Priests & Guns?

Priests & Guns?

stmichaelA Roman Catholic priest in Phoenix was killed when a burglar broke into his church, wrestled a gun away from a fellow priest, and shot him.

This caused a predictable flurry of tut-tutting by those who think priests shouldn't own guns. Veteran Chicago anti-gunner Fr. Michael Pfleger argued "I don't think a priest or a pastor should be in ownership of a gun. I just think it sends a tremendously wrong message. If we're supposed to be people who preach a gospel of peace of love and of trusting God, is the gun then a just in case God isn't God," Pfleger said.

The syntax utilized in that sentence isn't going to make anyone forget St. Augustine or Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but it expresses, however clumsily, the notion that Christians should trust entirely in divine protection:

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:11


Certainly, if you're up against the devil, that trusty 1911 will not be up to the job. But what about more terrestrial foes? Jesus himself alluded to the need for material means of personal security:


"And he said unto them, When I sent you forth without purse, and wallet, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing. And he said unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet; and he that hath none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword." Luke 22:35-36

Jesus didn't send the apostles out to conquer with the sword, but he recognized there were times they might need to defend themselves with one. Their goal was to bring the good news of eternal life, but that didn't mean idly giving up their own lives.

The Roman Catholic Church has a decidedly mixed record on this point. While the current pontiff opted out of using the armored Popemobile with the jaunty observation that he didn't have much time left anyway, Popes Urban II, Alexander VI and Julius II  resorted to the sword early and often.

There are many explicitly pacifistic Christian denominations, like the Mennonites and Quakers, and their scriptural interpretations deserve respect. If their peaceable habits were adopted everywhere, the world would be a much better place.


But today, Christians are under attack as never before in godforsaken hellholes like Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan. Those doing the attacking are most notoriously Muslim, but Christians have been oppressed in atheistic nations like China, North Korea and Vietnam, too. Many will cite the old maxim that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church," but Christianity did a lot of expanding by letting other people enjoy martyrdom.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Phoenix pointed out that priests have the same right to own guns as any other citizen.  Given the surroundings they often work in, they have the same need for one or even more. Trusting in the armor of God is very praiseworthy, but sometimes He may want you to bring backup.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

The Hornady Kestrel 5700 combines complete onsite environmental measurements with Hornady 4DOF trajectory solutions.

Preview: Firearms News May 2019 Issue 10

Preview: Firearms News May 2019 Issue 10

Rikk Rambo penned over 16,000 words of excitement covering two great handguns from Smith & Wesson! The S&W Performance Center .500 10-inch revolver and the S&W Performance Center .44 Magnum with 3 5/8- inch barrel!

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto retro rifle. Rifles

Brownells BRN-Proto Retro Rifle

Patrick Sweeney - July 02, 2019

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto...

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town movement. 2nd Amendment

SPECIAL REPORT: BIG 2A HISTORY BEING MADE IN LITTLE RHODE ISLAND

John Peterson - May 22, 2019

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second...

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today reacted to Democrat Joe Biden's challenge that President Donald Trump should “open the U.S. Constitution” to find the First Amendment by suggesting the former Vice President is the one who needs a refresher on constitutional rights. 2nd Amendment

CCRKBA to Biden: ‘Maybe You Should Open the Constitution and Find the 2A'

Firearms News Staff - June 06, 2020

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today reacted to Democrat Joe...

ANTIFA has made a threat to attack neighborhoods and stores in Chesterfield County, including in the area of the John Hancock center around 360 and Winterpock roads tonight, June 1. 2nd Amendment

ALERT from Virginia Citizens Defense League: ANTIFA threat!: Chesterfield - Watch your neighborhoods!

Firearms News Staff - June 02, 2020

ANTIFA has made a threat to attack neighborhoods and stores in Chesterfield County, including...

As protests over the unjust death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer turn to riots, violence and anarchy, the demonstrations seem to be less about Floyd and more about random violence, destruction and looting. 2nd Amendment

Anti-Gun Politicians' ANTIFA Kids Gone Wild

Mark Chestnut - June 02, 2020

As protests over the unjust death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis, Minnesota,...

Louisiana lawmakers are pushing measures to strengthen the right to keep and bear arms. 2nd Amendment

Three Ways Louisiana Is Trying to Strengthen Gun Ownership

Mark Chestnut - May 27, 2020

Louisiana lawmakers are pushing measures to strengthen the right to keep and bear arms.

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now