The federal government reversed a decision to deny certain priests the ability to hold religious services on military bases after being faced with a lawsuit.
As The Christian Post reported earlier this month, certain priests who were under contract to provide religious services on military bases were not allowed to do so because of the government shutdown.
On Monday, the Thomas Moore Law Center sued in federal court on behalf of Father Ray Leonard and one of his parishoners, Fred Naylor. By Tuesday afternoon, attorneys for the Department of Justice contacted TMLC to say that Leonard would be allowed to offer religious services at the military base where he works, Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.
Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, said that, even though the government relented, the lawsuit would continue so that the situation will not occur during any future government shutdowns.
"The actions of the federal government were a blatant attack on religious liberty," he said. "I would never have imagined that our government would ever bar Catholic priests from saying Mass under threat of arrest and prevent Catholics from participating in their religious exercises. Allowing the chapel doors to open and Father Leonard to fulfill his priestly responsibilities does not erase the constitutional violations that occurred. We don't want this to occur again the next time there is a government shutdown. Our lawsuit will continue."
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