Citing church doctrine on self-defense and a recent active shooter situation near a high school, a Catholic priest in Ann Arbor, Michigan is suggesting that his parishioners consider carrying concealed weapons.
In a letter sent to Christ the King parishionersrecently, the Rev. Edward Fride explained why he believed it was necessary to get concealed pistol licenses because of recent crime in the area. During a Palm Sunday mass last month, Fride announced that the parish would be holding the CPL class.
When some parishioners questioned the decision, Fride sent out a pro-gun letter titled “We’re not in Mayberry Anymore, Toto” – a reference to the 1960s-era Andy Griffiths Show and its portrayal of a fictional North Carolina town, as well as Dorothy’s dog from the Wizard of Oz.
“It is very common for Christians to simply assume that they live in Mayberry, trusting that because they know the Lord Jesus, everything will always be fine and nothing bad can happen to them and their families,” Fride wrote.
“How to balance faith, reality, prudence, and trust is one of those critical questions that we struggle with all our lives. Pretending we are in Mayberry, while we are clearly not, can have very negative consequences for ourselves and those we love, especially those we have a responsibility to protect. If we are not in Mayberry, is there a real threat?”
One woman who is part of Fride’s flock apparently told him that she was afraid of guns. His response was, “How do you feel about rape?”
Fride’s tough love approach is in line with Catholic doctrine issued directly from the Vatican which says that you have a right and a duty to armed self-defense.
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.”65
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:
- 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.66
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.
It never ceases to amaze me to her people misquote the Bible, attempting to claim that the Fifth Commandment should be misconstrued to mean that it is never acceptable to take the life of another person for any reason, ever. Protestants and Catholics alike have long taught that human life is sacred, and that we should fight to defend the lives God has given us from those who would unjustly take that life from us. If the person attempting to take the gift of life from us can only be stopped by lethal force, that use of lethal force to preserve life is not a sin.