In October, the Reverend was threatened with arrest if he performed any of the sacraments during the shutdown.
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A Catholic Navy Chaplain, who sued the Department of Defense and the Navy after he was banned from celebrating Mass at a Georgia naval base during the recent Government shutdown, appears to be the target of a Federal government retaliation.
In October, the Reverend was threatened with arrest if he performed any of the sacraments during the shutdown. Consequently, Father Ray Leonard filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense for prohibiting him from serving Mass and performing other spiritual duties which he was called upon to do as a Catholic priest. A day after the suit was filed, he received a letter from the DOJ reinstating his right to serve Mass. However, one week after receiving the letter, he was informed that his DOD contract was no longer valid.
The DOJ offered him a new contract that contained more “onerous” language, stipulating that, in order for the priest to be paid, he agree not to receive payment for services he had already rendered. “No other military chaplain contracts were under review or subjected to the same scrutiny as Father Leonard’s,” according to his lawyer at the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC). Father Leonard had not received any remuneration for November and suffered financial hardship. It is unclear whether he will receive pay for December.