Saturday, June 22, 2013

PISTOL PACKIN' PADRE: Can and/or Should Priest Carry Guns in Church?

Father Zzzzzzz opines over at his blog...

From a reader:
Are priests allowed to carry handguns? I have heard stories of priests owning guns, going hunting, etc, but could a priest have a handgun, conceal and carry, etc? What do you think about a priest having a handgun underneath his vestments while saying Mass?
In short, yes. Priests and bishops can carry hand guns, according to the laws of the place where they live. Priests are not second class citizens. They are – right now at least – not prohibited by laws of the state or laws of the Church.
Should bishops carry hand guns?  That is another question.
Father D says, NO.  Not in Church. Not during Mass. Period.
If safety is a concern, there are trained professional layman and women that are qualified and capable to serve as guards if necessary. 

Nuns with guns? No problem. Line 'em up outside the church and let them stand guard.

I expect to see each and every one of you at Confession on Saturday.

Say hello to my little friends.  First Collection & Second Collection.
And I do NOT want to hear the jingle of any coins. Only the rustle of paper.

Pope Francis appoints special commission to implement reform of the Roman Curia
FOLLOW UP-- A commenter at Fr Zzzzzzzz's posted something well thought out, with spiritual reflection, and worthy of consideration.

SpesUnica says:
I am extremely uncomfortable with the idea of priests carrying a handgun at all, and am completely opposed to his having a weapon while saying Mass. We could bicker about “what about a pocketknife!?” but that is primarily a TOOL which can be used as a weapon. Perhaps then you’ll tell me that a firearm IS a tool. True, but its a weapon first. A pocketknife is a tool which can be used as a weapon–so is a screwdriver. A gun is a weapon that can be used as a tool. I am a gun rights supporter, I grew up with guns and own a couple myself. I would NEVER carry one on a daily basis and I am troubled by the idea of a priest having one on his person while saying Mass.
Christians had to quit the military to be able to be baptized in the early centuries. I can’t imagine what the martyrs would tell us today if they could be a part of this conversation. They begged to not be deprived of their chance to witness to God’s love the same way Christ did, by shedding his Blood. Someone murders a priest because he is a priest? Hello, newest martyr. Someone threatens his congregation? Ever hear of those folks “and companions?” Who said, “vengeance is mine”? Its not that I don’t believe in self-defense or protecting ones family, but if you are being killed because of your faith, smile and give thanks to God for the chance to witness to the Power that overcomes the powers of this world.
When I celebrate Mass, unworthy though I am to be a priest, I take off all my jewelry (class ring, “vows” ring, symbol of my order, watch) and leave my keys and phone in the sacristy. I just can’t imagine keeping a piece on me at the altar. Jesus was stripped of all worldly protection of dignity, the New Adam naked on the new Tree of Life. The priests’ vestments represent, in manifold ways, the dignity of the High Priest. Nothing fake or artificial or sullied is allowed into the sanctuary, and I can imagine “vesting prayers” appropriate to every item I have on my person when I enter into it. I just can’t see a firearm in that line up…the priest is in the person of the Victim, the Lamb who cries not out.
I don’t disagree with many of the posts here, usually, but I really, really don’t see this one, for my part.

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