Govt. Shutdown: Priest can be arrested?


The priest stationed at the Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia is a government contractor and risks arrest if he ministers on base during a shutdown, an attorney for the Archdiocese for the Military Services said.


Really? It’s illegal to volunteer during a shutdown ?



Yes, because of the Antideficiency Act of 1870, passed in response to Abraham Lincoln doing whatever he wanted during government shutdowns. It states that the government may not take any action during a shutdown without Congressional approval. To avoid lawsuits, they forbid all work, including volunteering.


And I thought we had problems here in the UK: I guess what is going on the other side of the Pond more soberly puts things in perspective! :confused:

I hope sanity prevails very soon, for the sake of you all.


Plenty of parishes near Quantico. I don’t think that the Marines there will go without the sacraments.


Ref. the current political debacle, I believe that Harry Truman once commented, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog!”

Ah, the joys of confrontational politics when what is need is a bit of give and take, and not all take.


I doubt that. I don’t think the President would want that kind of negative publicity.



Yes, and I am sure that one or more of them would be happy to host the Quantico Catholic community during the shut down. The contract priest could probably even hold Mass there - he wouldn’t be volunteering work for the government, he would just be another visiting priest.

This is an unfortunate effect of the shutdown, but there are many that are much worse. The Quantico Catholics (and I used to be one of them) will muddle through. They are probably more worried about how they will be pay their bills as many of them are now not getting paid.


I thought they’d taken care of Lincoln by 1870!

For anyone stationed in that area in need of sacraments, I’d strongly urge them to travel to St. William of York in Stafford rather than attend the St. Francis of Assisi right outside the gates of Quantico - I had several bad experiences at Mass there while a teenager and vowed I would not return. From my understanding, things aren’t really any different now than they were then…


Here’s a blog post about the situation from a Catholic Paper

So, because the specific Priest is a “government contractor” he would get in BIG trouble if he said Mass on the base.


Apparently it would be illegal for a priest who is a “government contractor” to volunteer to work for free. But a parish priest from somewhere else who is not under contract would be able to offer his services on a voluntary basis, I think.

As for regular General Schedule employees, although they are not being paid, in all past government shutdowns, they have been given back pay once the shutdown ends. The net effect is that they end up having an extra amount of paid vacation, although the pay is late.


Maybe there are some low-ranking enlisted who are stationed or are training there who stay in the barracks and don’t have any transportation.


He was assassinated by that point (1865), but it was his actions that most spurred the law. Congress didn’t want to see it happen again. I’m not sure if Andrew Johnson or Ulysses Grant had shutdowns during their term, but Lincoln definitely spent how he saw fit when Congress refused to pass a budget, and it greatly angered Congress. Even volunteers in many cases are risking huge lawsuits if they do work of any kind while this shutdown is in place.


One can hope.


Eric Cantor tweeted

The House will vote tomorrow morning to affirm the right of all military chaplains to conduct services during the shutdown.


Who will arrest them, if government shuts down?


Did the House vote yet??


Where’s sense of crisis in a 17% government shutdown?

Everyone knows the phrase “government shutdown” doesn’t mean the entire U.S. government is shut down. So in a partial government shutdown, like the one underway at the moment, how much of the government is actually shut down, and how much is not?

One way to measure that is in how much money the government spends. In a conversation Thursday, a Republican member of Congress mentioned that the military pay act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama at the beginning of the shutdown, is actually a huge percentage of the government’s discretionary spending in any given year. And that is still flowing. So if you took that money, and added it to all the entitlement spending that is unaffected by a shutdown, plus all the areas of spending that are exempted from a shutdown, and added it all together, how much of the federal government’s total spending is still underway even though the government is technically shut down?

I asked a Republican source on the Senate Budget Committee for an estimate. This was the answer: “Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion.”

So the government shutdown, at least as measured by money spent, is really a 17 percent government shutdown. Perhaps that is why the effects of the shutdown, beyond some of the most visible problems, like at the monuments and memorials on the Washington Mall, don’t seem to have the expected intensity. Seventeen percent of federal expenditures is still a huge amount of money, and the shutdown is affecting many people. But many more who are dependent on federal dollars are still receiving their money, either as salary, transfer payment, or in some other form. Viewed that way, it’s no wonder both Republicans and Democrats appear to believe they can last the shutdown out, at least for a couple of weeks until they try to resolve the debt limit crisis due to arrive October 17.


House voted to allow military chaplains to do services 400-1


House also votes 400-1 to allow miltary chaplains to work during Government shutdown.

Single vote in House against military chaplains measure was Rep. Bill Enyart, D-IL Says House should vote to re-open Govt.

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