No Religious Services for Navy Personnel

News: Video Reports
by David Nussman  •  •  July 1, 2020   

Making access to sacraments more difficult

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The U.S. Navy is prohibiting service members from leaving base to go to church.

In an information dispatch last week, "indoor religious services" are on a list of off-base places and gatherings that Navy members are prohibited from attending — alongside "parades," "nightclubs" and "casinos."

But the dispatch goes even further, and says service members, their families, military contractors and others should avoid using "drive-in spiritual services."

For Catholics, this would include things like a parking lot Mass or a drive-thru confession line — measures seen around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

One service member commented to Church Militant, "It seems to me this is the devil's work — to make this military completely godless."

U.S. Navy leadership has kept many ships at reduced capacity and has delayed personnel movements in order to deter the spread of the Wuhan virus.

The Navy is seen as particularly vulnerable, due to tight living conditions onboard ships.

In the course of two weeks back in March, every diocese in the United States banned public Mass.

Dioceses remained on lockdown for months, some bishops still prohibiting their priests from saying Mass publicly.

For the vast majority of Catholics, their only option on Sundays has been to watch Mass livestreamed online or broadcast on television.

Catholic priests who serve as chaplains for the U.S. Armed Forces are under the jurisdiction of the military archdiocese.

They found themselves in a similar situation to the rest of the country, with some chaplains livestreaming their Mass from an on-base chapel.

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