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BOSTON – The Massachusetts Catholic Conference has released the following statement on behalf of the four Roman Catholic bishops of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in reaction to Tuesday’s introduction of “An Act relative to the reduction of gun violence” in the Massachusetts Legislature . . .

“The Roman Catholic Bishops of the Commonwealth are in support of adjustments to existing firearm laws. Any law that would address the role that violence, some mental illnesses, and substance abuse play in many tragedies involving firearms would be a welcomed advance in this area of the law and would be a great benefit to our society.

“It appears that the legislation introduced Tuesday is measured and reasonable; it does not infringe upon the rights of sportsmen and others who possess firearms for legal and legitimate purposes. It would help to prevent tragedies such as those in Newtown, Connecticut or more recently in Isla Vista, California. No community is immune to the possibility of a devastating tragedy. Whatever its final form, it is abundantly clear that legislation aimed toward the reduction of preventable deaths is necessary.”

His Eminence Seán P. Cardinal O’Malley, OFM, Cap.
Archbishop of Boston

Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell
Bishop of Springfield

Most Rev. Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester

Most Rev. George W. Coleman
Bishop of Fall River

89 Responses to MA Catholic Bishops Support Civilian Disarmament

  1. These people make me laugh. Do they not realize that self defense is in the 10 commandments? “Tho shall not murder” Murder is defined as killing someone when not in defense of one self. IE If you kill to defend yourself it is not murder. This is all according to the bible.

    • The right to self defense is understood by the vast majority of Catholics, and is recognized under the right to life, the foremost part of human dignity. The secular implementation of these rights, which would include laws and restrictions on the means to defense, has a range of positions which are still in full accord with the underlying Catholic doctrine. I, as a fervent Catholic who owns, enjoys, and supports the ownership of firearms, am no less a Catholic than those who think disarmament is a safer route. What the Bishops said is in no way shape or form binding or indicative of the breadth of Catholic views on firearms. The one user who actually quoted the Catechism (the definition of what Catholicism actually says) is more precise on this.
      I’ll avoid talking about the reference about this being in the Bible to avoid (well, minimize) the off topic religious discussion.

      • My Deity says, “The right to keep and bear arms is My Divine Protection I have given you.”

        Well, Actually, he said Fear, but that’s more like an early warning system. Fear lets you know you’re in danger, but fear is only a messenger, not qualified to be put in the driver’s seat. That’s what Consciousness is for.

      • James, It should be accepted by ALL Catholics. In sections 2263 & 2264 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:

        2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”

        2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

        If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

  2. We are now at the point where many groups support (what they call) “gun control” and ALSO oppose Mass Criminalization (!) or at least say that they do. It would be very effective if The People of the Gun could ask them to please make up their minds!

  3. As a former Polish Catholic This does not surprise me at all, they are just as morally corrupt as the vilest politician

  4. I, for one, am surprised. No church has won more converts through the use of weapons than the Roman Catholic Church.

      • Do they count their victims as converts? The Crusades killed millions. White people do seem to have this thing where they want to be the boss of everybody. “I’m gonna save your soul if I have to burn you at the stake to do it!” That’s why I’m glad I’m not white, I’m beige.

        • The Crusades started as a response to Muslim conquest. It always bugs me when someone presents the crusades as if the Catholic Church decided to go whoop some ass one day for no reason.

          Also the crusades killed between 1 and 3 million (some esitmates seem to be as high as 9 million). The Muslim conquest of India killed between 60 and 80 million. Historically speaking Islam has been WAY more violent than Christianity and also in the name of bossing people around.

          Socialism has been worse still.

          The bottom line is people like to boss people around and murder them if they resist and have used literally any establishment as an excuse to do so.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll
          http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm

        • “as if the Catholic Church decided to go whoop some ass one day for no reason.”

          The way I heard it the European Xtians (they didn’t specifically say catholic) considered it their holy duty to convert the heathens. This has been known as the white man’s burden, or Manifest Destiny, or Crusades. The Muslims were perfectly happy to sell Persian flying carpets and magic Aladdin lamps, but the Xtians couldn’t countenance any of that filthy heathen magick crap, so they went and killed everybody who wouldn’t convert.

          Throughout history, it has been white authoritarians who have taken first blood.

        • Apparently no one remembers the Moors conquest of Spain the conversion of that region by force to Islam 200 years before the Crusades.

        • “The way I heard it the European Xtians (they didn’t specifically say catholic)…”

          Changing our story now, are we? And where did you hear that from? Marvel Comics?

        • Battle of Tours, 732 AD. The Franks fought and stopped the Umayyad Caliphate invasion into mainland Europe. The first Crusade did not occur until 300 years later.

        • OK, so they started it. So the question becomes, who will step up and be the bigger man, and end it? And “exterminate all the heathens” doesn’t count.

  5. If anyone’s interested in putting down the pitchforks and torches for a moment and is interested in what the Catholic Church *actually* teaches on the issue, here are the relevant passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (the official book containing the Church’s doctrinal positions):

    Paragraph 2263: The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. The one is intended, the other is not.

    Paragraph 2264: It is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.

    • Aha, your post came up while I was still fighting the interference from ads loading to type my post below. Thanks.

    • Might be the dogma of the Catholic Church……………….but obviously means SQUAT in MASSachusetts.

    • Thank you Gavin. As a practicing Catholic and Gun Owner, the anti-Catholic rhetoric being thrown around here was pissing me off. The bishops can say anything they want, it’s not binding dogma.

      • And they may well be annoying Rome dogma-wise. Like the UCCB did. And the head of that bunch got called to the Vatican and slapped around for it. Hence the new prayer books.

      • ” As a practicing Catholic and Gun Owner, the anti-Catholic rhetoric being thrown around here was pissing me off. The bishops can say anything they want, it’s not binding dogma.”

        “As a practicing democrat and gun owner, the anti democrat rhetoric . . . was pissing me off. The party leaders can say what anything they want, it’s not binding dogma”

        Or else it is. Either there is a public smack down from the pope for these statist control freaks or their isn’t. We will decide whether the church is anti gun or not based on that. As it stands, without a ruling from the pope, no one knows if Catholics are pro or anti gun. It’s mostly that, that moral and philosophical ambiguity, political changeability and obeisance of a foreign dictator that has made Catholics untrusted in the US for generations.

        Here is a thought, state your opinion, then stand by it no matter what the pope says. You wont be a catholic anymore, but you will be a free man and a sensible person.

        • “Here is a thought, state your opinion, then stand by it no matter what the pope says. You wont be a catholic anymore, but you will be a free man and a sensible person.”

          And you may just become a Jesuit.

    • You missed one — and a more important one:

      “2306 Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death.”

      “Those means of defense available to the weakest, ..:. The weakest woman can defend herself with a firearm —

      Kind of echoes “… but Sam Colt made them equal.”

      The shepherds need to shepherd — and leave the sheepdogs to their work…

    • Nah, go back and educate your priest — I did.

      I asked him about Scripture on self-defense and he gave me an unprepared riff on turn the other cheek, and love our enemies. I replied with the passages where Jesus tells his apostles to go out armed — and to take a sword on the road.

      True charity toward our enemies and those with a weakness for violent conduct lies in being sufficiently armed to help them avoid the temptation to sin in doing violence to us or others.

      • Isn’t “turn the other cheek” about handling insults and not helping escalate a confrontation into violence in the first place? After all “a slap in the face” is a universal euphemism for an insult, not an attack.

      • Good for you Nem! And if DrewR55 wants to educate his priest on what the Bible REALLY says about self-defense, use my book, “A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism.” By Greg Hopkins (on Amazon).

  6. None of this surprises me either. The doctrinaire Catholics are pretty consistent about one thing: they don’t support taking a human life in pretty much any case: no death penalty, no abortion, and apparently, no self-defense. Maybe a practicing Catholic hereabouts who is not of the “cafeteria” persuasion can set me straight on that.

  7. Self defense IS permissible. Death penalty is as well IF there are no other options such as an inability to detain or if the person is a grave threat to others and there’s no way to isolate that person.

    This isn’t doctrine they are proclaiming and Catholics should not be under the illusion that you have to agree or else it’s a sin. This is 4 bishops opinions and nothing more.

  8. Do it for the children (so their parents can’t come after us with their guns when they find out what we’ve been doing to them)!

    but really, what relevance is there to the Catholic Church’s political intrusions? Proving they are even more disconnected with reality? Are we going to be able to cry sanctuary and hide in their cathedrals when the bad guys, criminal or government, are coming after us? Cause their track record when it comes to helping the Jews in Europe escape criminals and the vile, sadistically evil national socialist government that encouraged said criminals during WWII says it all for me.

    • They didn’t help jews escape criminals, but they did help Nazis escape justice. They don’t like talking about that one.

      • They also didn’t like talking about the “Underground Railroad” that Pope Pious set up to Ferry Jews through Italy and into Spain. Look it up. Truth hurts, no?

    • It’s the formal title for a bishop. Just like you call a police chief “Chief.” Take your hatred somewhere else.

  9. Thank you GavinD. I know of Catholic priests locally who carry. And many that hunt and are gun owners. This statement is not the voice of the Church.

  10. Im not a ‘sportsman’ I have little interest in most sports. I carry a firearm to protect my life and my property.

    But thanks…

    Just saw ‘and others’ I guess that’s me.

    • I own firearms for sporting purposes. I have a rifle and a pistol and I like to have them race. Ok, so far it’s only been one race and neither one has really crossed the starting line yet…but still.

  11. Malloy, O’Malley, Cuomo, McCaskill, Murray, Durbin, Pelosi, McCarthy, Casey, Reed, Gillibrand, Brady, Leahy, Kaine, Harkin, Nocera, Kennedy, Pfleger, all the MA Bishops, the Archdiocese of Chicago . . . the list goes on and on and you still think that Jews are the problem. That’s too funny for words.

  12. I live in this hell hole of a state and they just want to curry favor with the one party rule in this state. Aside from that is the media going to listen to a group they have fully dismissed and marginalized as out of touch with the modern world but now they’re ready to jump in bed with them?

    • @Red Sox…your comment about the Media condemning the Churchmen, then jumping in bed with them when the Churchmen say something that the Media wants to quote to support their civilian disarmament agenda is WAY classic!!! and WAAAY true!!!! You win the Internets in my book!!!

    • On the theological note; there really isn’t any unforgivable sins; speaking as a Catholic, Christ died so that sins could and would be forgiven, and He didn’t cut any corners.
      On the secular note; speaking as a fervent Catholic, I am under no obligation to agree with the secular political solution they’re proposing. While what they’re doing is misguided and destructive, I am sure it comes from good intentions, and if it isn’t, well, the Church was not made for saints, it was made for sinners.

      • I agree. And Pope Francis seems to think so too. Maybe these activist clergymen will get a phone call one evening from the new Papal Nuncio in DC telling them to keep their politics to themselves.

        • Well, Christ said there was only one unforgivable sin. Matthew 12, 31-32

          And so I tell you, every human sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
          And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next

          So, apparently suicide may be forgivable sin in the next world….

        • Actually, the “unpardonable sin” is not suicide.
          http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/UNFORGIV.htm

          Speaking as a Roman Catholic priest who owns more than a few guns, it is always sad and frustrating when any Bishop speaks (ignorantly) on matters outside of their expertise and purview, such as gun control, “global warming”, economics, etc.

      • You’re correct. The Bishops’ position goes beyond what the official position of the Church, as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, proposes. It says that we may use force in the protection of ourselves and others, even to the point of taking a life, if such force is necessary (see sections 2263 & 2264). It DOES NOT get into any details as to what kind of weapons may be used, size of magazines used with firearms, background checks, registration, waiting periods, etc. These issues are left to the prudential judgment of individual Catholics. No Catholic is obligated whatsoever to accept their judgment on firearms, something about which they know little or nothing.

  13. There’s a whole shitpot-load of True Believers who are going to be terribly unpleasantly surprised when they get to the Pearly Gates and find out that Satan in Holy Drag has been running the show since they executed the Prince of Peace for being a dissident.

    • Since we have no way of knowing until we get there, I’d say you’re betting Eternity that you’re right.

  14. And shepherds we shall be, for thee my Lord for thee, power hath descended forth from thy hand, that our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. We shall flow a river forth to thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

  15. Zebulon i think the Mohammedens would win the convert contest. “Course by definition the church is the body of Christ. So technicaally you win the argument.

  16. As a catholic I would like to remind the bishops that these are the same politicians who promote the maceration of unborn innocent babies. The same politicians who advocate hate crime laws for your religious teachings. Do not be seduced by their lies and false promises because Holy Mother Church is anathema to them.

  17. If you forego all Earthly pleasures while you’re here on Earth, then your immortal soul is rewarded when you die, by spending eternity as a white-on-white-on-white light spirit in the company of an infinite number of excruciatingly boring self-righteous prigs. Praising God all day.

    No, thanks, I’ll take my chances with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, thanks anyway.

    • “If you forego all Earthly pleasures while you’re here on Earth, then your immortal soul is rewarded when you die…”

      Not necessarily. It’s still possible to earn eternal damnation in other ways. Go read Thomas Aquinas.

  18. Can anyone explain to me how a bunch of bishops can back a bill and somehow keep the church’s tax free status?

    • 501c3’s may support or oppose legislation, but are not allowed to endorse or oppose candidates.

  19. C Church support anything to reduce violence….except that part about violently raping choir boys, and transferring the perp priest somewhere else so they can continue? I believe that is the definition of SUPPORTING violence. So there you have it, another castle, collecting coin, denied lawful self protection. Church and state mutually supporting one another.

    • Funny about how you hardly ever hear about the other Pastors and Rabbis who do the same thing. Like in New York City last month.

      Now sit down and color.

  20. “It appears that the legislation introduced Tuesday is measured and reasonable….” says the guy representing the group historically the persecutor and not the persecutee….

  21. ” does not infringe upon the rights of sportsmen and others who possess firearms for legal and legitimate purposes. It would help to prevent tragedies such as those in Newtown, Connecticut or more recently in Isla Vista, California.”
    How many Hail Mary’s do they have to say to atone for these lies?

  22. “It appears that the legislation introduced Tuesday is measured and reasonable; it does not infringe upon the rights of sportsmen and others who possess firearms for legal and legitimate purposes. It would help to prevent tragedies such as those in Newtown, Connecticut or more recently in Isla Vista, California. No community is immune to the possibility of a devastating tragedy. Whatever its final form, it is abundantly clear that legislation aimed toward the reduction of preventable deaths is necessary.”
    (says no one, except religions that do little against Boko Haram and other oppression worldwide). BTW, even if the unknowing innocent among us become inadvertent martyrs for their faith, it doesn’t “raise the stock” of any others. Way to go Most Holy Church, the Catechism is Sacred but the rest of it cannot seem to crawl into irrelevancy quickly enough for its own satisfaction.

    When the world harvest of eradication falls on the Catholic (or any other Church), it will be armed individuals (as for-governments it would be a conflict of interest) who, by the Grace of GOD save it.
    Blessed are the Peace-makers (not peace askers).

    If any party’s claim is such that: “I cannot defend you until you have surrendered the means by which you can defend yourself;” only the first half of the statement is true. – TERMS, J.M.Thomas R., 2012.

  23. Not surprising unfortunately, but why is it oft left unmentioned that many of the biggest and most vocal gun grabbers are Jewish? Before the antisemitic accusations fly, just making an obvious observation.

  24. You know, I’m really disappointed how ridiculously easy it is to turn us against one another. Shannon and Mike are taking careful notes.

    Y’all should be ashamed. You missed the point of the post entirely to go Catholic-bating. Some devout Christians and Jews you all are.

  25. Just a question. Should we really take legal/moral advice from the same organization that went to great lengths to cover up years of systematic, sexual abuse by pedophiles within its own ranks? Unlike guns and gun owners, that was systematic abuse of minors that was condoned and covered up by the Catholic Church for years. Just saying…

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