Would You Comply with the Church?

Would You Comply with the Church? July 20, 2010

If the Church says “You are not allowed to bring guns into our churches,” would you accept their demand or ignore it?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Kevin

    Of course. Given how I never owned a gun and abhor guns, it’s pretty easy to comply. The only exception should be police officers stopping in for mass or adoration.

  • digbydolben

    No, no guns carried by “police officers,” the military or ANYBODY.

    Have you not heard of the ancient, traditional “right of sanctuary”? I’m amazed that so-called “conservative Catholics,” who are so adamant about the new issues, like abortion and “gay marriage,” are, at the same time, so willing to surrender to the State the traditional prerogatives of the Church.

  • smf

    It would not bother me particularly. However, the opinions of regular concealed carry types would be meaningful hear, those who don’t regularly carry don’t have much to say on this.

    I do know this would be a huge problem for law enforcement officers, since most are required by law to carry their firearm, thus forcing a terrible choice upon them.

    Also, I should note that the doorkeepers at a local mainstream evangelical protestant church are quietly encouraged to be armed while on duty during services, just in case the need arises.

  • nan

    Abortion is not a new issue.

  • Kevin

    Digby,

    If a police officer working a double shift wants to go to mass on a Sunday during his lunch break, you woud deny it? They cannot store their weapon in the trunk while on duty. BTW, I consider myself as a progressive in politics, there are no such designations in Catholicism only those faithful to the Church’s teaching and those who are not. Abortion and marriage aren’t a conservative (or liberal whichever you prefer) and progressive difference. Faithful Catholics whether conservative/liberal or progressive are obliged by the church to politcally and socially oppose abortion and support marriage only between one man and one women. There are differnt approaches in hpow this is accomplished politically and socially of course.

  • JohnH

    According to this law, if you brought a gun into a Catholic Church, you would be in violation of the law. It stipulates “that those with authority over the church — in this case the bishops — have the right to decide whether to allow weapons” according to the article.

    • John

      Yes, but I am asking, would people follow the law (and the Church) or demand “rights”?

  • The whole issue is mindblowing (no pun intended). That this is even an issue shows how perverse dominant, white male society is.

    Of course, I’m guessing that the Louisiana Catholic Conference envisions exceptions for law enforcement. The Catholic Church’s relationship to the state in the u.s. is such that I can’t imagine that exception not existing. Constantinianism, etc., blah blah. Such an exception would be unfortunate (and unfaithful), of course, but expected I think.

  • Pinky

    Henry, I don’t know what response you’re trying to provoke, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Who said I am trying to provoke anything? I asked a question. Amazingly enough, InsideCatholic raised a similar question this morning. Are they trying to provoke something? Is it a conspiracy?

  • Kevin

    How is an exemption for law enforcement unfaithful?

  • digbydolben

    Kevin, I would, indeed, deny it; they can go to mass when they’re off-duty; they can be guards at the door.

    However, they should not enter the sacred space where the Eucharist is being consecrated carrying weapons; don’t you understand that there’s a world of theological difference between the sacred space of the “Real Presence” and a Protestant religious service?

    Louisiana is a traditionally Catholic state, and I imagine that there are enough Cajuns and Creole and French-speaking Catholics still in it–who’ve not been infected by State and gun-worshipping talk radio–who understand this difference, and who will support the traditional Catholic principle of “Right of Sanctuary.”

  • digbydolben

    And, frankly, I won’t go to mass with people carrying weapons. I doubt that even military chaplains would tolerate it.

  • doug

    As a gun owner, I believe it’s the bishops’ call, and it’s entirely appropriate. It is not unheard of for people to be killed while attending Mass. Think of Pakistani Catholics, Archbishop Romero, St. Stanislaus, and St. Eric of Sweden. Yet outside of a credible threat or critical job function, it is out of place and not in keeping with the role of the Mass in our spiritual life.

    Although I know others disagree, I believe that there should be an exception for police and military in a combat zone. They have a grave duty to protect others which may require them to act on a moment’s notice, and are often targeted by criminals who want to do them harm. Retrieving a weapon from a vehicle may result in their death or the death of others. Setting aside a place where a criminal will know they are unarmed endangers the police officer. Such a requirement could be a death sentence for a police officer in Mexico who has been targeted by the cartels.

    Unlike some here, I believe police and military should be afforded every opportunity to attend Mass. To deny them that opportunity is destructive to their spiritual life.

  • St. Michael

    I would suspect there are already laws in place that permit police officers to carry their sidearms into churches provided they are not concealed and are in uniform in non-emergency situations.

    As I understand the matter, this issue relates explicitly to concealed weapons in churches.

    It is the Church’s right to invoke rights of sanctuary as it sees fit. In our current time and place, the Church generally permits law enforcement officers in uniform to be armed in church. In other times and places even LEOs have been forbidden from bringing weapons into church.

    I have seen armed LEOs who are attending Holy Mass but refuse to enter the church proper while armed, instead remaining prayerfully outside the Sanctuary (either in a narthex or outside the church) with the door open. The priest would then bring them Holy Communion. However, they may have been on duty and had their radios on very quietly.

  • St. Michael

    Digby,

    I think St. Paul had something to say about those who declared who refused to attend Mass together with people of some group or another.

    I also think that, at least on occasion, even the Holy Father permits armed persons in St. Peter’s Basilica. I think they’re called the Swiss Guard.

    http://www.fototime.com/A71507946932258/orig.jpg

  • That this is even an issue shows how perverse dominant, white male society is.

    Yes!

  • Pinky

    It’s perverse that someone would cast this question in a context of race and sex.

  • digbydolben

    St. Michael, I’ve been to mass in St. Peter’s, in the presence of the Swiss Guard. They carry HALBERDS there, not those guns you are showing. The guns are for security OUTSIDE the basilica.

    But I believe you knew that–just as I believe you knew that I wasn’t insisting that a category of persons be excluded from participation in the divine office, but rather a category of behaviour.

    Anything to score points, though, right?

  • Kevin

    That this is even an issue shows how perverse dominant, white male society is.

    Nothing like white folk playing the race card. You do realize that handgun ownership is roughly equivalent between blacks and whites (17% and 13%). Again, I abhor guns and would never own one, but please make honest arguments not ignorant comments.

  • To deny them that opportunity is destructive to their spiritual life.

    Should it not equally be said that to deny officers the opportunity to be in God’s presence without their weapons is destructive to their spiritual life? I agree entirely with regard to accommodating LEO needs, either as St. Michael reports (12:19 comment) or by the Church providing some other means of securing firearms during Mass.

  • doug

    Digby, looking at video of when Pope Benedict was knocked down at Christmas Mass, it appears at least some of the security personnel put their hands into or behind their coats. I don’t think they were reaching for their cell phone cameras.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGNqYNiSTjc&feature=channel

  • digbydolben

    Again, I REPEAT, Doug, I’ve been at mass in St. Peter’s TWICE, I’ve been at a beatification conducted on the beach (of Josef Vaz) in Sri Lanka, presided over by two different popes, and NOT ONCE did I SEE any sign of the possession of firearms by papal security. And I recall that, even in terrorist-ridden Sri Lanka (in 1994), there were specific requests by the pope’s entourage that the Lankan military not have too large a presence. As a result, when John Paul II’s “popemobile” sped away after the service (right past me), there were NO military personnel or armed constabulary accompanying it–absolutely none.

    Hint: they may WELL have been reaching for their “cell phones.” (The papacy does not think like American Catholics.)

  • markdefrancisis

    On a broader note, the spirit of self-donation essential to the Eucharistic act seems antithetical to the mindset that would allow guns or any other weapons during Mass.

  • I stand by my comment.

    And Doug, soldiers and cops are able to attend Mass whenever they want. No one is saying they should be denied access to Mass. They just shouldn’t come armed.

  • Rodak

    Do celebrity body guard details get an exemption? If the Pope can be attacked in church, so might be a movie star who is being stalked.

  • I don’t see why the bishops’ decision is a problem, nor why anyone would consider it to be so.

    I would imagine the reason LA passed the law making the ban optional is that laws which require people who have concealed carry licenses to leave their guns in the car while entering some specific building necessarily create a security hazard. Come to that, I wouldn’t really want to the motorcycle officer I usually see when I go to 7am mass at my parish leave his sidearm in his motorcycle. I would assume it’s less likely to be stolen (and thus become a danger to society) if it remains untouched on his belt.

  • Darwin – The guy should make other arrangements for Mass such that his worldly, violence-prone “duties” do no come into such close contact with the Eucharistic liturgy.

  • I guess it’s true that extremes tend to loop around and join — usualy I only see the most obnoxios rad-trads sitting around ruling on who ought to stay away from mass…

    I certainly don’t think that police, state troopers, etc. should make a point of arming to go to mass, but given that a gun isn’t a safe thing to leave lying around in one’s car (much less motorcycle) I don’t see why (given that they normally have guns on their belts during the workday) they shouldn’t come to mass that way if they’re stopping in on the way to or from a shift or during a break.

    Only people with the most bizarre of mental hang-ups would find that threatening or upsetting.

  • What is the plausible absolute necessity of a cop going to mass when on duty that even makes this hypothetical worthy of discussion?

  • digbydolben

    So, I guess DarwinCatholic that John Paul II, in requesting that the Sinhalese armed forces stay away from his beatification mass for Josef Vaz, was possessed of “the most bizarre of mental handicaps.”

    (Actually, though, I think you’re right about him and me being “rad-trads,” because we agree in opposing things that folks in your camp are so enthusiastic about–like that “sacrament of American religion,” the sacred and holy “death penalty.)

    No, I don’t care what DarwinCatholic or Doug or St. Michael think: if an armed cop comes and stands next to me at mass, I’m going to quietly leave.

  • S.B.

    Thinking of guns as peculiar to “white males” shows quite an absurd ignorance of the fact that blacks own and use guns too. It’s gun control, ironically, that originated as a tool of racism; for several decades, it was specifically intended to keep blacks from defending themselves.

  • Pinky

    Well, Sri Lankans are white males.

  • doug

    Digby, asking an active combatant in a civil war not to deploy near a papal mass, which was the case in Sri Lanka, is a far cry from a police officer wearing his duty gear showing up for daily mass before heading off for work.

    • Digby, asking an active combatant in a civil war not to deploy near a papal mass, which was the case in Sri Lanka, is a far cry from a police officer wearing his duty gear showing up for daily mass before heading off for work.

      Well, he can skip Mass and do his “secular” “duty,” knowing that he has absolutely no obligation to attend daily Mass.

      If I were to see a cop at Mass with a gun, I would use the sign of peace as an opportunity to tell him that whether the assembly knows it or not, he has blasphemed the Eucharist. And I would tell him that he has made my own participation in it impossible, and I would walk out at that point, which hopefully would indicate to him the severity and divisiveness of his act. But with the individualistic approach to Eucharist that most Catholics STILL take to this very day — seen clearly in very suggestion that it is okay for a cop to bring a gun to Mass! — I would not expect him to understand in the least, nor would I expect him to care at all about the effect that he might have on others.

  • Kapustin Yar

    1. No Catholic has to obey absurd and unjust laws.

    2. No Catholic bishop has the right to make weapon restrictions on the faithful or clergy.

    3. A concealed or even visible weapon does not violate sacred space nor is it contrary to reception of the Eucharist.

    • 1. No Catholic has to obey absurd and unjust laws.

      Right.

      2. No Catholic bishop has the right to make weapon restrictions on the faithful or clergy.

      Wrong. Like, not just a bad idea, but factually wrong.

      3. A concealed or even visible weapon does not violate sacred space nor is it contrary to reception of the Eucharist.

      Disgustingly wrong.

  • jh

    FOr the record the Louisiana Catholic Bishops were neutral on this bill as long there was a provision for Churches t opt out

    • FOr the record the Louisiana Catholic Bishops were neutral on this bill as long there was a provision for Churches t opt out

      An example of episcopal timidity, nothing more.

  • I don’t see why (given that they normally have guns on their belts during the workday) they shouldn’t come to mass that way if they’re stopping in on the way to or from a shift or during a break.

    Again, my opinion is that the guy should stay the hell away from Mass in that situation.

  • digbydolben

    You know, Michael and Henry, I think it’s time to freely admit that we don’t belong to the same Church as some of the people on here; they worship the State (so long as it does nothing to upset the class system)rather than Christ; they worship the institutional Church and a certain selection of its traditions (those that don’t conflict with the heresy called “Americanism”), rather than Christ; they suscribe to a local and provincial Catholic culture, rather than anything that challenges and confronts nationalism or cultural chauvinism with universal application.

    It is also time to admit that they find support for their version of Catholicism among the ranks of the reactionary hierarchy, who are demonstrating their support for insitutional life over “mere Christianity” with their defensive response to the pedophile scandals.

    Do we really BELONG in this Church? And, if, perhaps, we don’t any more, are we being kept here by intellectual dishonesty or moral cowardice? I know what Rodak would say, and I respect his point of view, but I’d rather here from someone with a family tradition that is fervently Catholic, like my own.

    • Digby

      I would disagree because it follows their own misunderstanding of Church membership and ecclesiology.

  • Rodak

    And yet the Tea Party is called upon to expel its racists…

  • Kapustin Yar

    Michael J. Iafarte,

    How do you justify your disgusting and inhuman drivel?

    I pray you tell us exactly what canon gives a bishop the authority to regulate military or civilian weapons?

    • Kapustin

      You really do not think a bishop has authority over what can happen on church property? The Church has a long history with forbidding weapons at holy places because Christ is the prince of peace, not the king of war.

  • Long ago when I was an altar boy serving a funeral Mass, I remember feeling something oddly amiss when the Knights of Columbus, as pallbearers, carried a casket into the church while all (including the deceased) wore full KoC regalia. Including swords, which were ceremonially drawn after they set the casket down. No doubt, in their minds this was an expression of Knightly honor for the deceased, and did not intend any affront to the Prince of Peace, represented as the deceased victim of torture and military abuse on the cross above the altar.

    Does anyone know: Do military or law enforcement honor guards participate in modern Catholic funeral Masses? If so, do they carry weapons, real or ceremonial?

    I’d like to think that those of us who see weapons as absolutely out-of-place in a sanctuary understand Christianity “better” than those who think otherwise. If there’s a canon or clear and continuous tradition prohibiting weapons, let’s see those kept. If not, let’s express our “better” understanding with charity toward those who think differently. Love … bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

  • Henry
    The Swiss Guard, despite Christ being the Prince of Peace, have shooting practice according to the Vatican web site:
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/swiss_guard/swissguard/compiti_en.htm

    That is why metaphors are not always telling phrases. The Swiss Guard have 13,000 dollar per gun Heckler and Koch MP5A3 submachine guns. That is another of example of why metaphoric titles of Christ are not exhaustive indicators of this topic.

    Common sense says that the papal bodyguards are carrying sidearms within St. Peter’s after last years tackling of the Pope by a deranged woman…which interalia showed how easy a terrorist also could reach him due to Regensburg memories…at which point a sharp shooter amongst the bodyguards would be requisite.

    • Bill — “common sense” says people don’t become martyrs but just sacrifice to the gods…

  • “inter alia’ should be two words as it is in Latin.

  • If I were to see a cop at Mass with a gun, I would use the sign of peace as an opportunity to tell him that whether the assembly knows it or not, he has blasphemed the Eucharist. And I would tell him that he has made my own participation in it impossible, and I would walk out at that point, which hopefully would indicate to him the severity and divisiveness of his act. But with the individualistic approach to Eucharist that most Catholics STILL take to this very day — seen clearly in very suggestion that it is okay for a cop to bring a gun to Mass! — I would not expect him to understand in the least, nor would I expect him to care at all about the effect that he might have on others.

    And you don’t think that using the sign of peace as an opportunity to try to put someone else in his place and then storm out to make a point would be just a tad ironic? That this wouldn’t be a far more individualistic approach to the Eucharist than some guy who happens to be a cop taking forty minutes out of his work day to approach the Lord’s table?

    This seems like a perfect example of how “ideology” is that state of mind which loves ideas while hating persons.

    Well, he can skip Mass and do his “secular” “duty,” knowing that he has absolutely no obligation to attend daily Mass.

    But really — isn’t it better for his soul and better for us as a society if those tasked to enforce civil law are the sort of people who take time out of their day for daily mass?

    No, there’s no obligation to go to daily mass — and lest anyone think I’m trying to shroud myself in some sort of virtue I don’t have I should admit openly that between a new baby and work hours and simple morning laziness, I haven’t made it to daily mass in months myself, though this conversation is reminded me of the peace and direction that daily contact with our Savior used to give my day. But for the last couple hundred years especially our popes and bishops and saints have reminded us again and again of the graces to be found through frequent participation in the mass and reception of the Eucharist. While it is by no means an obligation to attend mass on days other than Sundays and holy days of obligation (here again that term, obligation, which perhaps plays too large a place in our thinking about mass) it is most certainly a good thing to do so, and something people should be encouraged to do rather than discouraged.

    There really is nothing so quietly close to God and intimately a part of the Body of Christ as daily mass. Early morning light filters into the church as people trickle quietly in — there is no class or profession in Christ as the business man in a suit kneels next to a man in a street cleaner’s coverall, the one heading off to work as the other heads back. A few elderly regulars shuffle in. An older woman in a cleaning service uniform reads silently from an aged and battered prayer book in Spanish; a younger woman in nurse’s scrubs kneels down next to her and exchanges a few words before they both turn to prayer. The state trooper’s motorcycle can be heard arriving outside, and a moment later his boots sound on the tiled floor before the creak of him kneeling down heavily in one of the back pews. A moment later comes the deeper growl of a Harley Davidson, marking the arrival of the “biker guy” in heavy boots and leather vest who settles himself in the third pew and bows his head.

    The priest rings a bell from the sacristy to signal the start of mass, and all stand. Father, not trusting his unaccompanied singing voice enough to lead a song, recites the opening antiphon as he walks in. A quiet, spoken mass in a mostly empty church, as the morning light grows stronger outside. At the Prayer of the Faithful, a pause as those in the pews speak aloud their intentions, some in English, some in Spanish, one in Vietnamese.

    Christ makes Himself present in his Body and Blood to a small group gathered in his name. Thirty minutes, and with a “go in peace” the mass is ended and the people rise from their pews and go out into the world, the better for it. An island of peaceful communion with our creator and savior in a busy day.

  • Henry
    Sigh…the ivory tower academy living tells on you…Christ permitted disciples to carry swords as we see in several places probably for mugger protection in a culture without modern medicine (as in later Europe) so that carrying swords was either ethically done or Christ permitted that which was scandalous to His mission which latter is absurd since He would have stopped the disciples from bringing concubines very quickly.
    So Christ permitted the carrying of weapons….as He as Word also did thoughout the entire Old Testament.

  • Kapustin,

    Don’t be silly. There’s no right or need for people to carry concealed weapons in a Catholic church.

    Digby,

    There’s a big difference between saying you don’t want to be surrounded by a country’s military as an honor guard (or actual guard) and telling police that because they wear sidearms while at work they are not allowed to come to daily mass.

    Frank M,

    The KofC custom has a lot of precursors in Europe, modern and medieval. One may not like it, but it’s certainly not untraditional. Indeed, the was occasion for the blessing of weapons during the process of being knighted, and the symbolism of the hilt of a sword being shaped like a cross was often referred to.

  • jh

    “An example of episcopal timidity, nothing more.”

    Michael I Don;t see it that way. THe Bishops remained netural because they could opt out. In the end it was getting the State out of the Churches business. I really don’t care if the Pentecostal Church down the street allows people to have guns or not.

  • Darwin – No, I think the sign of peace is precisely the right moment to do that. Why would my gesture at that time be “ironic” but the cop’s possession of a weapon at the sign of peace would not?

    As for daily Mass, despite your romanticized description of that “island of peaceful communion,” no, I think there are times when it is certainly better to refrain from going to an optional Mass. Say a clown just HAD to attend Mass in his or her costume or else he or she just wouldn’t have time to get to the kid’s birthday party in time… Hmm… no brainer, but it might be better for the clown to refrain from Mass participation that day. Same goes for “clowns” who want to bring their guns to church.

  • No, I think the sign of peace is precisely the right moment to do that. Why would my gesture at that time be “ironic” but the cop’s possession of a weapon at the sign of peace would not?

    Because you’d be taking the time assigned to the sign of peace to attack someone and attempt to drive him out of the church. The cop, simply by wearing his service belt, is not threatening, intimidating, or attacking anyone.

    In such a situation, you would be acting violently, he would not.

    I suppose if your worldview is that a policeman, by wearing his service belt, is attacking or threatening people, then there would be some validity to your view. But I don’t see how someone could hold that, at least in our present time in place. I’ve heard, for instance, of priests telling officers in SS uniform that they could not come so dressed to mass because it was threatening and intimidating and disrespectful — but to hold that someone in tasked with helping wrecked motorists and ticketing speeders is such a threat seems rather disconnected from reality.

  • digbydolben

    Darwin, if you refuse to read Sacred Scripture dialectically–as a time-bound, GRADUAL Revelation of the Truth of the imperative of Love’s Greater Potential–then you may use it to justify just about ANYTHING; it’s just that full of contradictions.

    For instance, you want to use the mere mention of the disciples’ bearing of arms to forget, in my opinion, the dictum that those who “live by the sword, die by the sword.” You and others of your ilk on here have been horrified by my interpretation of Christ’s healing of the Roman soldier’s slave (his sexual slave, as defined by Roman law and custom, as every Jew in the crowd would have known)as an instance of Christ’s liberal attitude toward “orientations,” “preferences” or pecadilloes, but, as distinct from the narrowness of your own proscriptions against interpretations such as that one of mine, I absolutely would not banish the Roman officer from mass, just because he is a soldier.

    Indeed, remembering that many Christian interpretations of his “vocation” have had it that it is to “die for his countrymen” (John Ruskin’s formulation) and that Christ Himself consorted with soldiers–and “worse”–I would only ask of him that he leave his weapons at the door, as a sign of reverence–or, if you will, of remorse for what he sometimes has to do. To me, it would seem that you’d welcome him back onto the site of Golgotha’s re-enactment with his weapons still drenched with the Saviour’s blood.

    Sacred Scripture is not to be used in your legalistic fashion of drawing upon the history of a deeply flawed institution to justify behaviours that contradict its sense–the obvious sense that full Realization of Christ’s Incarnation as Earthly Love depends upon ever-increasing purification of all man’s baser instincts for violence. THAT is what the Christian Revelation is meant to accomplish, and any sentimental depiction of the morning mass, as attended by policemen or anybody else, is no substitute for it.

  • Kapustin Yar

    Henry,

    There is a long history of bishops doing many weird things and the faithful have complied either voluntarily or by crude coercion. A bishop’s authority is primarily liturgical; he has very little authority over property or individuals. A bishop can be disciplined for abusing his authority in matters that are not explicitly governed by the canons. Coerced piety is not piety.

    Darwin,

    Don’t be silly! It does not matter if there is a perceived right or a need for people to carry concealed weapon in a Catholic Church. No Catholic, lay or clergy, is obligated to obey that kind of restriction by either the State or the Church.

    • To say a bishop’s authority is primarily liturgical leads us back to where we are at: we are talking about liturgy and what is or is not permitted in its celebration. However, the idea that he has little authority over “property or individuals” is both true and false, depending upon what you mean by this. To say a bishop cannot ask you to put away your weapons is wrong — it is embracing too much a false view of weapons which the Church historically has not embraced, but non-Christian revolutionaries have. The Church has a long history of working for peace, and outlawing even the use of particular weapons (like the crossbow). When we look to the ante-Nicene era, we see clearly the advocates are for non-violent ways of action; the whole “defend yourself with a weapon” is not patristic, it is scholastic at best (St Augustine forbade it, and he was one who opened up the possibility of just use of weaponry). Do not go embracing secular love for violence — remember, Scripture tells us not to put our trust in the might of arms!

  • Darwin – I said nothing about “attacking” anyone or “driving them out of church.” I said that I would be the one leaving church. Thanks, though, for reminding me why attempting to have a conversation with you is completely pointless.

  • Kapustin Yar

    Henry,

    What is permitted or not permitted in Catholic liturgy is defined by the rubrics and nothing more. Any other ‘opinion’ is merely commentary.

    A bishop can certainly ask me to put away my weapon, but he cannot legitimately compel anyone against their conscience.

    There is no such thing as a ‘false view of weapons’, especially in the Latin Church where clergy have historically participated in battle and shed blood (including bishops and Popes).

    Scripture is correct in telling us not to put our trust in the might of arms, but it also says not to be stupid, arrogant or coercive.

    There is no such thing as a ‘false view of weapons’, especially in the Latin Church where clergy have historically participitaed in battle and shed blood (including bishops and Popes)

  • digbydolben

    Kapustin Yar, you’re right, a bishop or a priest cannot legally tell you to “put away your weapons,” but what he CAN legitimately do, if you refuse to obey his decree, is leave the altar, shut down your church and even put your neighbourhood or whole country under the “interdict,” if you don’t follow HIS directives regarding the proper form and uses of the Catholic liturgy. With all your citations of medieval history, I believe you’ll recall what “excommunication” is.

  • St. Michael

    I fail to see the distinction between halberds(weapons of one sort) and firearms (weapons of a different sort).

    One is a weapon, the other is a weapon. One is carried by a legitimate armed individual, the other is carried by a legitimate armed individual, both are carried in the open.

    I look forward to someone posting their letter to the Pope, explaining how the Pope just doesn’t understand Catholicism, and that to be a true Catholic he must strip the Halberds from the Swiss Guard.

    Almost all objects are by their nature neither good nor evil. Guns and Halberds both fall into that category.

    The not so subtle Donatism and Manichaeism in this thread is really rather disturbing. So much so that persons are declaring who they will and won’t attend Holy Mass with, who they will accost during Holy Mass, and in what way they will do violence both to the person and the Holy sanctuary through such an accosting.

    Please, when you get to the Pearly Gates, make sure to explain to St. Peter about why all sorts of other persons should be denied entry because they aren’t part of your “Church of the Pure”

    Others are correct when pointing out that there are competing religions in this thread. Those that adhere to what the Church actually teaches, and then Digby and Michael. But please don’t thrash me for pointing that it, it was Digby who pointed the fact out for all to read.

  • Nothing’s changed around here, I see!

  • digbydolben

    You’re so silly, St.Michael; you want to pretend that a halberd is as threatening as a Kalishnikov; you want to pretend that quietly leaving (which is what I said I’d do) is the same as “accosting.” You want to pretend that disagreeing with certain non-doctrinal Church positions is apostacizing. (The trick of all ecclesiatical fascists, from the Inquisitors to the Syllabus of Errors to your Legionaries of Christ-supporting ilk at Neuhaus’s rag). You should go back under your rock; your obfuscations aren’t working.

  • Alex

    The Church is a public space only within certain bounds.

    And if the Church decides no weapons are to be carried in, the people who would carry weapons in are welcome to stay away.

    I personally cannot help but look at the desire to carry a weapon to mass as a form of rape.

  • digbydolben

    Frankly, Alex, I wouldn’t blame the policeman who carries his weapon to a mass, because I don’t believe he generally HAS “the desire” to carry it, and probably would be relieved to be told that he’s under no obligation whatsoever to go to mass when on duty. The folks who give me the creeps are those who’d encourage him come to mass carrying a loaded pistol. Obfuscate it as much as they can, their agenda is purely political.