Fishwrap supports the US bishops… once in a while

The Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) today has an article about the US bishops and the hotly debated gun-control legislation.

In evidence is their use of a story from the Religion News Service.

As the Senate takes up a heated debate over gun control and background checks, Catholic bishops have used the months since the Newtown, Conn., school shootings to push gun control in email blasts and Senate Judiciary Committee testimony. But among the Catholic faithful, not everyone supports gun control measures.

Call them the NRA Catholics. [Boooo!]

In the midst of the heated post-Newtown gun control debate, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued firm support for increased regulation of firearms, citing Catholic teaching on the ethic of life. [The irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife .. no guns allowed, of course.] After President Barack Obama announced a package of legislative gun control proposals, the bishops joined a coalition of faith leaders in urging members of Congress to support them.

While most U.S. Catholics fall in line with the bishops’ stance on guns — about 62 percent support gun control, according to a poll by Washington-based the Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service — many in the pro-gun minority [Are they really claiming that only a minority of Americans are “pro-gun”?  I though the issue was particular legislation?] protest or disregard their leaders’ pronounced role in the debate.


Everyone should now be asking….

Does Fishwrap support the US bishops like this when they give public testimony about the HHS mandate? Same-sex marriage? Abortion?

On 26 October 2011 Archbp. Lori gave testimony to the House Judiciary Committee about DOMA on behalf of the USCCB.  Did Fishwrap go to bat for the USCCB then?  Did they come out in active support of the what the bishops were urging about marriage?

How about the US bishops concerns about the HHS mandate and the implications of Obamacare for the defense of human life and conscience protection?

The editors of the non-catholic National Schismatic Reporter (click HERE and HERE) won’t stick up for the US bishops when it comes to something fundamental to the Faith, something based on natural law and revelation like marriage. They are happy to leap on when there is a liberal approach to an issue calling for prudential judgments about how to deal with criminals and the deranged.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. drea916 says:

    These folks must have been absent from CCD the days they discussed matters that fall under prudential judgment.

  2. Mike Morrow says:

    By their fruits you shall know them. (Matthew 7:16)

    Perhaps it should be the USCcB, no? I’m none too certain about the “US” part either.

  3. Marcello says:

    They are happy to leap on when there is a liberal approach to an issue calling for prudential judgments about how to deal with criminals and the deranged.

    Absolutely on the money. There are legitimate differences of opinion on how to address the issue of mass murder by deranged individuals, there is no one Catholic position de fide, not that they know the difference between de fide and opinio tolerata. This is a prudential judgment anyway on which reasonably informed consciences can differ.

    That gang over there would put each line of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed up for a popular vote.

  4. O. Possum says:

    I can’t say that I support the USCCB in this. What is the point of them cuddling up to the Obama administration in this? I didn’t know gun control was part of being pro-life? Maybe we should talk about tough regulations on medical supplies and coat hangers since they might get used to commit an abortion. This is so depressing. I feel like I’m being attacked on all sides these days. :(

  5. I have not read the actual statement from the USCCB, or the proposed legislation. But in general, I distrust any government that has the power to disarm its citizens. It’s bad enough that only the government has the best weapons and a tyrannical government could put down a popular uprising. Unlike just 100 years ago, war weapons were not much different from what was available to everyone. At any rate, while I support legislation authentically ordered to preventing needless tragedy, I’m not sure this legislation is. And, gun control is just another way a government (any government) has of controlling its people, and we need less of that, not more.

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    Wait. We’re in the middle of a demographic crash in the Catholic population, and they’re fussing about gun ownership? What?

  7. Mandy P. says:

    I am not opposed to background check, per se. However I am suspicious of the federal motives behind this bill when every state in the union *already* requires background checks at the state level. It seems to me that this is an usurping of state authority *and* the principle of subsidiarity. I just don’t see what the point is in the USCCB supporting this legislation.

  8. catholicmidwest says:

    When confronting a real difficulty, you can do one of two things:
    1) set out to solve the real difficulty, even if it is hard, and you might be able to do it.
    2) pick something else to attack. It doesn’t solve the difficulty at hand, but it can make you feel better, for what that’s worth. Which is not much.

  9. george says:

    The USCCB was supportive of the Brady Bill back in the 1990’s, too. I don’ t know how many bishops actually support these gun control measures, but I think the USCCB’s support for is it shameful. The history of ineffective gun control has been to disarm the population. Disarming the population leads to oppression — of the population and the church. I think supporting gun control run counter to Catholic teaching.

  10. acricketchirps says:

    Will bishops be moving to withhold Communion from NRA Catholics?
    Would NSR readers support this move?

    [I imagine that the NSR crowd would so urge.]

  11. Rellis says:

    The Fishwrap is a joke no one pays attention to any more.

    The real enemy, as usual, is the USCCB. That’s the story here, not some Fishwrap article.

  12. lydia says:

    Wouldn’t you think their experience with this current administrations health care bill would have curtailed these endorsements? Bishops please preach the Gospels. Preach against murder weather it be by gun abortion or euthanasia. Preach the sacraments. Let the flock know there is evil in this world and hell exists and in your spare time read the constitution of the greatest country on earth. The Fishwrap is just that fishwrap not worth much to real Catholics.

  13. Ana says:

    I believe the USCCB and the Vatican (according Fr. Lombardi) are taking the following stance:

    The Vatican spokesman conceded that firearms are “instruments for legitimate defense.” But he observed that they are also “used to bring threats, violence, and death.” He said that Church leaders will “repeat tirelessly our calls for disarmament.”

  14. disco says:

    Calling people who don’t agree with the president’s proposed gun laws pro-gun makes about as much sense as calling people who are against mandatory sentencing pro-criminal.

  15. george says:

    Would they also concede that (automobiles/airplanes/alcohol) are “instruments for legitimate (travel/mass travel/leisure)” but observe that they are also “involved in (crimes/deaths/warfare/other sin),” and therefore church leaders will “repeat tirelessly their calls for making those things illegal”?

  16. gjp says:

    Without opening a whole new can of worms, because this post, I’m sure, isn’t meant to be a debate on the merits of gun control legislation, I’ll say my piece.

    The story on the gun control legislation is that they want to screen out criminals, which will accomplish nothing because they don’t plan on purchasing guns legally, and mentally ill people, such as those responsible for the shootings in Aurora and Newtown. Screening out those types of persons seems reasonable until you consider how this is to be done.

    Who gets to decide who is mentally fit and who isn’t fit? Do all prospective gun owners need to have their squash checked? Who will bear the cost of this procedure? Which doctors will be acceptable? How will they be accreditied? What criteria will be used to determine mental competency?

    Furthermore, this only eliminates part of the problem. Clearly, they want to stop mentally ill people from owning guns. However, what happens when a gun owner becomes mentally ill? Will they propose regular screenings as a requirement for gun ownership? Suppose that they are given an inch and then take a mile. What sort of mental disorders can they invent in order to disqualify persons from gun ownership? Is the goal to eliminate private gun ownership altogether, so that only agents of the state may own them? Could passing this legislation move reality closer to that goal?

    Last question, would the Holocaust have happened to the extent it did if the 1938 German Weapons Act hadn’t gone into effect? According to the law, only citizens were allowed to carry them, and conveniently, Jewish Germans had their citizenship stripped in 1935. If we are so bent on not allowing history to repeat itself, and we do not want another Aurora or Newtown, then please, explain to me how the new law completely prevents the possibility of another Kristallnacht?

    Some people completely lack the ability to comprehend why people own guns. It isn’t to go hunting, it isn’t simply for self-defense, it is to prevent another Kristallnacht. You simply do not invade a population when that population is well-armed.

    With that said, if it came to that and someone wanted to take me out for being Catholic, well, how many of us in this day and age have the opportunity to choose a martyr’s crown? But of course, our point of view on these sort of things is a different one.

  17. Gus Barbarigo says:

    The Catechism commands me to defend my family, even if deadly force is required; this is a “grave duty”. CCC 2263-2265.

    Can the bishops even define an assault weapon?

    Is this Bishop Blaire a pal of Cardinal Mahoney? Didn’t he try to back out of the bishops united stand against Obamacare?

    Doesn’t the Bishop/USCCB realize that they are under immediate persecution, by force of law, and that, historically, persecution by force “of the sword” always follows!

    Don’t they realize that gun confiscation is an historical indicator for persecution and genocide!

    Since the Knights of Columbus have traditionally provided physical security for Catholic people and places (e.g., churches) in this country over the decades, were the Knights consulted? The same Knights that helped finance the “For Greater Glory” movie, about armed resistance to the hideous persecution in Mexico!!!!

    Can someone please ask ++Lori (KofC Supreme Chaplain) to get the USCCB to do its homework, instead of relying on Marxist think-tanks to do their thinking for them, as famously happened with Obamcare! And how is that working out for the Excellencies!!!

  18. Johnno says:

    I simply don’t understand why the USCCB trusts the American Government so implicitly…

    Is it because the U.S. Government labels anyone having anti-government sentiments because the government is doing bad and questionable things as being violent terrorists?

    Is this some scratch you back you scratch mine attempt that if they push gun control, Obama will release them from the HHS mandate?

    If anything these are precisely the climates where people should be most suspicious of the government. If all it’s anti-life championing to thin the American population isn’t enough of a clue that they’re following Agenda 21 to eliminate people, and buying up ammo to use against the people, it’s drone strikes, it’s shadow tribunals, it’s seeking to eliminate religion, it’s consolidating of power to the President to act as a tyrannical monarch isn’t a big clue to where this is headed, then I don’t know what is…

    Maybe there’s something to the conspiracy that the U.S. Bishops have infiltrators amongst them, or they’re just that naieve.

  19. Gus Barbarigo says:

    I’ll state further, that defense of innocent life begins when that life is in the womb, and continues when that life leaves the womb (we defend those facing an unjust attack).

  20. PA mom says:

    The USCCB could clearly use to add some diversity of political preference to their media team. On issues like this they sound Democrat, even when the assumption should be that they are politically neutral. And, even when 50% of Catholics are Republican who are likely to be somewhat offended by the clear choosing of sides in an unnecessary instance.
    Since catholic means everybody, could they apply this within the USCCB better by choosing to include conservatives in their policy decision making?

  21. GypsyMom says:

    Why, why, WHY do the bishops insist on commenting on matters of which they know little and understand even less, while being derelict in the actual duty they legitimately hold–teaching and defending the Faith? Perhaps if they were faithful to their offices and taught the truths of our faith correctly, there would not be as much corruption of the human heart in our world today, which is the real root of violence, not guns! There are no objects which can’t be used for evil actions, including murder. Will they ban rocks, sticks, bricks, broom handles? Bishops, it is the human heart that needs to be made right with God, and helping to fix that is your job, not helping to pass legislation that could prevent us from defending ourselves against a tyranical government filled with pro-eugenic politicians! So niave!!

  22. HyacinthClare says:

    Why does everybody on this thread today GET IT and the bishops DON’T?? GypsyMom, you said it very well. I find the gun-grab, open-borders attitudes from the USCCB as incomprehensible as the rationales of the predator priests. When all our defenses are taken down, do they think they will some how be immune from the destruction visited on the rest of us? What are they thinking??

  23. dominic1955 says:

    The real issue here is that when someone says, “The USCCB says…” they want it to be magisterial when it clearly isn’t. Stuff that comes out of the USCCB could have been written by cardinals or some two bit intern politico-and none of it has magisterial authority as a “USCCB document”.

    Of course when its some tolerated opinion liberal sacred cow its all ultramontanism and obedience-uber-alles but funny how that goes out the window as soon as its something that is actually de fide or consistently taught by the Fathers and Doctors and auctores probati…

  24. Mandy P. says:

    “Screening out those types of persons seems reasonable until you consider how this is to be done.”

    The funniest part about this is that, aside from the issues you already entitled (about who decides who is mentally ill, the criteria, and so forth) is the fact that any screening that sorts out the mentally ill would likely violate HIPPA. Your doctors, including mental health professionals, are legally required to keep confidential all patient information, with the exception of a patient being in immediate danger of harm to themselves or others. So, basically unless someone threatens to kill himself or another person, it is illegal for your doctor or psychologist or whatnot to disclose your health.

    Further, most professionals in the psychology community will tell you that it is extremely difficult to determine if someone is a danger to anyone unless there is already a history of iolence from the individual. So while they are selling this as a way to weed out the mentally ill, in practice it cannot do so without violating current privacy law.

  25. Mandy P. says:

    That should be detailed, not entailed. Auto-correct does not agree with me today.

  26. KAS says:

    I look around at the state of catechesis in this country and at the fact that what little turn around there has been has very nearly been totally LAY-PERSON driven and then I read things coming out of our Bishops conference that favors legislation that is in play primarily to incrementally disarm law abiding citizens and render them unable to defend themselves or the innocent (like those poor teachers and administration who, for lack of a single gun among them, died while failing to shield their students from a man that could have been killed by ONE law abiding administrator or teacher or janitor with a concealed carry!).

    Disarming and making self defense harder for everyone actually favors the criminals who kill– after all, THEY will still get guns and use them but with the security that none of their victims are likely to be able to shoot back.

    I guess they won’t be happy until we are in the same boat as the Christians in Egypt– no means of self defense in a world of armed haters of all things Christian.

  27. EXCHIEF says:

    Don’t read the Fishwrap and I’ve found much better newswrap with which to start fires in the woodstove. Don’t listen to the US Bishops either since they rarely, if ever, discuss true matters of faith and morals….nor do many Priests under their direction. They all talk about “social justice” issues but given the fact that those are all being addressed by the little muslim dictator who takes from the “haves” to give to the “have nots” I don’t see much point in listening to their drivel. So I pray and practice my shooting. Both seem to be very necessary in this day and age.

  28. tmhester says:

    Perhaps I’m not the best person to judge this issue. You see, I am a gun-owning Roman Catholic. I attend daily mass, to say nothing of the 52 Sundays and some odd obligatory holy days each year. I make my best effort to examine my conscience and confess my sins every couple of weeks. My wife and I are absolutely, 100% OPEN to the gift of human life (I’ll leave it to you to figure out who I’m supposedly offending with that statement). I named my only son after Pope Benedict, for heaven’s sake! Oh, and I teach moral theology in a Catholic high school AND my students actually respect me for it! Here’s what I’m getting at. I noticed last week a statement from the Bishop of Scranton marking the “sadness” he felt that Sen. Casey had “set aside” Church teaching on the sanctity (and definition) of marriage. I’m wondering if I can simply “set aside” the USCCB’s position on gun confiscation. Could I possibly “set aside” all the Marxist-influenced social policies that the Conference pushes out on the world? How about I “set aside” the notion that Catholic’s MUST be opposed to capital punishment in all instances? Then again, I’m probably not the right guy to be asking these kinds of questions.

  29. markomalley says:

    Fist of all, so far as I can tell, it’s just Bishop Blaire acting like Bishop Blaire (D-CA) again, not the whole episcopal conference: — at least he didn’t claim to speak for all the bishops of the US, as he has done in the past.

    And, to Sister Mary Ann Walsh’s credit, the press release surrounding +Blaire’s letter did not ascribe the letter to the entire episcopal conference acting in plenary session, like she has done in the past.

    Having said that, I sure wish that Apostolos Suos was required reading (accompanied by a 50 question multiple choice test — along with a 500 word essay and how they comprehend it to restrict their ability to speak)

  30. Ganganelli says:

    I think conservative Catholics are in for a big surprise with this pontificate. This Pope and the bishops he appoints are going to put a much greater emphasis on these kinds of issues.

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if there is at least talk of denying communion to people who support the Ryan budget and oppose gun control. [When there is strong talk about the proper application of can. 915 for public pro-abortion activists then we can have this conversation again.]And your average pew sitter won’t buy into the nuances of whether or not you’re talking doctrine or prudential judgement.

    Finally, does anyone think that little Ryan Lanza would have been able to knife or bludgeon those poor kids in Connecticut in a mere 4 or 5 minutes?

  31. Kathleen10 says:

    O. Possum. I feel your pain. It feels that way because it IS that way. Our ills come not just from our fellow man per se but our ELECTED fellow man, the ones who can cause the most mischief.
    In our state, it is one thing after another, much coming from the elected liberals. I’m not being divisive for no reason, our state is undeniably liberal (Connecticut) and they keep getting elected year in and year out. A few years ago Bishop Lori had to put up a fuss about our legislators who actually (look it up) wanted to appoint GOVERNING BOARDS to run our Catholic Churches! They were stopped, but we had to drive all the way up to the State House and trample on the lawn for awhile, etc. Just to have that suggested was alarming, and the legislators were completely serious.
    In our state, Newtown is a raw wound. Aside from the many repeated observations about the horror of it all, what has also become crystal clear is how the families of the victims have been, what I call, used by gun activists to strike while the iron is “hot”. While there is raw emotion and plenty of sympathy, NOW is the time to rush through gun legislation, as apparently, no one is willing to say “no” to a grieving parent. Realizing this, the gun-haters have used it well and the legislators have run like bulls with it. So there you have it, or, WE have it. Our Second Amendment rights, in a state called “the Constitution State”, have been run under or over, by a flurry of stupid laws pushed through in one week. The governor, Dannel Malloy, has not let go of this issue, and has made it clear there are more important issues than Second Amendment rights. There are PARENTS of lost children to comfort, by taking rights away from other citizens. We know this is just the first volley, the proverbial “inch”. But our state is so complacent, and our populace so apparently blind, probably many so busy trying to just keep up with the high costs of living in this state, that I hear nary a word about it all, except by a fantastic group called the CCDL, and I believe that’s the “Connnecticut Citizens Defense League”. They objected, nobody listened, and, as usual the legislators won.

    Personally I resent the Bishop’s position. I find it disturbingly contradictory and maddening. Silence on pro-life issues but pro-gun restrictions? What!
    Silence on traditional marriage but pro-gun restrictions? What!
    And the Bishop’s in general are often vocal about capital punishment, and less so about abortion! That makes no sense to me. Does it to you? At least be consistent. There is no reasoning in this. We just managed to defeat physician assisted suicide, but, it will be back. The Death Squads are nothing if not persistent.

    Personally, gun ownership is my heritage. My family owned and owns guns. We hunted. We do not hunt anymore but I own a gun for lots of reasons. I took a class as required, filled out the background check and submitted my fee. Why so many people are asleep on this issue, I don’t know. But if we lose our Second Amendment rights, they have us. We need to be able to defend ourselves from criminals and our own government if need be, God forbid.
    I’ll take the Bishop’s seriously when they put as much emphasis on stopping the practice of cutting up little babies in their mother’s womb as they do on issues like this. Or when the major threat to our time, gay marriage and lifestyles, receives the teaching and warnings it rightly deserves as a real and severe threat to our entire civilization. Until then, I’ll consider their opinion just another sad example of how I perceive a great divide between the Bishop’s concerns and my own.

  32. RafkasRoad says:

    Its moments like these I give thanks that I live in Australia…the genuine ‘greatest country on Earth’ :-) those who are concerned may wish to examine the work former Prime Minister John Howard did when similar questions faced us back in the late 1990’s.


    Aussie Marounite.

  33. novus ordo seminarian_76 says:

    Michael Matt from The Remnant Newspaper has a video where he weighs in on the issue.

    Aaron Rose

  34. Gus Barbarigo says:

    @ Ganganelli

    Actually, somebody did stab 22 people at a primary school, the same day the shooting in CT happened (and the shooter in CT allegedly was Adam Lanza; Ryan is his brother):

    So, Ganganelli, when do we start registering knives? Is there a one-knife-a-month limit?

    And it’s the Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. Does anyone “need-need-need” to go on the internet? First Amendment? Piffle! Let’s see your federally-approved combox permit!

  35. Ganganelli says:

    What has happened to the virtue of prudence? The rights enumerated in the constitution are not absolute. The first amendment does not give you the “right” to produce obscene pornographic art and the second amendment is properly limited as well.

    Our Holy Roman Catholic Church teaches we have the right to a just wage. She does not say we have a right to an assault weapon. And why stop there? Maybe in your mind, the 2nd amendment affords us the right to bear the miniaturized nuclear arms that are coming?

  36. Mandy P. says:

    “Finally, does anyone think that little Ryan Lanza would have been able to knife or bludgeon those poor kids in Connecticut in a mere 4 or 5 minutes?”

    Fact: On the day of the shooting in Newtown, a Chinese man stabbed 22 school children at a primary school in China. That is all in the span of the few minutes it took for one of the security guards on site to disarm him.

  37. Mandy P. says:

    Pray tell, what I the exact definition of an “assault weapon.” I’ll wait.

  38. Marcello says:

    I am so tired of hearing about “assault weapons,” which most people believe (incorrectly) fire fully automatic. Fully automatic weapons are machineguns and have been effectively banned since the Al Capone era by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

    An “assault rifle” is nothing more than a semiautomatic sporting rifle that looks “scary,” as if attaching a pistol grip, retractable stock, bayonet lug or flash suppressor makes the weapon anymore lethal than one without such a scary-looking feature.

    The problem in the dialogue is that most people don’t understand the technicalities of firearms and the media willfully exploits this ignorance, including President Obama, repeating the debunked “fact” that 40% of all gun purchases are done without a background check, something that is totally false–and he knows it.

    Enough already! Criminals by their nature will not obey any gun “control” laws, new or old.

  39. Ganganelli says:

    Thank you for the link. This incident actually supports the pro-gun control position of the Church as I don’t see where any of the people actually died.

    Send a mentally ill man into a school with a knife and 22 people end up hurt.
    Send a mentally ill man into a school with a bushmaster assault rifle and 26 end up dead.
    Send a mentally ill man into a school with a miniaturized nuke and how many will die?

  40. UncleBlobb says:

    It’s a good thing Chinese people have no Constitution to acknowledge and enforce their God given rights, so thus guy only could use a knife. Thank God for totalitarian states to protect us.

  41. Di says:

    The USCCB are leading us to the “SLAUGHTER” (Even the Apostles were permitted to come armed at the Last Supper).
    You know my parents taught me that respect is earned, I have lost respect for many of the Bishops. $$ and power(pride) seem to guide them.

    Luke 12:43 For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.

  42. Johnno says:

    Ganganelli –

    The 2nd Amendment exists so that people can defend themselves, first and foremost, from the tyranny of their own government. Granted in the time it was written, the most powerful weapon available was a canon. Today we live in a world in inter continental ballistic nuclear missiles. But if nukes have taught us anything it’s that nuclear deterrence does work to a very good extent! The principle of assured mutual destruction. Likewise it’s the same for the right to bear arms. And by the way, the Catholic Church is the same Church who launched the Crusades and kept a military adn the Pope keeps armed guards. God led Israel through warfare. This necessitates weapons being available. Christ also ordered His disciples to arm themselves in case of robbery. Those are prudent actions. So yes, the Church does allow for us to keep and bear arms prudently. This means weapons. Adding the loaded word ‘assault’ in front of it to imply unjust instigation doesn’t make any case on your part. It’s like calling pro-life demonstrators ‘anti-women activists.’

    Study history. Every single tyrannial regime kicks itself off with disarming the population as much as possible. Do you wholeheartedly trust a government that is known to lie, steal, do underhanded business, conduct shady elections, limits your rights, tries and imprisons or executes you without due process, kills unborn children and hates religion? And you’re going to trust these people when they promise you they won’t harm you if you just hand over your gun for your own safety?

  43. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Di,

    in that case your parents taught you the wrong thing. We do not respect anybody (primarily) because he has earned our respect, but because we’re under orders to respect him. See Phil 2,3 and 1 Petr 2,17.

  44. Imrahil says:

    And a bishop, we respect primarily because of his character. As in sacramentology, not as in the secular sense of personality.

    Think of it as of a monarch. A monarch, also, has inherited his position and has done nothing to achieve it.

  45. Magash says:

    Of course Ganganelli, one reason Lanza chose a school is because it was a gun free zone. James Holmes in Aurora did not pick the closest theater. He did not pick the biggest theater. He picked the theater that was posted as gun free.
    If any one of the teachers, parents or other workers in Connecticut or theater workers or moviegoers in Aurora had been allowed concealed carry it’s quite likely that either those crimes would not have happened or the results would have been far different.
    DO you think that you can count on the government to protect you from people who would do you or your family violence? If New Orleans after Katrina did not prove that is not the case then I don’t know what will.
    As a Catholic we should be ready to die for Christ if necessary. We are not required to let some criminal kill us for kicks or harm our loved ones for money or to exercise some perversion upon them.

  46. Scott W. says:

    It’s quite simple–gun control is easy to get behind as is pushing the law-abiding around.

    Law and Order (the real solution) is difficult. saying like Chesterton, “I wish Jones to go to gaol and Brown to say when Jones shall come out” takes fortitude.

  47. Mandy P. says:

    Ganganelli says:
    11 April 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Your logic is….lacking. If you think that somehow a gun is more deadly than a knife, and that suddenly makes “gun control” alright, I think you need to think that through again. That man in China, with that same knife, could have slit the children’s throats instead of just stabbing them. Or, with a little bit of training, he could have hit major organs and killed them. The intent was the same either way. Further, what about hammers, clubs, bats, etc? More people die every year from being clubbed by one of those than from rifles. And you know what? The dealiest school incident didn’t even involve guns. In the early 20th century a disgruntled school bookkeeper blew up a school with stuff he got on his family farm. Should we ban farming equipment now? I mean, it’s for the children, right?

    Methinks that instead of the sentimental knee jerking (for the children, I’m sure) maybe you should do a little research into violent crimes, where and how they occur, and as far as guns go look into how the majority of gun violence occurs and whether or not those folks got their weapons legally where a background check or licensing would have prevented them from getting their hands on them.

    The fact is, the overwhelming majority of legal gun owners do not commit crimes with them. So what you want to do is “control” law abiding citizens. Which is the path of least resistance, I suppose. I don’t see the criminals lining up to turn in their pieces they got on the street anytime soon. So we punish those who did not do anything wrong and are not likely to in order to make us *feel better,* and in the mean time we leave the law abiding population defenseless. That’s just brilliant.

  48. ordinary means says:

    Catholicmidwest is spot on with the demographics. God’s Will will be done in the Church. The USCCB will be defunded as the Church shrinks and so will its influence. I hope I spelled this correctly. Fr. Z. said this at the end of a broadcast once and it sums up the situation: Stat Crux Dum Volvitur Orbis. Meditate on that in prayer and know joy. All is in hand.

  49. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Pray tell, what I the exact definition of an “assault weapon.” I’ll wait.”

    An unbridled tongue…

    No, seriously, what is the Catholic teaching on the ethic of life? Oh, wait, Wikipeia says,

    “The consistent life ethic, or the consistent ethic of life, was a term coined in 1983 by Joseph Bernardin to express an ethical, religious, and political ideology based on the premise that all human life is sacred and should be protected by law.[1] The ideology opposes abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide, economic injustice, and euthanasia. Adherents are opposed, at the very least, to unjust war, while some adherents also profess pacifism, or opposition to all war.[2]”

    Let me explain how logic works. Since the Vatican has explicitly stated that there could be legitimate disagreement over the death penalty and since how one, “defends human life,” is also a matter of situational and prudential judgment, the whole phrase, “Consistent Life Ethic,” does not exist. Since the Consistent Life Ethic is a form of logical conjunction, where:

    CLE = No Abortion and No Capital Punishment and No Economic Injustice and No Euthanasia and No Gay Marriages as false sacraments…

    it suffices for one of the terms to be false to make the entire term false. Since capital punishment is arguable, the truth of, “No capital punishment,” cannot be assumed, which, then makes the entire conjunction false. Likewise, exactly how to protect human life is debatable (guns can work), so that aspect is also defeats able.

    In short, there is no such thing as a consistent ethic of life, except for the fundamental rule of moral theology: do good, avoid evil. Since doing the good can be a matter of situation and prudence, it is insane to support a blanket law that is neither. Very simply, guns are not intrinsically evil. The use of guns is not intrinsically evil. I wish the Bishop’s conference would quite treating them as if they were.

    How the hell can you expect to get people to respect others and not shoot them with a gun when you can’t even get them to respect babies in the womb and stop killing them with a scalpel? First, disarm the abortionists of scalpels and then you will see clearly to disarm the fathers of guns – if such a time could ever come.

    As for the mentally ill, if they want a gun, they can get a gun. You, Mr. Government, can’t stop them. If you could, no criminal would have a gun, either. You can only stop the ones stupid enough to seek to register them. It’s like the TSA screeners. They aren’t stopping the intelligent terrorists. They are stopping the idiots. Now, stopping stupid terrorists may give you something to do, but the intelligent ones laugh as they walk onto the plane.

    If you want to change the society, you have to change men. You have to bring them to virtue. Mr. Government and USCCB, how is that project going?

    The Chicken

    P. S. Let me state, unequivocally, that I am terrified of guns. Anyone who isn’t is a fool, but sometimes one has to use the right tool for the job and sometimes that might be a gun. Personally, I prefer that attacks include fruits and vegetables and not bullets, but ever since the discover of gun powder, horticulture has not been the first method of attacking.

    The Chicken

  50. The Masked Chicken says:

    “defeats able” should be defeasable.

  51. DisturbedMary says:

    I get really upset when Fishwrap Catholics try to advance gun control as a life issue. When the Church speaks of the sanctity of life it means abortion, euthenasia, IVF, embryonic research. Slipping gun control into the life “ethic” is a cruel modernist deceit and their intrusion via language control. Recently someone on Card. Dolan’s blog was nudging him to talk to some of his Republican friends in Washington to stop the mass murder of children in Sandy Hook and Aurora through gun control legislation that his Republican friends were opposing. For Fishwrappers everywhere, the truth is that only (and yes I mean only) 21 children died mercilessly in Sandy Hook and Aurora. 4000 — FOUR THOUSAND — die mercilessly EVERY DAY in abortions. The unborn are living as alive as you and me and the Sandy Hook first graders were. Only they are hidden. We don’t have pictures of them. We don’t see how cute they are, or imagine their adulthood. But they live. If they were whales, dolphins or eagles they would have the protection they deserve as living human beings. But alas, they are the smallest and live out of sight. We don’t see what’s left of them after they’ve been killed. Fishwrappers have every right to be concerned about mass shootings, but always with the caveat that it gives them no right to dance away from the most grievous sin against life — abortion killing.

  52. AvantiBev says:

    The Second Amendment is not just about my RIGHT but also about my RESPONSIBILITY to defend myself and my fellow citizens should the unthinkable happen and tyranny grow to the point that no other answer exists but armed revolution. I am sorry that fact upsets our bishops but their feelings do not trump my rights and duties to resist with force – perhaps laying down my own life — in order to secure freedom and win again those rights our grandparents cherished.

  53. Indulgentiam says:

    I worked for years in an inner city, level 1 trauma teaching hospital. I worked trauma bay in the ER 3 days out of the week. The three days I usually got put on, b/c I was unmarried and childless at the time, were nicknamed by some HOE days. As in Hell On Earth days. The rest of the world calls them Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gun crime was, for the most part, gang on gang. NEVER saw a rape victim that didn’t wish she’d had a gun. Ever see a man after his family has been brutalized in a home invasion b/c he was caught unprepared? Doctors have learned, the hard way, to find any reason to admit these men and put them on suicide watch. Cant even tell you how many of these men have left the ER to “get my kids blanky or toy” only to return in a body bag. Dead by their own hand. Every police officer I’ve ever talked to has, to a man, said the same to me. “Get a gun, learn to use it, we can’t be everywhere and there’s more of them than there are of us”
    It’s simple mathematics folks. Google the crime statistics in your home state. Then go to your local pd website and find out how many on the PD force, just Patrols. Then find out your local population. When you have calculated citizen per Police officer ratio and the shock has worn off, go buy a gun and invest in the classes. There are predators and prey. If you are not one you ARE the other.

  54. Gus Barbarigo says:

    @ Ganganelli, etc.

    The Church imposes on me a “grave duty” to defend myself, and leaves it to me to figure out how to do it, “assault weapon”or otherwise; this is where the prudence comes in!

    This “nuclear weapon” thing is a straw argument. Courts, including the US Supreme Court (in the Heller and McDonald cases) have seen the Second Amendment as giving an individual right to keep and bear weapons that are commonly used by individuals, such as rifles. I haven’t seen any one individual walking down the street with a nuclear missile on his back, have you!

    You are welcome for the link. How does a mass attack with a knife ‘prove gun control’? We are blessed no one died. But the incident shows that evil will always not be restrained by mere law or simple technology. Perhaps at the Chinese school, as at Newtown, an armed guard would have discouraged or mitigated the horror. We use armed guards at banks and jewelry stores; why not in schools?

  55. Nancy D. says:

    It appears that it is bishop against bishop and cardinal against cardinal, and who knows for certain about our Pope:
    please read comments with link to commonweal

  56. Mandy P. says:

    @Masked Chicken

    I am fairly terrified on firearms as well. Like you said, we should have a healthy fear of any object with the potential to be that powerful. I will say that it is less general fear and more a respectful caution after having gone to the range and practiced a bit. I have no idea if you’ve ever shot or not, but I highly recommend it. It really helped me to open one up and see the mechanics of how it works, clean it, put it back together, and then do some target practice so I could work on technique. It is actually a little more complicated than “point and shoot” if you are looking for accuracy (and I would assume we are in any given situation) and I am much more comfortable with the idea of having to defend my family and my home if the need should ever arise than I was before I had handled a firearm.

  57. Mandy P. says:

    Gus Barbarigo says:
    12 April 2013 at 10:45 am

    The school in China where the guy stabbed those kids actually *did* have armed guards. And he still managed to stab 22 before they disarmed him. It just proves to me that someone determined to do harm will find a way.

  58. ocalatrad says:

    It is not in the USCCB’s interest to oppose the government. They would jeopardize their chances of being invited to fancy cocktail dinners and keeping their wonderful friends in high places.

    The USCCB is the enemy of true Catholicism wherever it is to be found in this country. We don’t need a bishops’ corporation. We need bishops with backbone.

  59. Ed the Roman says:

    Ganganelli, why do you say that RYan Lanza was little? FOr that matter, why do talk about him at all? *Adam* Lanza was the shooter.

    And yes, I would say that a twenty-something man with a knife larger than a boxcutter could kill quite a few grade-school children.

  60. Gus Barbarigo says: But the incident shows that evil will always not be restrained by mere law or simple technology. Perhaps at the Chinese school, as at Newtown, an armed guard would have discouraged or mitigated the horror. We use armed guards at banks and jewelry stores; why not in schools?

    Why not indeed? What is the first thing a school under assault does? Call 911 to bring in a bunch of guys with guns. Have guys with guns there from the get-go and save time (and lives).

  61. ocalatrad says:

    It is not in the USCCB’s interest to oppose the government. They would jeopardize their chances of being invited to fancy cocktail dinners and keeping their wonderful friends in high places.

    The USCCB is the enemy of true Catholicism wherever it is to be found in this country. We don’t need a bishops’ corporation. We need bishops with backbone.

  62. Ganganelli says:

    The amount of (classical) liberal hand wringing here is astonishing for a traditional Catholic forum. [Let’s get a couple things straight. This is not a “forum”. This is Fr. Z’s blog. MY blog. Also, it isn’t “traditional” in the sense I think you mean.] Do any of you remember what Times Square in New York looked like before Mayor Giuliani used the power of law and enforcement of those laws to clean it up? The power of the state should be used for the promotion and maintenance of the common good. [Another mayor is trying to determine how big soft drinks can be.]

    People have the right to go to school or attend a movie without the fear that someone is going to fire off 150 rounds of ammunition in mere minutes. [Yes. They also have the right to defend themselves.]

    So I don’t care if you like the USCCB or not, the Catholic Church will never affirm your “right” to bear miniaturized nuclear arms. [Miniatured nuclear arms? For a moment I took you seriously. My mistake.]

  63. Ganganelli says:

    I would strongly recommend anyone infected with the libertarian mindset that has so infiltrated the modern Republican party to read the book liberalism is a sin by Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany. It is a powerful testimony against the godless anti-government philosophy that is pervasive in the Tea Party and among right wing Catholics.

  64. Mandy P. says:

    Miniaturized nuclear weapons? Desiring a properly limited government- which, you know, goes right along with the Catholic principle of subsidiarity- somehow makes us Godless?

    Nonsense on stilts, sir. This is officially an unserious conversation. Goodbye.

  65. Arele says:

    Matt Abbott had some interesting commentary back in January on the subject of Catholics and gun ownership:
    In it he comments that it was really only 3 Catholic bishops who issued a statement in December on behalf of the entire USCCB (not sure if they polled them all before making this statement).

    But more interestingly, he quotes Catholic apologist Jimmy Aiken on the subject:
    ..Is it a good idea for people to have the right to own guns?

    Of course, we are not talking about all people without exception. As the decision in this Supreme Court case as well as the previous one noted, lawmakers can reasonably bar felons and the mentally ill from owning guns. (Personally, I would change ‘felons’ to ‘violent criminals,’ due to the absurd extent to which federal law has started classifying things as felonies ; I’d also shore up ‘mentally ill’ to make sure that only those who pose a danger to themselves or others are intended, due to the tendencies to classify everything under the sun as a mental illness, but those are other issues.) The question is: Should ordinary, law-abiding, mentally stable individuals be allowed to own guns?

    And by ‘guns’ I mean ‘firearms that are in functional condition,’ not ‘pieces of disassembled metal that could be taken out of a locked container and/or assembled and/or unlocked and/or loaded and so be turned into functional firearms in a few minutes time.’ (Sorry for the verbal gymnastics, but that is the state of affairs to which opponents of gun rights have pushed things.)

    So: Should ordinary people be allowed to own guns?

    Guns are marvelous tools. That’s why we fight wars with them. On a smaller scale, we also defend ourselves with them, we hunt with them, obtain food with them, control dangerous predators like bears and mountain lions with them, control animal populations like deer that would otherwise suffer unless culled, signal the start of sporting events with them, and use them in marksmanship competitions….

    What we are talking about, essentially [in regard to ‘gun control’], is war on the individual scale. The Church views war as something that is always a tragedy, but it acknowledges that the use of warfare is morally legitimate when a nation needs to protect its (or others’) interests and there are no less destructive, practical ways to do this. In the same way, the Church recognizes an individual right of self-defense….

    It would be wonderful if we lived in a world in which all weapons could be beaten into ploughshares and nobody would make individual war any more, but we’re not in that world, yet, and ordinary people still have that right and/or duty to defend themselves and others, using lethal force if necessary.

    So there is a significant case to be made that ordinary, law-abiding, mentally-stable people ought to be able to own guns….

    (entire Jimmy Aiken commentary here:

  66. dad29 says:

    It is obvious that Mgr. (now H.E.) Malloy has left the room at USCC.

  67. An American Mother says:

    The last time I saw such pointless hysteria was when the attorney for the city here was arguing that firearms owners thought the Second Amendment guaranteed their right to carry chemical weapons and nuclear bombs.
    He was laughed out of court.
    If you have an actual fact-based and logical argument, please make it. Otherwise you’re simply wasting electrons.

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