Walter Reed Cancels Contract With Catholic Priests to Minister to Elderly, Sparks Outrage

( — On Mar. 31, just prior to the start of Holy Week, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center cancelled its contract with some Franciscan Catholic priests who provided ministry to the sick and elderly at the facility, which is part of the Defense Department. 

A new contract was awarded to a secular defense company, which “cannot provide the necessary service,” said the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services in a statement. He also condemned the move as an “encroachment on the First Amendment guarantee of the Free Exercise of Religion.” 

Other observers have been quick to question and, in many cases, condemn the decision by Walter Reed.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a Catholic, along with other Republican lawmakers, sent a letter to the Department of Defense asking why it terminated the contract with the Franciscan priests, reported The Washington Examiner on April 11. 

Part of the letter reads, “Holy Week is an important time for all Christians, but for Catholics, the sacred liturgies during this holy time require the presence of validly ordained priests. Depriving service members and veterans, who are receiving care, of the ability to enter into the Paschal Mystery with priests is utterly unconscionable.”


“Defense Health Agency doctors are advocating for minors to receive experimental gender transition procedures, but no one seems to be advocating for the right of our service members and veterans to receive the most important sacraments during this most sacred time of year,” the congressmen wrote.

In a tweet, Sen. Rubio wrote, “Biden didn’t just kick out the Catholic priests who have been providing religious services at Walter Reed Military Medical Center for 25 years, he picked Holy Week to do it.”

Brent Bozell, a Catholic and president of the Media Research Center tweeted, “The idea that Walter Reed won’t allow Catholic priests to administer last rights to dying veterans is insane.”

Fox News Channel David Asman tweeted, “Still haven’t heard from our Catholic president about Walter Reed’s Holy Week decision to deny Catholic service members and veterans their right to practice their religion.”

House Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), an evangelical Christian, tweeted, “This happened under our ‘Catholic’ POTUS, Joe Biden. Not just another failure, incredibly embarrassing and wrong. This is another attack on the church, and this time, directed at our military. Reinstate Catholic Pastoral Care at Walter Reed immediately!…”

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, a born-again Christian and vice president of the Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand, “The First Amendment states that ‘Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ The U.S. military should be held accountable for violating the intent of the First Amendment at the same time that drag queen programs are acceptable.”

In a tweet directed at President Biden, Rep. Mary Miller wrote, “Why did you kick Catholic priests out of Walter Reed Medical Center on Easter weekend?” tweeted, “In an openly hostile attack on Catholicism, the Biden administration is denying Catholic service members who are being treated at Walter Reed their constitutional right to practice their faith. What is going on???!!!”

Ultra MAGA Joyce Day wrote on Twitter, “So Joe Biden is supposed to be a devout Catholic but he had Catholic priests thrown out from ministering to soldiers at Walter Reed and the FBI was going undercover into Catholic churches! With a Catholic like that who needs enemies?”

Actor Robert Davi tweeted, “Explain this – we now have a Government of Satan ! Lead by a dead man ! Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Terminates Catholic Pastoral Care Contract During Holy Week – Archdiocese for the Military, USAArchdiocese for the Military, USA.” 

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said on Twitter, “The Biden admin is attacking wounded servicemembers’ right to practice their faith… On Easter weekend. New low??”

“This is a disgrace. The men & women who fight our nation’s wars rely on Walter Reed for medical care & are now being denied Catholic services,” wrote Joe Kent for WA-3 on Twitter. “Both my sons were born at WR & countless friends have recovered from wounds there, it’s a sacred place of healing for our nation.”  

Steve Friend, reportedly an FBI whistleblower, tweeted, “Consistent with the @FBI intelligence report targeting ‘Radical Traditional Catholics.’ Now Walter Reed issues a cease and desist order to prevent Catholic priests from providing pastoral care to military personnel. Feds are at war with Christianity.” 

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) tweeted, “This is a disgraceful act during Holy week and needs to be rectified immediately. As a practicing Catholic, the anti-Catholic bigotry that permeates our gov’t and society is alarming.” 

“The assault on Christians continues,” wrote actor/director Matthew Marsden

“Walter Reed cancelled visiting priests for the sick right before Easter,” tweeted corina.  “Would they cancel LGBTQ community helpers? I doubt it. More religious discrimination.”  

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) tweeted, “During the Holy Week, this is yet another attack by the administration on millions of Americans religious liberties.”

Former Assistant Attorney General Jeff Clark said, “The Biden Administration disgraces itself on the First Amendment yet again and displays its anti-religious bigotry, even against its own President’s professed religion.”


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