Air Force Capt. Mike Carey, a chaplain at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, prepares his final Sunday sermon before deploying for Afghanistan. RNS photo by Robert Cohen/The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Catholic chaplains given marching orders barring service to gay couples

(RNS) Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Participation in funerals of gay service members is also off-limits. But Catholic commanders may be able to facilitate same-sex benefits if they publicly register their objections.