A few days ago, a Catholic priest in Phoenix was killed when a burglar wrestled another priest’s gun away. That’s right: a priest’s gun. The Diocese of Phoenix confirms that priests there can carry for the protection of themselves and others, consistent with Church teaching.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Sec. II, 2264: Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's 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.
So, what a refreshing contrast Phoenix is to the Orange County Diocese, which seems to be rather anti-gun. Though I am not certain exactly what our diocese’s position is on the specific issue of priest-carry, I’ve personally had a number of run-ins with our diocese related to my Second Amendment activism. For example, while on the program committee for the local Catholic lawyers group I proposed inviting lawyer-scholar David Kopel (author of The Catholic Second Amendment) to speak on self-defense (a necessary corollary to the right to life, and part of our catechism), but the idea was shot down by the group’s leader because he was afraid it would offend large donors. Also, when I offered free concealed carry class tuition for those donating to my daughter’s school, I got an extremely belligerent call on behalf of the Diocese from an attorney in the same group (now a judge!), accusing me of being disloyal to the Bishop if I did not stop offering the free class to those donating to my daughter’s Catholic school.
More recently, the Diocese prevented my daughter’s current school (Serra Catholic) from accepting my donation of Front Sight memberships for its annual Anchor Ball fundraising auction citing “gun-related” as the cause for rejection. With over 500 in attendance and my offer to supply everyone there with memberships, my donation could easily have raised over $50,000. Yet while rejecting my free gun safety training memberships, they proceeded to accept many other “gun-related” items: gun-related movie tickets, gun-related x-box gear, gun-related Laser Quest passes, gun-related Hollywood Wax Museum tickets, gun-related Universal Studios passes, and even a gun-related “Aircraft Carrier Experience of a Lifetime for Two.” But no self-defense or safety training.
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