Walter Reed Issues ‘Cease and Desist Order’ to Group of Franciscan Priests Ministering to Catholic Patients, by Craig Bannister

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Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese of the Military Services celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., March 2, 2022. Walter Reed hospital terminated March 31, 2023, a contract with Franciscan priests and brothers to provide pastoral care to Catholics, in advance of Holy Week. (OSV News photo/CNS file, courtesy U.S. Archdiocese of the Military Services)

By Craig Bannister, CNSNews, April 10, 2023

During Holy Week, Walter Reed National Military Center issued a “cease and desist order” to Franciscan priests at Holy Name College, who had been providing religious services and ministering to the spiritual needs of the hospital’s Catholic patients.

The move “violates First Amendment Right to Free Exercise of Religion,” the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA (AMS) says in an announcement of Walter Reed’s cancelation of its contract with the Franciscan group.

AMS was replaced by a secular defense contractor, which cannot provide the Catholic services required by the contract, AMS explains: …

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