a nice letter to Bishop O'brien asking kindly for the TLM in the Annapolis area and for him to write a nice article on establishing the TLM throughout the whole military.
[I am really surprised its not, the TLM is so manly...]

Henry said...

"Yet, he won't allow the FSSP or anyone else into the Archdiocese to attend to traditional Catholics."

Do the conditions of Summorum Pontificum -- in particular, freeing the local ordinary of the burden of such decisions -- not apply in the Archdiocese of Baltimore?

Anonymous said...

I know of a Naval RESERVE priest, who at one time was in the Regular Navy, who was threatened with removal for saying the Latin Mass. Because he was in the RESERVES at the time they could not, but would not let him re-enlist. And he was a member of a Traditional Religious Order who had Papal Permission to say the Mass.

Anonymous said...

"...if you want the military officials to know why Catholic priests are so special, and why a Protestant can't simply do what a Catholic priest can do, then maybe it's time our Masses stop resembling their services and we drop the false ecumenism nonsense that blends the true Faith together with false religions."

Isn't it amazing how this obvious truth seems to elude them? I often wonder how this can be. Is it that they refuse to face the facts, or is it something else?

What is it going to take for the scales to fall from their eyes?


Stu said...

As an active duty Naval Officer, I am thankful for your efforts. Please everyone, make your voices heard both to Congress and I would add to Archbishop Broglio as well given the military will also not allow the FSSP to become chaplains. Yes, we do have priests that say the Old Mass (thankfully), but given the shortage I'm not sure why we limit our sources.

Anonymous said...

Archbishop O'Brien if he's serious should call a press conference in Washington D. C. and state CLEARLY the difference between being a PRIEST and a "minister" He should also mention that JESUS established ONLY the CATHOLIC CHURCH ,which has defined dogmatically many times Outside of the Church there is NO salvation. This is where ecumenism has taken us, right where the modernists wanted!

Anonymous said...

This is troubling.. Other than a Catholic Priest for Catholics is not acceptable. And agreed, Mass should not look like Protestant or even other Christian services. This is what causes the confusion in the minds of those making the decisions. We are CATHOLICS, our religion is special, seperate and distinct just like all others should be treated as such. If SP has not been implemented yet then siad Bishop or Priest should be deeply shamed in his Diocease.

Anonymous said...

I can write to the Archbishop, but I doubt my congresswoman, the Hon. (sic) Jackie Speier, a Catholic (sic) would do anything. After all, when I was in DC, I wrote a letter to her, basically telling her how, as a Catholic, he 100% NARAL approvement rating was unacceptable. I also kindly asked her to send me a copy of the health care bill. Nearly a year later, no reply. Also, the two liberal Jewish women who serve as my state's senators won't give a damn. But I will email H.E. + O'Brien. Especially since, as a young man discerning the vocation, would love to say the traditional Mass as an Army or Navy chaplain.

Phillip Carrion
San Francisco, CA USA

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

Was just told by a former colleague from Capitol Hill that he will be talking to the house armed services committee about this.

Anonymous said...

This "confusion" is understandable to some (shameful) extent. The novus ordo looks EXACTLY the same as many Anglican and Lutheran services, and to the eyes of any outsider, why bother? they can be clustered in one altogether, right?
Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Mr. McFarland,
Just a short clarification: priest-chaplains are not in any way required to preside at religious services or ceremonies that are not a part of our holy religion (e.g., Jewish services, Protestant services, generic "Christian" services, etc.). A priest-chaplain might offer his "services," i.e. his expertise, to anyone who reasonably asks: he can give advice, counsel, warnings, education, etc. Again, the chaplain is not required to amend or change his beliefs, nor to "tailor" them to his listener. Of course, a wise physician of souls will begin with a dose, so to speak, that the patient won't reject, and then increase the potency as the patient begins to recover, as Fr. Alphonse Rodriguez, S.J., would say. but of course, all along he would be offering real "medicine," not some generically Christian nonsense.
--A Catholic Priest in the Military

John (Ad Orientem) said...

As an Orthodox Christian and a Navy veteran I feel your pain many times over. The shortage of chaplains is so acute that it is not unknown for Orthodox servicemen (and women) to go for years overseas or in isolated duty stations without recourse to the Holy Mysteries. Often the only opportunity for confession and communion come when home on leave.


Anonymous said...

The repeal of DADT will probably be the end of my Navy career. The Chaplain Corps is hopelessly PC and with two Chaplains at the top who don't care about Catholic coverage, there is no light at the end of this tunnel.

Once, as a young chaplain, I was told by another priest that the Deputy Chaplain/Chaplain of the Marine Corps was raised Catholic but left because we don't ordain women. Wondering if anybody could verify that.

a soon-to-be ex-Navy Chaplain

Anonymous said...

Dear "Soon-to-be-ex-Navy Chaplain,"

I have never heard this before, although I guess it wouldn't be a big surprise. I agree that it does seem pretty dark nowadays in the USN CHC. It's left me wondering, too.
God bless you & reward you for your faithful service!
--A Catholic Priest in the Military

dcs said...

given the military will also not allow the FSSP to become chaplains

I suspect that this might be because Catholic chaplains are required to celebrate the NOM regularly. Even Byzantine Catholic chaplains must be bi-ritual.

Perhaps it is time for our pastors to recommend that Catholics not enlist in the military?

Anonymous said...

Update for "Soon-to-be-ex-Navy-Chaplain":
Father, I asked a friend of mine who's been in the CHC longer than I have. He says that the female chaplain you're referring to is not the current Deputy/USMC Chaplain but a woman with an Irish name. Apparently, the current Deputy was raised in the denomination she belongs to now.
--A Catholic Priest in the Military

JMody said...

Is someone planning to say Masses for the conversion of ADM Mullen and his ilk? And, can some folks with lots of the proper resources maybe pull together the material to make a sort of "Handbook for the Catholic Sailor/Marine" --> I'm thinking this could be some simple prayers for perseverance, some affirmations of the Truths of the Faith (to counter what the ABP describes vaguely - apparent proselytizing by protestants), and whatever it was that we were supposed to have learned for maintaining the Faith in the absence of a priest -- an abbreviated Missal with Propers or something, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...


There already is an excellent waterproof booklet called "Armed with the Faith" put out by the AMS that does exactly what you propose. It has been published in great numbers by the Knights of Columbus. Ever since it first came out several years ago, I have made sure that every Catholic servicemember-parishioner of mine has a copy.

maybe-soon-to-be ex-Navy Chaplain

Anonymous said...

As a midshipman at the Naval Academy, it would be really nice to have a TLM in Annapolis. The priests on the Yard are incredulous of mids actually looking for something... more.

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

I've been told horror stories about Catholic life in Annapolis (my last year on the Hill, we had our staff retreat on campus, and I was shocked to see the co-ed dorms, etc.)

I'm told there used to be a TLM on campus years ago. But long gone now.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Paulitz,
The TLM you refer to at the Naval Academy was probably offered when Fr. Aidan Logan was stationed there. Alas, he is one of the 62-year-olds that was made to retire this year (as Archbp. O'Brien mentions in his column).
--Catholic Priest in the Military

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

Thanks for that Father. We're working on that with contacts on the Hill.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"Soon-to-be ex-Navy chaplain"

Please write me at caloyraj AT yahoo DOT com.

There's another Catholic Navy Chaplain who wants to get in touch with you. I've corresponded with this chaplain several times and he's very solid.

Anonymous said...

Much of the information found here about the Navy Chaplain Corps is false, such as "the Navy is forcing Catholic priests out at the age of 62, while Protestants are allowed to stay." Please check your sources before making these statements.