I. RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE
The witness of sacred history
2259 In the account of Abel's murder by his brother Cain, Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in man, consequences of original sin, from the beginning of human history. Man has become the enemy of his fellow man. God declares the wickedness of this fratricide: "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand."
2260 The covenant between God and mankind is interwoven with reminders of God's gift of human life and man's murderous violence:
The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life. This teaching remains necessary for all time.
- For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning. . . . Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.
2261 Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous." The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.
2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, "You shall not kill," and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies. He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not."
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.
- If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.
My life is a gift from God, and therefore I have a responsibility to protect it. Other's lives are also a gift from God, and so I also have a responsibility to protect them if I am able.
Therefore I carry a 9 mm Glock. And I hope I never have to use it except in target practice.
Father Edward Fride, the pastor of Christ the King parish in Ann Arbor, MI, sees it the same way I do. He has sent out a pro-gun letter to his parishioners titled "We're not in Mayberry Anymore, Toto". He has also sponsored concealed carry classes at the church. His reasoning is just what his letter said - we ain't in Mayberry anymore, and recent local events have demonstrated that unless people realize that and take action a tragedy is going to occur. Two active shooters got very close to the local Catholic high school before they were taken down by LE. He doesn't feel that anybody needs to be lambs going to slaughter when the bad guys attack.
Unfortunately, his bishop, Earl Boyea, does not agree.
Guns and gun lessons do not belong in a Catholic church, Lansing Catholic Bishop Earl Boyea stressed in a statement after they learned about Fride's letter from the Free Press.
Boyea "has never given permission for anyone to carry a concealed weapon in a church or school in the Diocese of Lansing."
"... Concealed Pistol License classes are inappropriate activities to be held on Church property" ...
...the Lansing diocese's ban on weapons on church makes them "gun-free zones" and extends to those who want to practice "open carry" of weapons in full view. He added that public or professional security "provide for public safety on church property."
Unfortunately, the bishop's comparison to Jesus and His response to aggression does not take into account that Jesus had a specific mission that explicitly forbade Him from fighting back. We do, indeed, share in Jesus' salvic mission. But we have other duties as well that are specific to our time on earth. And one of those duties is to protect the gift of life that is given from God.
Not to mention that the bishop's reference to professionals makes me sigh. Unless you are living with someone attached to your hip 24/7, no matter how capable they are, they can't be everywhere at every time.
Father Fride needs to submit. He has sworn obedience to his bishop, who has the authority to forbid him from using parish facilities for whatever said bishop chooses. As far as I know, however, nothing precludes him from sponsoring shooting activities off of parish property on his days off.
I just wish bishops were this quick in their oversight of parish facilities being used for things that are truly against Catholic teaching.
Read the full story here.
Hat tip Murphy's Law