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Earl Boyea, the Bishop of Lansing. Photo credit:

The Rev. Edward Fride of Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan will no longer be holding concealed pistol license classes at his parish, per a directive handed down from Bishop Earl Boyea, reports the Detroit Free Press. “The Ann Arbor Catholic priest under criticism for urging parishioners to arm themselves has posted on Facebook that his parish will no longer hold any classes to learn about earning a license to carry a concealed pistol. The Rev. Edward Fride said he’ll abide by the directive of Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea, who oversees the parish, and who said Monday such classes are not appropriate for church property.” . . .

“As our Bishop, he is responsible for setting policy for our parishes and he has decided and publicly stated that CPL (concealed pistol license) classes are not appropriate on Church property,” Fride wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday afternoon. “That is his call to make and we will obviously follow his policy on this and on all decisions he makes as he shepherds this Diocese. No parish is an island unto itself and no priest operates on his own. I am his priest and I will continue to serve him to the best of my ability….”

Last week, before the story broke, Fride had posted on his Facebook page a link about a 2013 shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, in which a student was shot by another, who then took his own life.

“Worth thinking about; kids should not only feel safe but be safe,” Fride posted last Thursday on Facebook.

Rev. Fride had held one class and had scheduled several others, which will now apparently be cancelled. An earlier missive from Rev. Fride to his parishoners urging them to consider carrying a firearm can be read here.

I left the Catholic church in my youth, so I will not comment on the its internal politics, which are simply not my fight. I would, however, like to gently suggest to everyone that if the leaders of your chosen religious faith are questioning and/or actively working against your right to defend yourself, it is those leaders, not your rights, that need to be questioned in return.

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  1. I hope those parishioners realize there are many other places available to them that offer such classes, just as there are many other places available to worship.

    • Exactly. This year, I helped teach two Basic Pistol classes at churches. With what is happening around the world and in the US, people of religion are interested in self protection more than anytime in my lifetime.

    • I have always objected to the analogy of a church being a “flock” and the leader/preacher/priest being the “shepherd”. The shepherd does not take care of the flock for the benefit of the sheep themselves. He does so to benefit at the expense of the sheep. They are kept for their wool, their milk and eventually their meat.

      It seems that the Bishops have the fleecing of the flock more in mind than this priest.

      • Read John 10: 11-13 for an explanation.

        Jesus called himself a “Good Sherpherd”, who lays down his life for his sheep. This is in opposition to a hired hand, who flees when danger comes.

        Unfortunately, many Catholic leaders do not understand the true meaning of armed self-defense, even if the Church’s own Catechism explains that we have a right, and even a duty to do so when other’s lives are on the line.

        “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.”
        (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2265)

        • Jesus also says multiple times that all the OT laws about killing gays, adulterers, those who blaspheme, fortunetellers, disobedient children, the rules for selling your daughter as a sex slave, marrying your rapist, killing non-believers, and the rest are to be in place until the end of time…

          “It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” (Luke 16:17)

          “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19)

          “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.” (Matthew 5:17)

        • True, but Biblical teaching also notes that the Law exists to judge man and that if one is guilty of any part he is guilty of it all. Which does make sense in the case of a perfect and holy moral lawgiver.

          Where people get into trouble is when they go beyond proclaiming it and calling to repentance and step into God’s place of judgement.

        • @16V

          Actually, if you read what He said, Jesus did NOT say “multiple times that all the OT laws about killing gays, adulterers, those who blaspheme, fortunetellers, disobedient children, the rules for selling your daughter as a sex slave, marrying your rapist, killing non-believers, and the rest are to be in place until the end of time…”

          Rather, He states that the Law will not pass away, but will be fulfilled. The precise manner of the fulfillment differs for the moral law, judicial law, and ceremonial law, but all three were fulfilled in Christ.

          To delve into this topic even a fraction as deeply as it deserves would require an incredible wall of text and writing ability far surpassing mine, but for starters, why not check out John Macarthur’s sermons on the topic?

        • JJ49, It’s all utter garbage written from basically whole cloth in the 16th Century. Regardless…

          Reread the the quotes and then take a class in the English language. “Until Heaven and Earth pass away…” has nothing to do with the imaginary Jesus character being crucified. ‘He’ (who never existed and was first written about 75 years after his supposed death) says that the OT laws are to be followed to the letter until the end of time. And the crucifixion myth didn’t end time. So….

          I know you have to do incredible verbal tricks, huge rationalizations based on projection, and other insanely delusional acts to believe this nonsense and torture it out to be somehow “good”. It’s absolute garbage written by some filthy marginally literate ME goatherders then rewitten completely in the 16th century.. Nothing in the entire book is beyond their level of household-pet-primitve. These were barely humans. Why would anyone give a good flyin’ about what they had to say?

  2. In light of the arrest in Paris, where an ISIS sympathizer wanted to conduct a massacre at Christian churches, you’re a fool to go the a church that wants you defenseless. It is an ideal soft target. I don’t want to eventually say “told you so”, but when that day arrives, I will.

    • And that’s why the shepherds in my church not only do not forbid CHL holders from carrying on our grounds, they encourage it. I’m the minister here, and I carry all the time, including while preaching. You’d be surprised (or maybe not, this TTAG), how many of our members have told me they’re glad I do.

  3. Just to point out… nowhere in anything you wrote did anyone say you shouldn’t take a class or be armed. He simply said it wasn’t appropriate for a church to have the classes there. Let’s not put words in anyone’s mouth like the left likes to do to us. If they had asked people not to carry or banned carrying onto their premises I would be with you, but they didn’t. I bet there are tons of other places the parishioners could take a class.

    • No, he did that too.

      Boyea “has never given permission for anyone to carry a concealed weapon in a church or school in the Diocese of Lansing,” according to a diocese spokesman. The Lansing diocese also banned open carry and stated that the churches are “gun-free zones”.

      • They mentioned in our CHL class that the Catholic Church’s position as a whole is that carrying in the Church itself is, at minimum, strongly discouraged. However, few here in TX actually post a 30.06 sign warning you not to.

      • That is actually consistent with the long history of the Church being a place of sanctuary that goes back to Medieval times. The principles trace back to Mosaic law. I can understand the bishop taking this position regardless his personal opinion of gun or self defense. The problem, at least here in the US, is that too many Bad Guys no longer have the respect for the Church that made violence there unthinkable.

        Notice that it was only the matter of the Church’s role that was clarified. The priest – significantly – wasn’t disciplined for his message to arm.

        Whether this is a case where churches should change their positions to keep up with the times is another question. It’s not a doctrinal issues, so it is certainly open to debate. With the long historical tradition, I don’t expect the Roman Church to change it’s position, but there are certainly Protestant denominations that may take a different position.

    • In yesterday’s post on this same (but different) subject, you’ll see that carry at the church will NOT be allowed by the bishop. So………………………..

      • Alright…. well I admit my mistake. I wouldn’t go to that church then (or any church under the Bishop). I’m Catholic and carry in church and would change my parish in a heartbeat if there was policy against it.

        • “Common sense will tell us that the power which hath endeavored to subdue us, is of all
          others the most improper to defend us. Conquest may be effected under the pretence of
          friendship; and ourselves, after a long and brave resistance, be at last cheated into
          slavery…. Wherefore, if we must here-after protect ourselves, why not do it for ourselves?
          Why do it for another?” ( Paine Common Sense pg. 47)

          CATHOLIC [FAITH] from cradle to grave, but the Church is sucking itself into the toilet with its liberal leaders.

          If you live in a blue state, you may be part of the problem. If you have a (D) after your name, are liberal, or a rino, THE PROBLEM IS PART-OF-YOU, you are permanently broken, and your mom owes us an abortion.

        • Where is the push against abortion/drug use/voters who gave us this administration that will likely create a need here in the States eventually to defend the faith with actual weapons.

          O-voters, I BLAME YOU.

        • I find it hilarious Joe R is blaming democrats and libs for this. If anything, the catholic church would lean twords the gop. Also, lets look at reagons and bush sr as vp on gun control. 1986 fopa ring a bell? Or the 1985 leopa, which gave us the law that the atf is trying to use to ban m855 and all “ap” as they say ammo.

          And lastly, shouldn’t you be against abortion and pro life?

          Guess what guy? YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!!!

        • @ Jon

          Actually, according to a 2011 poll:

          “Overall, 57 percent of Catholics affiliate with the Democrats and 40 percent with the Republicans when those leaning toward one or the other party are included. The Democrats held a three-to-two lead before we included the leaners”

          Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat minority leader in the House, is supposed to be Catholic.

          Personally, I think the Catholic church, as a whole, has become as corrupt as the Jewish Pharisees back in Christ’s time, forging relations with the Roman “secular” government to cement their power in contrast to following their religious duties.

        • @Jon, yeah Reagan wasn’t very good on gun rights, but 30 years later, there’s no comparison between Dems and Repubs. With very few exceptions, Repubs are far better in this issue. The Texas open carry bill just passed the house and senate on a party line. I don’t think any Dems voted for it, or if any did it was only one or two. I
          ll never vote for any Democrat as long as I live.

        • Jon, MI is prolonged STRAGUBATION B L U E

          Reagan/Bush had to deal with a Democrat (faking insanity) Hinkley shooting of a President with a DEMO f_ _k a_ _ CRAT CONGRESS

        • Jon of the hilarious – The US Catholic Church has for decaded been overwhelmingly dominated by libtard babyboomers. Dating back at least to the days of the Central America marxist agitation.

          Has a strong doctrine which they won’t enforce. (see all the proabortion demtard politicians). Has a nearly unsolvable manoower/leadership problem.

        • To those of you saying that Catholics are overwhelmingly libtards… I have to disagree. Many people call themselves Catholic but do not practice the faith. Those folks may be libtards. However, I can tell you that the majority of people that I’ve met and are active members are quite conservative. That’s not based on any super fancy polling, just my two cents from my experience.

    • Parishoners pay for that church, should get some say in the matter. I mean, weren’t we talking about “Christ the king” church, or was it “bishop the king”?

      • Historically, at least, it has been a feature of Catholic doctrine that the leadership is to determine doctrine, and the laity is to follow the leadership, not their own thoughts. That was kind of what the Reformation was about, in large part (“priesthood of all believers” and all that).

      • Exactly LarryinTX!

        I feel no compulsion to honor any church policy which contradicts the clear will and word of God.

        And both the will and word of God are crystal clear when it comes to self-defense and defending innocent life: it is 1000% okay. In fact I will argue that it is more than just okay … I will argue that you are going against God’s will if you fail to defend innocent life or discourage/prevent others from defending innocent life.

    • That’s an important point. The church facilities exist to facilitate the mission of the church. Those who contribute to the church, regardless of their views on guns, have a right to see that money used according to stated objectives. I don’t have a problem with the brass making decisions on what is or is not an appropriate use of church facilities.

      I would further point out that the bishop didn’t admonish the priest (at least not publicly) for expressing his views on armed citizens, even though they seem to contradict official doctrine.

  4. per a directive handed down

    This is why i’m not catholic.

    No parish is an island unto itself and no priest operates on his own. I am his priest and I will continue to serve him to the best of my ability….”

    Yep. lol.

    • Catholic or catholic. They mean two different things. Catholic means you are under the interpretation of the Catholic Catechism which states that one is allow self defense of ones life and its not considered murder if it comes to killing in defense of one’s self or family. The Bishop of that parish needs to redirect his efforts to studying the catechism and relearn his faith. Now I am Methodist which is catholic which means basically Christian without getting into too much of the specifics.

    • The priest is just being the good soldier and acknowledging he’s complying with the direction from his chain of command. Regardless of how stupid the boss’s decision is in the military or church hierarchy- you give the boss the best guidance and advice you can, but then abide by the decision he makes and try to make it work. Or you quit, or ask to be transferred. Bishop is responsible for guidance to his flock and decided that maintaining gun free zones in the diocese better emphasizes Christ’s teachings on love and peace.

      However, that isn’t Catholic doctrine and the Bishop easily could have gone the other way. Catholic doctrine is that self-defense, even the dealing of a lethal blow is completely moral. The carrying of weapons is a matter of prudential judgment, or having weapons in the home – note the catechism says “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.” You’re responsible for the folks in your home and their well being both spiritually and physically and are free to use your best judgment because the Bishop’s direction in this matter is one of prudential judgment not doctrine.

      Bishop’s individual or even the USCCB’s statements or policies are not doctrine. But they, like city leaders, or corporate officials do have administrative authority over property that’s part of their organization.

  5. I am a practicing Catholic and I don’t see that changing. I’ve tried other churches but it’s just not there for me. That said. the USCCB’s stance and the Vatican’s stance on private firearms ownership is the reason I no longer contribute a penny to any parish or parish activity that sends money on the Vatican. Example, nothing goes in the offering plate but I do give to the church school when it has a bake sale for the kids going on a trip. I encourage all to do the same regardless of religion. I find it a tough sell but that’s the reality.

    People ask me how can you do that and not find it hypocritcal? Here’s my response, I ask, do you agree with every one elected to Congress? The usual answer is, obviuosly no. Next question, then why are you still an American Citizen? This is usually where the conversation ends, even though that wasn’t my intent.

    Please know that there are more priests that share Rev Fride’s view than people realize. In fact I have gone shooting with 4 different priests in the past and I know currently 2 who carry concealed.

  6. Well… As a reformed ex-Catholic myself; the Cardinal & the bishop’s once favored ex-altar boy, I can’t say I didn’t expect this upon reading the earlier article. Seems the church hasn’t progressed a bit since I decided to part ways. They still like their parishioners unarmed & defenseless.

    Makes it easier for the next inquisition, I guess. I wonder what Pope Francis will have to say about this? If he finds out, you know it’s going to be good. 0.o

    And yes, I’m still a bit on the bitter side about being fleeced with respect to the truth of history.

  7. I am also a practicing Catholic and I find the Bishop’s reasoning a little off. Since I and other parishioners fund the parish through our Sunday collections and pledges to building drives; etc. I would contend that the parish and its physical property are ours, not the Diocese’s. We, not he are the deciding factor in what groups may use our facilities as long as they don’t violate Church teachings. We wouldn’t let Planned Parenthood hold meetings in our Parish Center but there’s no violation of Cannon Law in having a CCW class. This kind of Pastoral edict is what drives many away from the Church.

  8. These classes do not need to be held at the church. Those holding the classes can give a discount to the church members or deacons in the church or others can subsidize the cost of the classes.

    A local public school principal in a nearby school offered his staff and teachers a CCP required qualification course and arranged more than half price savings, and then offered to pay the remaining fee if this brought financial hardship to any of his personnel. Then he encouraged his staff and teachers to conceal carry while they are at school. This sent a big message to the armed thugs and gangs which infested the neighborhood around the school. No more shootings into the school with numerous shells and cartridges on the grounds, including some live ones, no more to that nonsense. Armed staff and teachers make the thugs and other criminals, even the mentally unsound, and jihadists to look for a softer target.

  9. The bishop’s charge is the souls of his flock and spreading the Good News of salvation — but opining on other than moral aspects of secular defense is simply not part of his proper competence (‘magisterium’ in Catholic-speak). Informed Catholics understand this. That said, the bishop can manage Church property as he sees fit for the mission of the Church. If he excluded teaching unrelated to the mission of the Church — such as techniques of self-defense — that would be appropriate. Allowing it, since it is not promoting any immorality would also be appropriate.

    But he also cannot oblige the faithful to forgo their well-established moral rights of self-defense. Law and holy awe no longer adequately protect the bounds of the sanctuary. The Church has fully adopted the clear moral reasoning of St. Thomas Aquinas, and he is unequivocal:

    “Wherefore if a man, in self-defense, uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repel force with moderation his defense will be lawful, because according to the jurists, “it is lawful to repel force by force, provided one does not exceed the limits of a blameless defense.” Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense in order to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.” Sum. Theol., II, 2, Q. 64, Art. 7.

        • Whenever I questioned the incongruities of the Catholic Faith, I was told that it was a “Sacred Mystery”. I heard that a lot as a kid, and it’s one the reasons I don’t set foot in the church anymore, except for weddings, baptisms, and funerals.

        • JR, that’s one of the reason I’m not Roman Catholic. Contrary to what some of my RC friends may say, I do know from others that this still goes on. Unfortunately, it also goes on is some Protestant churches. Remember the old, “The Bible says it. God wrote it. That settles it.” bumper stickers?

          That approach turns a faith that should be a reasonable faith into a blind faith. It makes believers vulnerable to attacks that are built on weak evidence and/or flawed logic. That kind of response by the Church is also patently unbiblical in both the Old and New Testaments. It’s particularly sad since Christianity is an evidentially based theology – by its own claims. It’s was never intended to be based on “because we say so,” a burning in the bosom or blind faith.

          There are however, a lot of churches that do support apologetics and wrestling with the tough questions. True, we may not always be able to find complete answers to every question, but that is true for every field of study.

          (And sorry for getting on the soapbox. I may be a scientist/engineer by profession, but my ministry is apologetics.)

  10. So, we’re now bashing the Catholic Church on TTAG?

    For the ex-Catholics, get over it. Live your lives. Be happy.

    For the current Catholics, the Church is all about an organized structure and 2000 years of history. I’m a certified instructor and 2A rights absolutist, but the Church in no way affects my ability to carry and defend myself, my family, and my friends. I’m not aware there’s a policy about carrying in my local Church, but at any rate, concealed means concealed.

    And finally, my weekly men’s prayer group is very active, I’ve done training sessions, and one guy just bought his first firearm. So we’re working to spread the 2A gospel one parishioner at a time – which is the way Catholicism really works.

    • Not so sure the article is bashing Catholics, or the Catholic church… but the comments are. This is TTAG friend, everything gets bashed in the comments.

      • Ain’t that the truth. Even when we have a pro gun victory people can’t just be happy for one minuet, they immediately bash the victory for not being a big enough victory. Some people just don’t want to be happy, and make themselves feel better by bashing everything. If we had national consitutional carry tomorrow, there would at least be a handful of people in here bashing it for some reason.

      • To be clear, I wasn’t bashing myself. Just expressing my displeasure & a small glimpse into the reason behind it with a bit of humor.

        @ Abunai: Not to worry, I am over it. With one exception; when the denial of the truth stops, & every ill action is owned up to. I have other reasons, but they aren’t things I’d consider appropriate to discuss in a public comment section.

        Cheer up though, I’m truly happy for you that your still able to find yourself within the fold.

        You shouldn’t take umbrage without knowing the circumstances for my feelings though. I can assure you, they are quite valid & of significant severity for me to have left.

    • For the ex-Catholics, get over it. Live your lives. Be happy.

      They’re ex-Catholics. Being happy is a given.

  11. Detroit the City that hires a California liberal as police chief, after a month he calls for the honest citizens to arm thereselves. One of largest communities of gang &-drugs in the country. Monsignor. I believe in prayer but at a point you must help yourself set family

  12. The church we have been attending has numerous members who carry concealed. No one has had any issues, in fact quite the opposite. We have a number of former gang members who attend and they know they are generally safe. Crazy kind of outreach for a church. …

  13. One point, I am a catholic in the area, I am a ccw holder. The ccw laws prohibit carrying in a place of worship. That said the fine print of the law I believe, says that you may carry with permission of the pastor. If this is not granted, or if there is no policy explicitly stating that licensed concealed carry is allowed you are in violation of Michigan law if you do carry……

    • Ohio had the same law, where you were prohibited unless explicitly allowed to carry. Then, a while back, there was a bill in the works that was going to make it the other way around, where you’d be allowed to carry in any place of worship unless the pastor (or other leader) explicitly prohibited it. I’ll have to check whether that one ever got passed, or voted down, or what.

  14. Well, Catholic bishops have been more liberal than their flock for decades. Since the Church’s doctrine and the Bible both support defense of the innocent, including use of deadly force, it seems odd that carry permit classes will not be allowed. My elders and congregation have no problem with me teaching my law of self defense class at the church building. (But then, we’re not Catholic either.)

  15. How the world has changed in the last 50 years – I was a member of the school rifle team when I went to a Catholic high school, back in the early 60s. We had an indoor 10m range, used Winchester 52D target rifles (.22LR), and learned all of the appropriate safety measures for firearms, including the required use of hearing protection. I credit this last requirement with keeping my hearing to this day.

    Funny, we never killed anyone as a result of learning how to shoot safely and accurately. Can’t figure out how we missed that …

  16. No more pistol classes at Ann Arbor church, to be followed soon by no more Fr. Fride at the Ann Arbor church. Meanwhile, pedophile priests get the kid glove treatment.

    Pope Francis is right: the devil is real.

    • If you look into pedophilia in the protestant churches I think you will find there is a higher percentage there than in the Catholic Church. But the Protestants for the most part follow the liberal agenda better than the Catholic Church does. Allowing women priests, divorce, homosexuality and a host of other things that are not allowed by the teaching of Christ. So somehow they don’t get the “press” the catholic church does.
      There are a lot of posts here that give a distorted account of the Catholic Churches dogma and teachings. But that is not surprising, many cradle Catholics don’t pay enough attention to know.

  17. My wife & I teach basic pistol shooting. Most of our classes have been held at churches (Lutheran and Community). Our pastor (Lutheran) has a concealed handgun license, and has stated that members and parents (we have a P-8 school) who conceal carry are considered part of the security response.
    Seems reasonable to me.

  18. Not surprised at any of this. Look for this priest to have some troubles. The Catholic church tilts left. But we all knew that.

    • Leans left? Yeah ’cause you know all those pro-abortion dems get the catholic vote because catholic’s hate guns and babies. Did you know Joe Biden is “catholic”? Many of the Catholics I know, including myself, know a “catholic” like him when we see one. It’s kinda like a RINO to us Republicans. But I bet you already knew that.

  19. Left the church after Sandy Hook when many of the local churches stated preaching taking away guns.

    The Catholic Church keeps loosing parishioners and looks around asking why? Well, here is exactly why. The churches have become political machines.

  20. John 18:10 & Matthew 26:52 Jesus speaking to his apostle Peter, in the garden at
    Gethsemane, after Peter’s cutting off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest’s with a
    sword, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish
    with the sword.” While the latter of that bible passage is most used (cited), it should be
    noted that Peter had the sword, that he had it with him, that he was OBVIOUSLY not
    unfamiliar with its swift employment, and that the LORD had to still-him from further
    carnage after drawing blood. The Author posits that it should be well noted too, that JESUS
    did not tell Peter to throw the sword away, or even to lay it on the ground. JESUS merely
    told Peter to store it on his person from where it was drawn.

    [TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012, Pg. 51]

  21. Thus ends Fride’s attempt to show the world that the Roman Catholic Church is not blatantly anti-gun.

    Which is sort of like trying to show the world that Zebras don’t have stripes.

    I am shocked that a parish priest in Michigan’s libtard armpit (Ann Arbor) would think he’d get away with showing pro-gun leanings.

  22. The last paragraph is a pot shot at the Catholic Church. The Bishop made no statement, pro or otherwise, about a person’s right to carry a gun. He made a decision about the appropriate use of Church property, the type of decision which every individual and every organization makes every day.


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