Sunday's mass at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Chapel was the last to be offered entirely in Spanish. About 200 people attended.
Ben Abel, a Fort Bragg spokesman, said the Spanish-language mass isn't in demand like it used to be."We don't have that same quantity of need," he said. "Now that 7th Group is no longer here, there isn't as great a need. That's not to say there aren't Spanish speakers on post."When 7th Special Forces Group was on Fort Bragg, there was a greater need for a Spanish mass, he said. The unit, which moved to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in 2011 as part of a base realignment, has strong ties to Central and South Americas to which it is aligned.
Chaplains decided to seize the opportunity to streamline the Spanish mass with an English one to create a stronger religious community, Abel said.Sarcasm aside, a priest who opposes the change says, "We have to protect their culture."
Do we? I suppose that might depend on who the "we" is, but I'm pretty sure neither the US Armed Forces nor the Catholic chaplaincy of the US Armed Forces have that obligation.