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Archbishop asks prayers for 16 killed in Marine plane crash

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WASHINGTON — Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services asked for prayers for the 15 Marines and one Navy corpsman who died July 10 when a Marine refueling and cargo plane crashed in a soybean field in rural Mississippi near the town of Itta Bena.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services speaks Nov. 16 during the opening of the 2015 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services . (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

“I express my heartfelt condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this terrible accident. My heart also goes out to their colleagues and others who worked with them. They also suffer the loss and ask questions,” Archbishop Broglio said in a July 11 statement. “I ask the faithful to join me in prayer for the repose of those who died and the consolation of their families.”

He added, “Tragically, this is the second multi-fatal accident involving the Armed Forces in less than a month, coming so soon after the USS Fitzgerald collision with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan on June 17. Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day to defend our great nation and the freedoms we cherish. We should keep them in our prayers always, and never take their sacrifice for granted.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant used Twitter July 11 to warn people not to remove debris from the area where the Marine Corps KC-130 crashed. Law enforcement authorities had received reports that items were being taken from the site, with debris scattered for miles.

The Marines said July 11 the air tanker was based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, and headed to California. Seven of the dead were special operations forces based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where the plane had stopped en route to California.

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Military prelate asks prayers for those who perished in ship collision

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WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. military archdiocese June 20 expressed sorrow for the lives lost in “the tragic ship collision” involving the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan.

Seven sailors died aboard the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, which collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel early in the morning June 17. Hours later, their bodies were found in flooded berthing compartments. Read more »

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Chief of Army chaplains didn’t want letter on HHS mandates read from pulpit

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WASHINGTON — A directive from the U.S. Army chief of chaplains that a letter opposing the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate not be read from the pulpit by Catholic military chaplains violated First Amendment rights of free speech and free exercise of religion, according to the head of the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio spoke with Secretary of the Army John McHugh about the chief of chaplains’ response to the archbishop’s Jan. 26 letter and the two “agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the archbishop’s letter,” according to a statement released by the military archdiocese to Catholic News Service Feb. 6.

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