The Pentagon is an accomplice with Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) to deprive Catholics of their spiritual needs in the local military community. The military leadership decided last May to cancel some daily weekday Masses at Ft. Sam Houston, ending a tradition of celebrating daily Mass there every weekday.
JBSA hires retired priests through a contract to supplement the services of a full time active duty military priest to serve the local bases. The active duty priest position is vacant, putting more demand on the contracted priests to fill the void. In order to fill that void and continue celebrating all daily weekday Masses from May through the end of the contract on December 22, 2017, the additional contract cost would have been only $8,000.
The military leadership knows full well that $8,000 is a relatively insignificant amount. The leadership is also fully aware that they enjoy a huge cost savings by not having to pay the salary and benefits of a full time active duty priest. That savings would offset the cost of $8,000 by a very large margin.
Yet, the military leadership contrived a story that cancellation of some daily weekday Masses was a necessity. They falsely infer there is a shortage of priests and that there are budget shortfalls. Contrary to their disingenuous reasoning, the truth is that priests are indeed available under the contract. Furthermore, the leadership could have easily afforded to pay $8,000 to continue all daily Masses if they really wanted to.
Instead of celebrating Masses on base, they discourage Catholics from attending daily Mass by suggesting that they travel long distances on their time and at their expense to attend Mass at other locations.
Senator Ted Cruz recently received the prestigious Religious Liberty Award from The American Legion. Because he is a champion of religious freedom, it was pointed out to him in a recent letter that the decision to persecute Catholics in his home state may have been made at the Pentagon. Consequently, this may not only be a problem at JBSA, but it could also be a problem military-wide.
Advent is a perfect time for Catholics, and for all Christians, to express your concern to Sen. Cruz and request he rectify the situation. He may be contacted at email@example.com. You may also consider expressing your concern to other U.S. Congressional representatives as well.