Author Topic: Chaplain ( Merged )  (Read 80176 times)

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aesop081

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #50 on: April 03, 2005, 21:02:30 »
Perhaps it was the sentence I quoted and this one "its to get you back to being fit to fight." that caused my confusion.

And yes, I can read/write and speak English.

Duke



I used "fit to fight" because thats what our jobs entail in one way or another.   I could have said "push the broom in troop stores every friday" but that is not the ultimate reason why we get paid. Are you more clear now ?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2005, 21:07:22 by aesop081 »

Offline Duke

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #51 on: April 03, 2005, 21:05:48 »
Yes,

It sounds much more 'pastoral'.

Duke
Semi Retired and Loving It!!!

aesop081

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #52 on: April 03, 2005, 21:14:53 »
Just like the CF medical system doesnt exist just because the government like to spend money for no reason.  Patch the soldier up so he can get back into the fight and when he is in the fight, to give him the confidence that should he be injured, he will be taken care of. This allows the soldier to "get on with it".  Padres do the same thing in a spiritual way i guess.

And yes , some soldiers are aprehensive about having to kill other human beings, someone has to be there to reasure them that they are doing the proper thing.

Offline Trinity

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #53 on: April 03, 2005, 21:25:48 »
I so want this thread to die....

When Beach_Bum said it had nothing to do with war...
I believe she was referring to the fact Steve said it does.

(NO FLAMES.. NO REPLIES)

let me go in Peace.... PLEASE....

Beach, thank you for sharing something so deeply personal to help us grow in understanding.
Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

aesop081

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #54 on: April 03, 2005, 21:27:35 »
I so want this thread to die....

When Beach_Bum said it had nothing to do with war...
I believe she was referring to the fact Steve said it does.

(NO FLAMES.. NO REPLIES)

let me go in Peace.... PLEASE....

 ;D

Offline the 48th regulator

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #55 on: April 03, 2005, 23:15:39 »
padre,

whatsa matta???   You want this this thread to die.

Yer beginning to sound just like a time when I was taking this Cpl. out for a ruck march.   His ruck was full of all of this useless stuff, which made his pack too heavy to carry.   Well you could imagine what I said and did. hmm, I believe he was a medic or something..Good guy, never gave up....

dileas

tess

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Offline Trinity

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #56 on: April 03, 2005, 23:22:07 »
padre,

whatsa matta???  You want this this thread to die.

Yer beginning to sound just like a time when I was taking this Cpl. out for a ruck march.  His ruck was full of all of this useless stuff, which made his pack too heavy to carry.  Well you could imagine what I said and did. hmm, I believe he was a medic or something..Good guy, never gave up....

dileas

tess



Yeah... sounds real familiar, except I was a MCpl..

I mean.. that guy was a MCpl.....

(pillows and helium balloons... from now on!)

In fairness we had no inkling of a Ruck that weekend, i was supposed to be driving, and
I had my medic jumpbag to boot...  I couldn't lift the ruck on my back it was fracking heavy.

Good lesson.. never again do I assume anything. I pack light and double up uses on kit ALWAYS.
Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Offline Trinity

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2005, 09:11:15 »
ugh...

Its 9 am... just woke up... what who do i realize....

Tess is right.. I was a Cpl.  It was 99...
I was post JLC but not promoted

my bad    ^-^
Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Offline the 48th regulator

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #58 on: April 04, 2005, 20:16:27 »
They didn't make me Sgt. because of my dry wit and humour. . . .

It is ingrained in us Catholics to remember things...it helps for us to feel guilty about something...

By the way did I ever tell you the one about Jesus and the Last supper..


I better stop before the lightening hits..


dileas

tess
I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Offline beach_bum

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2005, 20:46:30 »
It is ingrained in us Catholics to remember things...it helps for us to feel guilty about something...


Hmmmm...funny enough I used that same line myself a couple of days ago!
Eddie would go!

Offline the 48th regulator

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2005, 20:53:17 »
Quote
Hmmmm...funny enough I used that same line myself a couple of days ago!

You see Trinity,

I am still doing the influencing...

Maybe the title of this thread should be;


The Roll of the 48th regulator and the CF

btw the Way, did I tell you the one about the Blessed Joseph and the morning after the Wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee?.....

oops I am going to hades for that one...

dileas

tess

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Offline NewCenturion

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #61 on: August 04, 2005, 18:06:56 »
Just came across this topic. Very interesting....

A couple of questions for Trinity regarding the Chaplaincy. I reviewed the CF Chaplains site it is decidedly "Christian" in flavor. How is the Chaplaincy going to reconcile itself to the varied faith groups that now exist in the CF?  For example on the site it states "Within the context of a public ceremony the chaplain is the sole representative of all faith groups. Where various faith groups and a wide range of beliefs are likely to exist, normally prayers should be inclusive in nature respecting the wide range of faith groups and believers who may be present. The religious celebrant is encouraged to be sensitive in the use of specific sacred faith formulas to allow for greater inclusivity." That is going to be quite a task if a Protestant or RC Chaplain is praying on behalf of Muslims, Jews, Buddists or Orthodox Christains. Is ecumenicalism going work on this level? How do you feel about a "regular" chaplian i.e mainline denomination praying on behalf of another faith to another god?
"There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to
prevent the drawing of the sword."
- General Ulysses S. Grant

Offline Trinity

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #62 on: August 04, 2005, 20:20:34 »
ok... I was so hoping this thread would die.

I do not speak on behalf or for the chaplains branch.

When doing open or group prayers, all prayers must be generic.
I.E. No using Jesus Christ or other specific religious terms... as not to
offend Jews or Muslims

We do have a Muslim Chaplain who will do the same.
We have incoming Jewish Chaplains who will do the same.

Its a generic service.

Private services such as baptism or extra church services can be done
in your own denomination.

The branch is VERY sensitive to the other religions.  So much so the
capbadge is changing and many other aspects that most soldiers do
not see.

Rest assured.. we are trying to be fair and eccumenical.

Is ecumenicalism going work on this level? How do you feel about a "regular" chaplian i.e mainline denomination praying on behalf of another faith to another god?

BTW... Same God..  The God of the Jews is also the same God of the Christians and Muslims.

Same history and heritage, scriptures and beliefs flow through all three.

And this was a heated argument earlier which I will not revisit. Internet arguments are pointless, but feel
free to find and read it.
Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Offline NewCenturion

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #63 on: August 04, 2005, 20:56:42 »
Sorry didn't know that you wanted the thread to die... thanks for your thoughts
"There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to
prevent the drawing of the sword."
- General Ulysses S. Grant

Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #64 on: August 04, 2005, 22:50:20 »
You've gotta look at the role of the army in terms of what it is designed to do:  apply lethal force to support the will of our government.  The role of every member of the military is centred around that goal.

As far as looking at Padres, I contest that their role is in the support of CF operations which include warfare.  This discussion started because a disagreement on whether or not Padres are soldiers.  IMO they are because of their support role during combat operations.

If I understand the extracted quotes from Steve, the medical/dental folks that carry the Geneva Convention Card are soldiers for the same reasoning.  However, like the Padre we are forbidden from participating in offensive operations and applying lethal force, we are there to preserve manpower, limb and life.  We (Padres and Medical/Dental) in fact support both sides in a conflict a similar fashion depending on the phase of battle and the scarcity of resources.  It has gotten to the point for medical/dental folks that we are forbidden, by our Sr C-of-C, in peacetime on a parade square to draw swords or fix bayonets.  On Ops and FTXs, we rely on D&S platoons so we are not seen as offensive or even defensively-offensive in nature.

Like it or not the Padres and the Red Crescent wearers are like the sideline support people (trainers, water boys at a football game.  We don't get to soldier/play, we only watch and support. The level of familiarization for many with offensive, non-personal weapons is not even at basic soldiering levels any more. 

That is the way it is and when the bullets fly or the mines explode you will understand why!  Do you want a surgeon/padre who is a soldier/pathfinder/sniper or one that is good at his/her own job.
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers

Offline FormerHorseGuard

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #65 on: August 12, 2005, 16:09:20 »
Padres in the Forces serve many masters. One of my  closest friends is a retired army padre.  His job in the regiment and on the base was not instill fear or blood lust in soldiers. His job was to provide spiritual guidance, some one to talk to about the problems you do not want to talk about in the mess, or in the barraks,  and I am sure most padres could tell very interesting stories about various soldiers but they cannot talk about what they hear.

Sometimes things happen in a soldiers life that  just throws them for a loop and the Sgt, or Platoon leader is not traine dhow to deal with it, or  really shoud not deal with it.  Divorce notices, death in the family, nightmares after or during a tour, the simple things like helping  an army family  thru a bad time. Not to metion a simple thing like a church service in the field to bring comfort to the soul.

Sometimes the Leadership become aware of problems with troops under their command and not too sure how to deal with so they  thurn to the padre who can go look and talk to the soldier and it does not become offical red mark on the troops file.

When I was on class b call out at base Toronto, I got a phone call from home telling me my one of my close friends had taken her life. My Sgt who was not sure what  do , made the arrangments for me to go talk to the Padre that day to put my mind at ease about it.  That sort of thing is what  the padre provides. It is a simple caring voice that  does not judge, does take away career thoughts nor are they in the chain of command. 

They have an important role to fill in the CF,  in peace keeping missions they might be the one to talk after you see something really bad that  bothers you,  or after you get a letter from home and your family is all upset because you missed the first steps of your child, or your wife wants to divorce you because your never home.  It could be something joyful in your life, you want to get married and want to do it on base in front of your CF friends.  The reason to see the padre is because you want to not because tou need to.

The purple chain of command is very different from any other chain of command but they are still in the army  and still follow the rules as much as they can.

I remember a quote, Praise God and pass the ammo, said by  a padre during Pearl Harbor,  I think that is what  a padre is , praises God so the troops are not alone, and pitches in when needed.



Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #66 on: August 16, 2005, 23:13:39 »
The following is the story of Padre Horton's experiences at D Day. He was a most beloved and respected Padre of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles. The unit took 480 casulties in 48 hours, 6-8 Jun 44, (three Rifle Coys were over run). More than 100 Rifles, and soldiers from other units were subsequently murdered by SS Gen Kurt Meyer troops. Padre Horton recently died.This may answer some questions on the role of Padres.


D DAY EXPERIENCES
BY PADRE ED HORTON

My first recollection of our immediate D Day preparations is standing in a field near Southampton getting rid of all the means of recognition - regimental badges and shoulder flashes etc.

Later we proceeded to embark.  It was Friday, June 2.  Our ship was a fine liner called the LLangiby Castle. Our accommodations were good.  We had our meals in the Dining Saloon with tables covered with linen cloths and the ship's stewards serving us.

One of those with whom I shared a cabin was a young lieutenant of a British Reece Unit.  He had dreams of driving through to Berlin on D + 1.  I often wondered what happened to him.  There was also a naval lieutenant sharing our cabin.  He was in charge of the navy lads who manned our landing craft.

According to regular procedure there was an officer called "Officer Commanding Troops" (O.C.Troops).  In our case it was a full colonel of the Welsh Guards.  He was a typical regular army officer with monocle and all.  He had held the same position on ships in earlier landings.

We anchored out in the stream and it was a bit rough.  My amusing picture of this officer was one in which he was climbing up over the side with the spray splashing over him and his monocle firmly fixed in front of his eye.

When I began to plan a church service for the troops he took a very keen and definite interest in all the details.  He told me the hymns I should have, among other instructions about the service.  When the time came we had a good service on deck with a full attendance.  I have a picture of this service.

There were strict rules about smoking.  A glowing cigarette and could be seen a great distance away.  Touring the ship one evening out O.C.Troops found some sailors smoking on deck.  This was definitely against orders.  Instead of ordering a non-commissioned officer of the navy to charge them he did it himself and had the sailors put in the brig.  The naval officer in charge of these lads who were manning our landing craft was furious.  To think that an army officer of the rank of colonel should put sailors in the brig on a ship!  Such a situation was outrageous, Queens Regulations were studied minutely.  It was a sticky situation for the sailors, as part of the landing force, were technically under command of the O.C. Troops; but they were on a ship.  It was finally settled by sentencing the guilty sailors to the time they had spent in the brig before the matter was settled.  The dignity and prerogative of all parties was satisfied.

We were to have landed on the Monday, June 5, but it was too rough.  We did not know where we were to land until the evening of June 5.  Whether we would land June 6 or not was uncertain until the last minute.  I have often though of General Eisenhower having to make the extremely difficult decision as to whether we should go in on the Tuesday.  I understand that if we hadn't gone in that day the landing would have had to be put off for a month owing to the tides.  I have read of the difficulties of making this decision and the advice he sought, but in the end he had to make the momentous decision alone.

The day of the landing dawned bright and clear.  There was a strong wind and the sea was fairly rough.  We embarked in our landing craft which were on davits at the side of the ship like lifeboats.  They were much the size of lifeboats.  We were lowered into the sea and away we went for the shore.  What a magnificent sight - ships of all sorts and sizes, planes overhead.  As far as the eye could see the amazing armada moved towards the French coast.  I wonder how many of us realized the significance of this decisive moment in the world's history.  Our men were calm.  There was no evidence of tension or fear.  A few were seasick, and we splashed by the spray.  Our particular landing was uneventful.  We jumped in up it our knees and waded ashore.  As we crossed the beach they began to fire at us.  I was in the second wave.  As we moved along it became evident to me that the white armband with a red cross on it, which was on my arm, was making me an easy mark, so I took it off.  I soon came upon one of our lads who I knew well laying on the beach badly wounded. We had been ordered not to stop to help the wounded as it would delay us too much. Others would follow whose duty it would be to care for the wounded.  I couldn't help but stop for a few moments and give him what comfort I could.  Later he died.  I wrote to his wife and received a very lovely latter in answer to mine.

Once we had gone off the beach and among the houses and stone walls and trees we seemed fairly safe and we moved inland.  The first night was uneventful as far as I was concerned.

About the third day we got into real trouble.  We were almost surrounded by Hitler Jegend Division.  In the night three of our companies were almost wiped out.  The Canadian Scottish put in a counter attack the next day.  Because of the rough sea they had not been able to land all the support units, and we expected the worst.  However it never came.  Later when I was in the Occupation Force I was told a British Intelligence Officer told a group that the attack never came because the S.S. Troops were at loggerheads with the Wehrmacht, who would not give them the gas they needed to put in the attack.

In a few days tings settled down a bit.  The men were manning the slit trenches and on guard.  They were tired and soon fell asleep.  To fall asleep in the face of the enemy was a serious offence.  I was called up to see a young lad in a slit trench who wanted to see me.  He told me he had fallen asleep and had been charged.  He said the commanding officer had told him he would be shot for this offence.  He said, "I am only 16. I am too young to be shot".  I told him I was sure the commanding officer had not said he would be shot.  What he had likely said was that he could be shot; but he insisted, so I said I would talk to the C.O. about him.  It turned out as I had suggested.  The C.O. had only said he could be shot.  However when I informed the C.O. that he was only 16 years old the C.O. said they would have to do something about that.  Within 24 hours he was taken out of the line and sent back to England.
     
I had been busy burying the men who had been killed.  My batman, Seager, was a great help to me in gathering the dead and digging the graves.  We had no equipment except shovels.  Our instructions were to find suitable places for burial and report the map references.  We were to bury as many together as we could.  We had no supply of crosses.  These came later when we got our jeep.  They supplied us with white wooden crosses then.  In the meantime Seager and I made the best rough crosses we could out of whatever wood we could find.

One day I was told a young soldier wanted to see me in one of the front line slit trenches.  I went up to see him and found him very angry with me.  He said I buried his Jewish pal and put a cross over his grave.  He was a Jew, too, and he said this was the most insulting thing I could have done to his friend.  I told him I was sorry.  There was no intention of insulting his dead comrade.  It was really more of a marker than a religious symbol, and I asked him what he thought I should have done.  He said I should have placed a Star of David over his grave.  I told him I had no way of making Stars of David.  If he objected to a cross the only thing I could do was place a straight stick over the grave.  He said that would be better than a cross.  Within a couple of days I was called on to bury this poor lad.  I saw to it that he did not have a cross, but a straight stick.

As Padres we were provided with an Order of Burial Service for Protestants, Roman Catholics and Jews.  If we could get a Padre whose religious affiliation was different to our own, but the same as the deceased we tried to have such a one perform the burial, but in the heat of battle this was not easy to do.  Then we used the Service prescribed for the religious affiliation of the person we were burying.  I never met a Jewish Padre until I was in the Army of Occupation in Germany.  The rule was that should be a Padre for every 1000 members of a Christian Protestant denomination and one for every 500 Roman Catholics.

One of the sad duties of the Padre was to wander over the battle area after the battle had moved on and search for the dead.  In those early days battles were fought through the Normandy grain fields.  Many a lad I found lying in a grain field.  After a day of this sad activity the boys would come up to me and ask if I had found any trace of their brother, or cousin or special pal.  After thorough searching if no trace of a particular fellow was found we presumed he had been taken prisoner.

In our regiment were 3 brothers.  Two were often seen together, but the third seemed to be a lone wolf.  I rarely saw him with either of his brothers.  He and one brother were missing.  The remaining brother met me every time I returned from a search.  Then as I wandered through the grain fields I came upon these two brothers, together.  They were in a crawling position and must have been killed together instantly.  It was a comfort to me to find the lone wolf brother not separated from one brother in death.

One day some of our stretcher bearers were shot at when picking up wounded and carrying them on stretchers to the Regimental Aid Post.  Our boys were very angry and swore what they would do to the next prisoner they captured.  A while later a prisoner was brought in and I wondered what would happen.  He was wounded:  I watched as one of our boys gave him a cigarette and lit it for him.  When it came to individual personal contacts it was hard to carry out threats made in anger, and justified anger, against the enemy in general.

As the Padre I considered the regiment my congregation, and it was my duty and privilege to minister to them in whatever way I found open to me, no matter who they were or what kind of people they were.  They were all God's children and He loved them:  I always felt I should be with them to share whatever they had to put up with.  One thing I found I could do was take them the mail to them wherever they were.  I could always find a way to get to them where they were, and mail from home meant a very great deal to them.  It was a great morale builder.  The authorities were very good about getting the mail up front.

I always travelled with the Regimental Aid Post.  There I could try to comfort the wounded as they were brought in and do any little errands etc. they would like done.  I was provided with a jeep equipped with a frame so that I could carry three stretchers.  At times I had the privilege of going out and bringing in the wounded.

During our years in England I never favoured regular church parades.  There were official and special occasions when they were in order, but ordinarily I felt it was much better to have voluntary services.  Our Commanding Officer supported me in this.  The result was that attendances at services were not large.  Very few attended Communion Services.  We were supplied with a Communion Set which I had with me always.  The first opportunity I had to hold a service after we landed was when we had a short rest.  I arranged a service in the open under the trees.  All the boys were there.  After the first part of the service I announced a Communion Service.  I turned to prepare for it.  Not a man moved.  I thought they had not understood, so I announced it a second time.  Still no movement.  Then I realized they all wanted to take communion.

One of the very difficult tasks of the Padre was writing to the next of kin of those who were killed.  When the regiment went into a rest period I found myself very busy trying to catch up with this correspondence.  I tried to tell those poor fathers and mothers and wives what I could that might give them comfort.

I believe our Canadian boys were the best soldiers of all.  They were brave, they were cheerful, they were honest, they were resourceful, they were loyal, and they were sensitive.  Their attitude when they attended a grave side service always impressed me.  They were sad, but they were realistic.  They presented a noble bearing.

During those early days and on through the whole campaign the lieutenants suffered the worst casualties in proportion to their numbers.  One day they brought the body of a young lieutenant in.  They said he had gone into his last action saying "It will be my turn this time".  Most of his fellow officers had already been killed or wounded.  An attitude of fatalism was not hard to develop.  Sometimes there was evidence of senses of religious favouritism.  Once when we were moving up two or three fellows argued mildly about who should march beside me.  They thought it would be a favoured, and possibly safe, spot because God would give me special protection!  As a matter of fact God does not play favourites.  I did hear once, that for their number Padres suffered higher casualties than any other unit.  I don't know whether that is true.

A while before D.Day the Padres of the 3rd. Division were sent to a day's course on finger-printing. We received some good natured kidding about that, but it was worthwhile.  The theory was that if we found bodies that could not be identified we could take the finger prints and thus prove their identity.  Due to the number of reinforcements coming into our regiments, and the way they were scattered in action we could not know them all.  When we were on the Schete we three Protestant Padres of the 7th. Brigade found a body we could not identify.  We took his fingerprints with the equipment we had been given and sent it in.  Later we were commended for the job we had done and told they were able to identify the man.  His identifications had been burned.  Knowing how next-of-kin suffer when all the news they ever have is: "Missing, believed killed" we felt it was a worthwhile idea that proved its value.  Later when in the Occupation Force in Germany I had occasion to use my fingerprinting equipment again when a man was drowned, and had no identification.
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline NewCenturion

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2005, 10:21:41 »
Excellent article!
"There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to
prevent the drawing of the sword."
- General Ulysses S. Grant

Offline NewCenturion

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Re: Role of the CF Padres
« Reply #68 on: September 09, 2005, 15:58:21 »
Evangelical influence spurs clashes among military chaplains
Washington Post, via SFGate.com, USA
Sep. 4, 2005
Alan Cooperman
sfgate.com
"¢ More news articles on Christianity

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ReligionNewsBlog.com "¢ Item 12152 "¢ Posted: 2005-09-05 18:53:25
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Washington -- The growing influence of evangelical Protestants is roiling the military chaplain corps, where their desire to preach their faith more openly is colliding with long-held military traditions of pluralism and diversity.

After accusations this summer that evangelical chaplains, faculty and coaches were pressuring cadets at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force last week issued new guidelines on respect for religious minorities. In the Navy, evangelical Protestant chaplains are fighting what they say is a legacy of discrimination in hiring and promotions, and they are bridling at suggestions they not pray publicly "in the name of Jesus."

Much of the conflict is in two areas that, until now, have been nearly invisible to civilians: how the military hires its ministers and how they word their public prayers. Evangelical chaplains -- who are rising in numbers and clout amid a decline in Catholic priests and mainline Protestant ministers -- are challenging the status quo on both questions, causing even some evangelical commanders to worry about the impact on morale.

"There is a polarization that is beginning to set up that I don't think is helpful. Us versus them," said Air Force Col. Richard Hum, an Evangelical Free Church minister who is the executive director of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board. "I don't know whether it's an overflow of what's happening in society. But this sort of thing is so detrimental to what we are trying to do in the chaplaincy."

The Rev. MeLinda Morton, a Lutheran minister who resigned in June as an Air Force chaplain after criticizing the religious atmosphere at the Air Force Academy, said there has been a palpable rise in evangelical fervor, not just among chaplains but also among the officer corps in general, since she joined the military in 1982, originally as a launch officer in a nuclear missile silo.

"When we were cone-heads -- missile officers -- I would never, ever have engaged in conversations with subordinates aligning my power and position as an officer with my views on faith matters," she said. Today, "I've heard of people being made incredibly uncomfortable by certain wing commanders who engage in sectarian devotions at staff meetings."

The tradition of chaplains in the U.S. military goes back to George Washington, who first sought a minister for his Virginia regiment in 1756. In the early days of the republic, commanders simply chose a chaplain who shared their beliefs. But with the expansion of the military in World War II, the armed services set quotas for chaplains of various faiths, attempting to match the proportion of each denomination in the general population.

In a class-action lawsuit -- filed in 1999 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and still in the discovery, or evidence-gathering, stage -- more than 50 Navy chaplains contend that the formula became a rigid and discriminatory "thirds rule": one-third Catholics, one-third mainline Protestants and one-third everybody else.

According to Hum, the military abandoned numerical targets about 20 years ago, partly for legal reasons and partly because the proliferation of religious groups made the system unworkable. Although chaplains are paid by the armed services, they must be ordained and "endorsed," or nominated, by religious organizations.

Like college admissions officers, Pentagon officials now say they seek diversity without using quotas.

"We don't actually say we want to have four rabbis this year, or 20 Catholic priests. What we do is, we look at who is sent to us by our endorsers throughout the country and ... then we bring the best qualified into the chaplain corps," Rear Adm. Louis Iasiello, a Catholic priest and the chief of Navy chaplains, said in an interview at the Pentagon's Navy Annex.

Pentagon data analyzed by the Washington Post show a substantial rise in the number of evangelical chaplains in the past decade, along with a modest decline in mainline Protestant ministers and a precipitous drop in Catholic priests, mirroring a nationwide priest shortage.

Of the approximately 1.4 million people on active duty in the military, 21.5 percent list their religion as Roman Catholic. But of the 2,860 active- duty chaplains, 355 -- or 12.4 percent -- are Catholic priests.

By far the largest single provider of chaplains to the military is now the Southern Baptist Convention, with 451 chaplains, one for every 40 service members who list their denomination as Southern Baptist.

Although the military has had growing difficulty recruiting ministers from mainline Protestant seminaries, many evangelical denominations place a high priority on supplying chaplains to the military. The Church of God in Christ, for example, has 109 active-duty chaplains. The Full Gospel churches have 61, the Church of the Nazarene has 68, and the Cleveland, Tenn.-based Churches of God have 58.

The chief endorser of chaplains for the National Association of Evangelicals said he believes that the bias against evangelicals, though once real, is gone.

"When you look at the Navy today, you see evangelicals at the top of the hierarchy," said retired Col. Stephen Leonard, a former Army chaplain. He points to the deputy chief of Navy chaplains, Rear Adm. Robert Burt, who belongs to the Open Bible Standard Church, and to the previous chief of Navy chaplains, the Rev. Barry Black, a Seventh-day Adventist who became chaplain of the Senate after retiring from the Navy.

"There probably were chaplains that didn't get selected (for promotion) that probably should have been selected. But we're past that now. Let bygones be bygones," Leonard said.

With the growth in evangelicals, heated disputes are occurring over public prayers.

Iasiello said chaplains are free to preach however they wish in their base chapels or at sectarian worship services. But when they have a multifaith audience at staff meetings, change-of-command ceremonies, ship commissionings and other public events, they are encouraged to offer more generic, inclusive prayers, he said.

"We train our people to be sensitive to the needs of all of God's people. We don't direct how a person's going to pray. Because everyone's own denomination or faith group has certain directives or certain ways of doing things, and we would never -- it's that whole separation-of-church-and-state thing -- we would never want to direct institutionally that a person could or couldn't do something," Iasiello said.

But the model of chaplaincy advocated by older chaplains such as Iasiello, which hinges on self-restraint, is increasingly under challenge by younger ones, such as Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, 37.

Three years ago, Klingenschmitt left the Air Force, where he had been a missile officer for 11 years, and joined the Navy as a chaplain. He took a demotion and a pay cut to make the switch. But he was joyful.

"I had been serving my country," he said. "I wanted to serve God."

It was not long, however, before disillusionment set in. At the Navy Chaplains School in Newport, R.I., a senior military minister gave Klingenschmitt and other new chaplains a lesson in how to offer prayers in public settings. Classmates who prayed to a generic "God" or "Almighty" won praise. Those who prayed "in the name of Jesus" were counseled to be more sensitive, according to Klingenschmitt.

As a minister from a small evangelical denomination, the Evangelical Episcopal Church, Klingenschmitt bristled at those instructions. He wrote a paper citing a Pentagon regulation that "chaplains shall be permitted to conduct public worship according to the manner and forms of the church of which they are members."

Aboard the USS Anzio, his first post, he backed a Jewish sailor's request to receive kosher meals and tried to get permission for a Muslim crewman to take a turn offering the nightly benediction over the ship's public address system. But Klingenschmitt also insisted on his own right to preach what he believes as a born-again Christian.

In July 2004, he was reprimanded for a sermon at the memorial service of a sailor who died in a motorcycle accident. In the sermon, he said, he emphasized that the sailor was certainly in heaven and "mentioned in passing" that, according to John 3:36, those who do not accept Jesus are doomed for eternity.

"My sermon was in the base chapel, it was optional attendance, and it was by invitation. If we can't quote certain scriptures in the base chapel when people are invited to church, where can we quote them?" he said. "Don't paint me as a person who's going around forcing my faith on people. I've never done that."

In March, Klingenschmitt's commander recommended against extending his tour in the Navy, writing that he has "demonstrated recurring confusion concerning a chaplain's role within a military organization."

Klingenschmitt has accused the Navy of religious discrimination, contending in a written complaint to his superiors that he was punished because he refused to practice a "government-sanitized" faith that he calls "pluralism, with a capital P."

Navy officials declined to discuss Klingenschmitt's case. But they noted that the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces, a private association to which most chaplains belong, says in its code of ethics that each chaplain must "function in a pluralistic environment" and "not proselytize from other religious bodies," though they "retain the right to evangelize those who are not affiliated."

Whether there should be any tacit limits on chaplains' free speech has also been an issue at the Air Force Academy. A team of observers from Yale Divinity School criticized one of the academy's ministers for urging Protestant cadets to tell their classmates that anyone who is "not born-again will burn in the fires of hell."

"Could there possibly be a worse time for this fundamentalist Christianity to be pushed in our military, when we're in a war and the people we are fighting are recruiting their members by saying we're Christian crusaders?" asked Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 Air Force Academy graduate and former Reagan White House official.

His complaints over the past 18 months about religious intolerance led to a Pentagon investigation in June that found "a lack of awareness over where the line is drawn between permissible and impermissible expression of beliefs."

Among other incidents, the academy commandant had urged cadets to use the "J for Jesus" hand signal with the thumb and index finger, the head football coach had told players that he expected to see them in church, and Jewish cadets had experienced anti-Semitic slurs after students were urged to see the Mel Gibson film "The Passion of the Christ."

Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for personnel, assured a June 26 congressional hearing that "the clergy pretty much have the political correctness thing down" and that "most of the complaints are with cadets and cadet-led prayers."

 
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Offline Carcharodon Carcharias

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Re: Role of the Padre
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2006, 03:41:18 »
Knew a MAJ Padre from Saskatchewan. Basil Chomos is his name. The most approachable man I ever met. Popular with the troops, and a very warm and caring bloke, who had a natural calmness about him, yet to look at him you‘d never in a 1000 yrs think he was an RC Padre.

Back in Aug 95, he was thru Australia, and stayed a few days at my place. It was sure good to catch up with him.

Hey Basil, if you read this, ‘good on ya‘.

Cheers,

Wes

Well to my suprise, I had a call yesterday that Basil was indeed in Australia for the next while. I knew he was coming out. We met up this afternoon at our house. I gave him a brief tour of the island, and later some wine and some great steaks were consumed before he moved on back to Brisbane for more fun in the sun.

I have known him for years, and it was truly a most excellent time catching up with him today. Currently he is the RCMP Padre in the Yorkton area of Saskactchewan.

Here is a pic of him at the beach near Woorim here on Bribie Island (thats the Coral Sea lapping at his feet, and a bunker from WW2 in the background). Todays METREP was again over 30C, partially cloudy and humid. Not a bad summer's day by far!

Next is a pic of him and I taken not even 30 minutes ago by the pool.

I wish he could have stayed longer.

Cheers,

Wes

« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 06:54:47 by Wesley H. Allen, CD »
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Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: Role of the Padre
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2006, 14:09:32 »
No matter where we were, no matter what the weather, an individual would be seen trudging through the mud, rain snow. Our unit padre, not so much to preach out of the good book but to check on the spirits of the troops. I often wondered wether he slept at all. During a major ex the CO was going to be in place for awhile I was loaned to the padre as his driver. Never in my whole time did I go through as much POL as I did ensuring the padre's appointed rounds were met. It was also enjoyable to have him share the 20:00 to 08:00 radio watch. Not much conversation on religion but a host of other topics were discussed in the battle to stay awake while watching the little orange light.
"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
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A question for a chaplin
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2007, 10:28:59 »
I'm looking into becoming a chaplin sooner or later.Right now I'm only 18 and I haven't selected any courses yet for Uni. I'm not fully understanding all the degrees that I'm gonna need to qualify.I really want to get at least my BA in psycology but I read that I'm gonna need a masters in theological something or other.So I was just wondering if a chaplin could browse through and tell me what you studied and all you needed to join.

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Re: A question for a chaplin
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2007, 10:51:22 »
To be a chaplin, you require a black bowler hat, a cane, and a little moustache.

On the other hand, Chaplains must be ordained ministers/priests/equivalent for enrolment.  Check out the CF recruiting website for details; alternatively, go to your local base and chat with the padre.
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Re: A question for a chaplin
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2007, 10:55:16 »
I'm looking into becoming a chaplin sooner or later.Right now I'm only 18 and I haven't selected any courses yet for Uni. I'm not fully understanding all the degrees that I'm gonna need to qualify.I really want to get at least my BA in psycology but I read that I'm gonna need a masters in theological something or other.So I was just wondering if a chaplin could browse through and tell me what you studied and all you needed to join.

I'm not a chaplain (or a recruiter) so this is outside of the core of my expertise, but my understanding is that you have to be an ordained clergyman first, then you apply to be a chaplain.  More here:  http://www.forces.ca/v3/engraph/jobs/jobs.aspx?id=61&bhcp=1

There are at least a couple of chaplains who are members here; maybe one of them will be along with better information.

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Re: A question for a chaplin
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2007, 17:21:35 »
Requirements for chaplain

Bachelor of Arts (not sure if its a 3 or 4 year degree)
Masters of Divinity (3 year course)
to be given permission from your civilian diocese to perform military ministry
2 years civilian ministry after ordination
Pass a selection board by the ICCMC (visit the Chaplains website at forces.gc.ca for more info)


This is a basic idea of the journey for most denominations.  There is a slight modification
for Roman Catholic Pastoral Associates who are not ordained (thus, do not need to be ordained)
but still need 2  years civilian ministry. 

Do not quote this as law... it's a best estimate from someone who is of that trade. 


Edit..  psychology degree is a great idea.  If you do a religious studies degree... you'll only
revisit much of the same material in your M.Div... might bore you to death.
Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.