Catholic World News

Obama: military chaplains don't need conscience clause

January 04, 2013

President Barack Obama has charged that a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, ensuring conscience protection for military chaplains, is “unnecessary and ill-advised.”

In a statement issued upon signing the bill, President Obama said that the conscience-clause protection—which stipulates that chaplains cannot be required to perform ceremonies that violate their beliefs—is unwise. He instructed Defense Department officials to ensure that “the implementing regulations do not permit or condone discriminatory actions.”


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  • Posted by: - Jan. 07, 2013 1:30 PM ET USA

    Let's hope our Catholic military chaplains stand firm in their faith, and have the moral spine to say NO! Let Caesar cajole and threaten all he wants. In the end he is nothing and only God matters. It is time for the Catholic clergy to face head on the moral battle that is being waged against them, and to once again assume their proper role as Soldiers of Christ and Defenders of Mother Church!

  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Jan. 07, 2013 12:16 PM ET USA

    Can we hope for any defense of tradition from inside the military? I know Archbishop Broglio is trying. But the Army chief of all chaplains appointed by Obama is a Catholic priest from Albany NY! Will he be Caesar's silent obedient soldier or Christ's sword carrier?

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Jan. 07, 2013 10:38 AM ET USA

    As a Navy Vietnam era vet, I wrote Archbishop Timothy Broglio who is the ordinary of the Archdiocese for the Military Services in regard to this. The incumbent wants to silence any criticism of gay and abortion rights. In order to complete his agenda, he will have to have a major push against the Catholic Church. The Church has plenty of warning and needs to speak out now which evidently they refuse to do. National Socialism gained a hold because of the reluctance of the German-Austrian bishops.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jan. 06, 2013 4:08 AM ET USA

    So Obama signed something he didn't agree with and he'll make sure that the chaplains will pay if they invoke their own conscience and religious beliefs - Henry VIII would be proud.

  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Jan. 04, 2013 11:01 PM ET USA

    So the chaplain who objects to marrying homosexuals won't be disciplined? Or will he be disciplined because he is discriminating against homosexuals by such refusal? As usual, the stuff that comes out of obama's mouth is neither truthful nor sensible. BTW, a chaplain has already married two homosexuals, in uniform, at JB Ft Dix/McGuire. The precedent is set.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 04, 2013 5:59 PM ET USA

    Yet another signal that there will be an attack here against the Church.