Skip to comments.Catholic Police Officer Gets Suspended for Going to Church While on Duty
Posted on 12/17/2017 7:09:48 PM PST by marshmallow
MIDDLETOWN, Pennsylvania, December 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) A Pennsylvania police officer has been suspended for ten days for going to Catholic Mass on a day of obligation while on duty and in uniform.
Officer Mark Hovan, a 20- year veteran of the Middletown, Pa., police department, attended Mass in uniform on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation for Catholics.
Hovan, who said he is a devout Catholic, said it was necessary at times because of shift changes for him to go to church while on duty on occasion, reports the Press & Journal, a local news outlet. Hovan said he kept his radio with him and that he had never missed a call while attending church on duty in uniform.
The officer also said that attending Church while in uniform had never been an issue over his two decades of service, until a new Chief of Police took over at the beginning of this year.
According to an earlier report in the Press & Journal, Officer Hovan said, his constitutional right to practice freedom of religion was being infringed upon by the chief, adding they (the department) made no accommodation at all for me.
Hovan said he believes this constitutes a violation of his religious freedom, and so he is considering taking legal action.
He also suggested the punishment may be related to his current position as president of the boroughs police association.
Contention regarding church attendance while in uniform evidently began shortly after the new department head, Chief George Mouchette, took over.
Hovan received his first formal reprimand from Mouchette in January for attending Mass on a Sunday morning in uniform. Mouchettes warning read, in part, Never conduct personal business on Middletown Police Department time.
(Excerpt) Read more at lifesitenews.com ...
The new police chief needs to be fired.
I have mixed feelings about that one.
If he’s on duty, he’s being paid to be on duty and yes, he did have his radio on him, but still, he’s not getting paid to do something he wants.
Although if he decided to work through lunch and breaks afterwards to compensate, that would be different. He could just call the time at mass as his lunch.
Hey, that was a smart comment.
For a second, I was on the fence.
2nd. 10 day suspension is way out of line.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”
by the 14th this protection was extended through state governments and their subdivisions.
Shame shame on this police department.
I bet they are.
If he is on a general “beat” and that includes this church, how is this different from walking through the mall on his beat for a half hour?
Show the badge. See the people.
His time is his own. His time on duty is NOT his own. The cop was wrong.
The problem I see is that if this had been a muzzie, NOTHING would have been done.
They would have accommodated him.
File a suit for damages and the chief to become a little better educated about days of obligation.
I would take the reprimand proudly. Make copies. Post it on my locker.
“Son, this ain’t like shooting an unarmed man. This is serious.”
Something along those lines could work, for me.
That wouldn't please the atheists, though.
The news item says he was suspended for ten days? That seems way too much. One day (without pay) could have sufficed..and could have been enough for a chief of police to stand behind,I would think. It would give the guy a day off, too.
Oh, well. If it's ten days I do wish the officer well, and hope he can make good use of the time (including getting peaceful sleep, and have sweet dreams sent to him by the Lord).
Wouldn't that be nice? To have what was meant to be of harm to be made benefit?
I’m Protestant and still wish something could be worked out to let the officer celebrate a mass when his religion calls for it.
I’d have a problem calling it duty time unless he can walk away at a moment’s notice. And I am not sure common Catholic views of due reverence allow that.
Physical standards, women arent required
Must clear shaven faces, muslins arent required
Cant where cross pins, others can wear decorations
Others can pray 5 days a day and be accommodated for religion days
So why cant that man be accommodates?
He dont either take a day off or make a fuss.
If he went into a black church that would be applauded.
Shoot somebody dead -- can get up to a month off (sort-of like a paid vacation).
Go to church in uniform on a particularly "special" church-day (carrying a radio--being on "stand-by", on-call) get suspended for ten days? What's up with that?
The comparison is jarring, to say the least.
It's not like the guy took off and went bass fishing, or went to putter around in a home workshop making cabinetry, or what-have-you.
Would it be like donut shoppery?
I recall coming across mention (news articles) of "topless" donut shops. Yeah, no tops for the ladies.
There were a few of those, it seems. More than only one of them, anyway.
None of them are still in business.
After a while, the donuts had to be good?
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