Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, has quietly canceled its contract with Catholic priests to offer pastoral services to veterans and has replaced the priests with a secular organization after working with the Catholics for 20 years.
In yet another example of Joe Biden’s and the left’s war against Christians, Walter Reed abruptly sent a cease and desist letter to Holy Name College Friary, a Franciscan group that has served at the hospital for nearly two decades, Fox News reported.
Worse, the cancellation of the contract came on March 31, only days before Easter week began, one of Christianity’s most holy periods.
Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, the head of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, blasted the hospital’s move in a statement published on Good Friday and insisted that the secular group Walter Reed is planning to employ is unable to offer the adequate care the veterans need.
The Archbishop’s statement. added that the hospital “awarded to a secular defense contracting firm that cannot fulfill the statement of work in the contract. As a result, adequate pastoral care is not available for service members and veterans in the United States’ largest Defense Health Agency medical center either during Holy Week or beyond.”
“The government’s cease and desist order directed the Catholic priests to cease any religious services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This order was issued as Catholics entered Holy Week, the most sacred of days in the Christian faith, in which they participate in liturgies remembering Jesus’ passion, and leading the Church to celebrate the Resurrection on Easter morning,” the statement explained.
“It is incomprehensible that essential pastoral care is taken away from the sick and the aged when it was so readily available,” Archbishop Broglio said of Walter Reed’s decision.
The Archdiocese for the Military Services was created by Pope Saint John Paul II to provide a full range of pastoral ministries to U.S. military service members and veterans.
For its part, Walter Reed, which was last in the news for treating Democrat Sen. John Fetterman, insisted everything was going on as before just fine.
In a statement the day before Easter Sunday, the hospital insisted that services would be provided to those who wish to attend, the Catholic News Agency reported.
‘Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is a welcoming and healing environment that honors and supports a full range of religious, spiritual, and cult,” the hospital exclaimed.
“Tomorrow, Catholic Easter Services will be provided to those who wish to attend. Services will include a celebration of Mass and the administration of Confession by an ordained Catholic Priest,” the statement continued.
“For many years, a Catholic ordained priest has been on staff at WRNMMC providing religious sacraments to service members, veterans and their loved ones. There has also been a pastoral care contract in place to supplement those services provided,” the medical center said.
“Although at this time the Franciscan Diocese will not be hosting services on Sunday at WRNMMC, parishioners of the Diocese while patients at WRNMMC may still seek their services,” the statement concluded.
Still, the Archdiocese’s attorney Elizabeth A. Tomlin has recached out to Walter Reed but has so far been stonewalled and left without any response, according to the Washington Examiner.
Meanwhile, Biden spokesman John Kirby refused to even comment on the war against Christians and Walter Reed’s cancellation of the Franciscan’s contract, only saying that the press should direct their questions to the Dept. of Defense.
Top Biden spokesman John Kirby won’t comment on reports that Walter Reed National Military Medical Center canceled their contract for pastoral care with Catholic priests pic.twitter.com/GVmUQ8RP22
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 10, 2023
The whole incident is infuriating. A place like Walter Reed — where our heroes go for life-saving treatments and to heal from war wounds — is precisely the place for the sort of services that the Catholic agency has performed for so many years. Ministering to soldiers who may be at the lowest moments of their lives is a vital service and the comfort that can be provided to let them know that Jesus Christ is there for them in their time of need is invaluable.
The Biden administration should be condemned for this hateful conduct against the welfare of our troops and the people must demand an explanation.