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“Most importantly, removing all restrictions on Utahns who want to carry firearms in public parks, businesses or any other suburban or urban locale sends the message that deadly force and intimidation are not only allowed in our state, but encouraged.” – Bishop John C. Wester in Utah’s Catholic leader urges veto of gun bill [via]

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  1. If you’re intimidated by someone calmly going about their business while carrying an inanimate object, you have serious issues. Then again, this guy does come from a long line of child molesters, so maybe he’s afraid one of the choir boys will grow up and come back with some hot lead payback?

    • He may be an innocent tool but any culture of force, intimidation and secrecy would resent public (transparent) independence.

    • If this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black…? How many years, centuries actually, did the Catholic Church ‘lead’ through fear and intimidation… ?

    • Most child molestation is enabled by broken homes, not to mention the “anything goes” mentality of the sexual liberation movement. Children of single mothers in particular, not to mention the single mothers themselves, are most susceptible to abuse from boyfriends and neighbors. (See, e.g.,

      I’m not going to say the abuse in the Church was not a major scandal. I am going to say that it’s silly to haul out that charge every time the Church is spoken of, but never to bring it up when single motherhood is discussed.

      • I am going to say that it’s silly to haul out that charge every time the Church is spoken of, but never to bring it up when single motherhood is discussed.

        If it was a single mother who’d had a child molested ranting against guns, I’d bring it up. The crimes of others are irrelevant here because it is the Catholic church trying to take away our rights, thus it is the crimes of the Catholic church that are relevant.

        • And how are the Church’s crimes against altar boys relevant in any way to the Bishop’s statement about gun rights? Because others in the Church have sinned in another matter, this individual bishop is not allowed to speak up about a separate matter? That doesn’t hold. (By the way, I completely disagree with what the bishop said and I think he should have stayed quiet since he clearly doesn’t know anything about guns.)

      • Post pubescent (most of the victims were young men) homosexual inappropriate sexual behavior exploded in the 70’s and 80’s as the homosexual lifestyle became more accepted by society.
        As bad as all that was (same percentage as boy scouts and other religions), you dont really want to go ripping off the crosses from around peoples necks because libtard leftist secular humanist atheism is FAR more destructive to our Republic.

        • Remember, it was your precious Christians that brought us the War on Drugs, Prohibition, the War on Terror, etc.

          Sorry to burst your bubble, but Atheism has nothing to do with being a collectivist.

        • Atheism has everything to do with being a collectivist. What sorts of governments do atheist societies have? On the moderate end, they are like France or Sweden; on the less moderate end, they are like Cuba or China.

        • Bullshit. The single least religious country in Europe (and the entire first world) is Estonia. Coincidentally, it’s also the most libertarian one. On the other hand, the most religious ones (more so than US) are such “small government paradises” as Italy or Portugal.

        • And there’s Switzerland, too, you might say, although both Estonia and Switzerland have a long history of religion. Their political systems weren’t built overnight. Societies can live off religious legacies for several generations. And when religion fails, other parts of the tradition that have been built up – like the political system – can hold for a while. But I would still argue it’s very difficult to maintain the social and political structures necessary for freedom without the aid of religion. (Obviously, this could be the subject of a much longer debate.)

        • The political structure of European countries is not built on their religious tradition. It rather owes to the historical legacy of Greeks and Romans, combined with “war democracy” (elected war leaders) of Germanic tribes that took over. The only thing that Christianity contributed is the concept of inherent rights (“endowed by Creator”) – but it is not a requirement for them in general, but only to make them acceptable in that time and at that place.

  2. This joker is supposed to be a Christian leader, but like many, has no idea that Jesus not only allows, but commands that we rescue the innocent (by lawful force, including deadly force, if necessary).

      • Too many to cite, but if you’ll check out my website you can order my book”A Time To Kill-The Myth of Christian Pacifism”. It’s all there. Suffice it to say that pacifists have taken 3 statements by Jesus out of context (while ignoring all else He and the Bible have to say about self-defense) and made a doctrine out of it. No one even mentioned pacifism as a Christian concept until 150 years after Christ ascended.
        Pacifism is not a Christian concept or doctrine.

        • Can you give an example of any early Christian communes violently resisting the Roman state that was heavily oppressing them? To remind, Nero was burning Christians alive only a few decades after Christ.

        • I address this in the book. First, there’s no example of a Christian soldier refusing to fight B/c of pacifism before 298 A.D.Second, Christians didn’t fight persecution because they knew Rome would wipe out any rebellion. It was easier to do what they did-move to other parts of the empire where the perecution wasn’t being enforced Persecution was never universally enforced. Third b/c of the general goodwill toward them by non-Christians they could hide among the general population.

  3. Bishop, guilt will only go so far with those that mean you harm. Good luck convincing victims to stay the course and accept that they have no choice in their defense.

  4. Since he’s crossed the line separating church and state by advocating for a specific legislative action in his role as a religious leader, they need to start taxing his diocese accordingly.

    • So you’re against the 1A but pro 2A? Are you a politian? Maybe we should take this guys voting rights away too?

  5. The Bishop believes in turning the other cheek.

    That’s fine, I think he should certainly turn his cheek if he so wishes to. But he has no right to demand that I turn my cheek, and it is craven to require us to not rescue those who are victims.

    • Remember, turn the other cheek has nothing to do with self defense. In the day, a slap on the face was akin to a strong verbal insult, thus the passage can be easily seen as directing folk not to overreact to insults.

      Completely aside, when I see people attacking Christians and then parroting the turn the other cheek crap if they so much as raise their voices in reaction it instills a special kind of hate in me. And I haven’t been to church voluntarily in over a decade!

  6. deadly force and intimidation are already allowed by the gangs, along with concealed carry.

    This merely sends the message to criminals that law abiding citizens will not tolerate it.

  7. Is the same religion where celibate men (supposedly) offer marriage advice?
    Is this the same religion that refuses to allow followers to practice birth control?

      • What about his organization? I’ve got very little respect for the Catholic church as an institution at this point.

        • If there’s some way in which going after the organization is relevant to his statement, I don’t object. I don’t see the connection between this story about guns and Catholic views on celibacy and birth control.

        • “I don’t see the connection between this story about guns and Catholic views on celibacy and birth control.”

          They’re both bullshit concepts with no factual basis that are pushed by the Catholic church because if you disobey, you’ll go to hell.

        • I’m not going to pursue this further, but I do look forward to exchanges on other topics on this forum.

      • When my mother wanted to divorce my abusive alcoholic father she had to beg a room full of unmarried men for their permission. I was livid when I found out how that worked, that my mother was forced to explain the nonsense that went on in our house to a bunch of priests like they were some sort of special being. The organization itself is completely relevant if the organization has succumbed to internal decay, corruption, and unfairness, just like we hate on Presidents when the federal government does stuff we don’t like. The pope has consistently throughout history shown his organization to be an enemy of the common man. A good starting point for research would be when Pope Innocent the ### banned crossbows the minute he found out they were invented, because OH NOES! they could be used to kill all these wonderful nobles and inbred kings!

  8. As a non-practicing Catholic, I can only say he is but one reason why I do not attend mass. Politics has ALWAYS been shouted from the pulpit. In Germany during the 30’s Priests condoned (Not all) what Hitler did. In the 60’s they shouted about the immorality of Viet Nam, today it is fashionable to be anti-firearm.

  9. Last time I was in Rome, there were these Swiss Guards all over the Vatican carrying eight foot long razor sharp pikes. I don’t think they use those things for trimming the topiaries. And at the entrances, they had more Swiss Guards wearing BDUs and carrying what looked an automatic rifle, but I was not familiar with the type.

    So they can protect their house, but I can’t protect my house?

    • The maximum law of religion-do as I say, NOT as I do
      Violence is bad—Inquisition
      Pedophilia not good—Molester Priests
      Gay not good—Gay Priests
      Premarital sex no no—-Sexually active Priests
      Lying not good—Church Coverups

      Had enough yet?………

  10. Yes, Bishop, I do value having my carry weapon over a criminal’s ability to kill or maim me without danger to himself.

    No, Mayor Becker, CCW holders statistically do not represent an increased “danger to the public”; the opposite has demonstrated to be true every time concealed carry was allowed or encouraged in the US.

  11. The Catholic Bishops in America, specifically the USCCB, has been so infiltrated by statists that truly faithful Catholics are hard pressed to even recognize their authority. This Bishop does not speak for the Church as a whole, his opinion on this matter is contrary to Church doctrine which specifically addresses the inherent rights to life and self-defense, and I’d like to know who is actually pulling his strings.

    • Thank you for posting this, Henry. It’s very true. I commented below citing the Catechism and what it says on the subject. The bishop is wrong in his understanding.

  12. what bother’s me is this man’s assumption that law abiding citizens are going to default to intimidation and use of deadly force if allowed to carry their firearms in public. this is just another example of the generalization and stereotyping rampant in today’s America…

  13. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” ~ Matthew 10:34 NAS

    My translation: Jesus didn’t come to save us so we could be a buncha milquetoasts. If someone hates me because of His Name on my spirit, so be it. I will accept that, since He said it would happen. (Matthew 24:9) But if someone simply decides to rob me, threaten me, seek to murder me or mine, in a secular, soulish sense, I will draw that sword and show them Jesus didn’t raise me up to be a pussy.

    Just sayin’.

    • I always personally preferred Nehemiah chapter 4, as it focuses less on the sword as a metaphor for God’s wrath and more on the human aspect of protecting your family and home from evil, and yourself as you go about your day working by carrying a weapon at all times.

  14. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” ~ Jesus, Matthew 10:34

    If someone wants to kill me because of His Name upon my spirit in Salvation, then so be it. I will accept this. (Matthew 24:9) But, on the other hand, if someone wishes to bring harm to me or mine in any fashion, simply because they feel they can, I will draw my sword and show them that Jesus did not raise me up to be a doormat.

  15. sends the message that deadly force and intimidation are not only allowed in our state, but encouraged.

    This has to be the most hilarious thing I’ve read from a Catholic leader ever. Please please, brush up on the history of the Catholic Church, particularly in the medieval times and get back to me on the use of deadly force and intimidation tactics. Or better yet, religion in general.

    So many people putting their whole foot in their mouth lately.

  16. sends the message that deadly force and intimidation are not only allowed in our state, but encouraged.

    Hint: people who actually intend to use force against innocents don’t give a damn whether it’s allowed.

  17. If the Catholic Church were any other entity, there would be concurrent civil and criminal RICO investigations into their worldwide, on-going pattern of child rape and subsequent cover up. The institution itself not only shielded rapists, it supported (and possibly continues to do so) their nefarious plot by shuffling known predators around to unsuspecting parents and children.

    The rape of tens of thousands of children is itself sufficient rationale to allow for the concealed carry of firearms into churches. Their past conduct strips their present words of all force of persuasion…

  18. “…sends the message that…”

    Stop right there. You want law abiding citizens to have to jump through hoops and pay fees in order to carry an inanimate object that they will continues to be law abiding with because… you don’t like the message it sends?

    I hear that a lot; “It sends the wrong message.” Why are they more concerned with the ethereal, emotional, notions of a law than with the concrete, practical, applications? They’re more concerned with what a law sounds like than what a law actually does.

  19. In our legally secular nation, his opinion counts precisely as much as anyone else’s. What he fails to recognize is that rights are not subject to opinion.

  20. Sorry Father, you cling to your rapidly eroding relevancy, and I’ll cling to the only tool I know of that’s PROVEN to keep me and my family safe.

    For what it’s worth, my local Bishop in Salt Lake doesn’t share Bishop Wester’s fear of armed law-abiding citizens. Instead, he works in his off-time with groups that use lots of tools (like guns!) to fight the real bad guys, the ones who like to kidnap little girls and force them into the sex trade.

    As usual, it’s not my faith that I have to question, just the faith in some of it’s self-appointed interpreters.

  21. The bishop is wrong, plain and simple, even with regard to Catholic teaching. I, as a Catholic, want to apologize for his words, because they are just not true. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand the Catholic Church’s teaching on the subject of self-defense.

    For those who would care to know, the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” is a book put forth to explain the official Catholic Faith. Pope John Paul II called it a “sure norm for teaching the faith.”

    Paragraph 2264 of the Catechism says, ” 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.”

    And then 2265 says, “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.”

    That means husbands, fathers, police, military, etc, have not only a right but a grave duty to defend their wives, children, communities, nations, etc. I think the bishop needs to brush up on his understanding of the subject.

  22. This is a sad fact. People consider the carrying of any weapon as a means for a person to “get their way.” In fact, the reason we legal carriers want to carry a weapon is NOT so we can get our way, but rather so that others won’t force us to THEIR WAY against our will.

    • Exactly, the Bishop doesn’t understand that simple fact, nor does he even understand his Church’s position, which does not officially teach passivity and submissiveness in the face of grave injustice.

      What the Bishop said was his opinion, and unfortunately, his opinion shows an error in judgment.

  23. Catholics are admirable in my view in many, many ways, not least of which is their incredible scholarship and their willingness to speak for the truth in the face of immense opposition. Catholics tend toward pacifism, however, and this statement is really just another expression of that. It shouldn’t be taken seriously as an informed position on guns.

  24. Wow, a clear case of the big bishop beating the little bishop. That’s not something you see every day. Not in public, anyway.

  25. Wow, I really like this site and especially enjoy the comments part. However I gotta say that some of you have really proven how easy it is to become an instant hypocrite. I’m Catholic and I’m disappointed that so many people have generalized our priests as all being child molesters. Have there been issues? You bet. Are we (Catholics) proud of the scandals? Not at all. But for you people to generalize our priests as dirty old men who prey on innocent children is just like saying that if you own an AR15 you are bound to the same fate as Adam Lanza.

    FYI – I come from a long line of gun loving Catholics and there’s a lot of us out there

  26. Amen to that Mr. Vigs!

    Please know that not all catholics share that viewpoint….. I am a Proud Roman Catholic from WA and I STRONGLY support RKBA carry every time I go to mass. I called the bishop and left a very respectfull but strong message saying that I disagreed. I agree with where his heart is at but not his actions. We should never revel in violence or wish for it but ya’ll and I both know that all gun free carry zones do is turn people who follow the rules into victims. Please know that there are pro 2nd amendment catholics. Just like the anti gunners PLEASE dont assume that we are all a certain way.

    • Yes, it’s too bad the bishop decided to speak on this matter, especially since it’s clear he is not informed of the basic facts. I’m glad you called him.

  27. Motha funny reasoning why most Christians and Catholic Christians tend towards that is the “Meek shall inherit the earth”…… however most people don’t understand what “Meekness” truely is it is NOT pacifism meekness is rather haveing great strength but CHOOSING to be gentle.. or having great power and same concept. Great example is a soldier in a war torn country reading a story to a dying child in a hospital.

  28. Cardinal needs to contemplate the catechism, then consider how preventing people having the means to defend themselves could be justified. Kind of contradictory to say one has the right and obligation to self-defense but should be denied the means. Then he should consider the 150 million killed by their own governments after being disarmed last century and meditate on the catechism and history and which position is more consistent with John Paul IIs ‘Culture of Life”,

    From the catechism of the Catholic Church
    “Legitimate defense

    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.

    2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility. ”

    The founding fathers in the US saw the armed populace as being necessary for defense of the common good, because they saw government tyranny as a potential threat to the populace. I believe the history of the world has shown them to be correct in that assessment.

  29. LOVE JP II…… @ MothaLova Sorry for the non target responses internet is not letting me post under your comments. I diddn’t actually get to speak with him but left a message with his secretary. I made sure to be very polite, the last thing we need to do is give anti’s ammo “pun intended”.

  30. I too am a roman catholic and unfortunately we do have to expect a backlash from the community and generalizations because of the way the church as a whole up through the vatican handled the abuse scandal. The church or any representative has no right to say how a citizen should or should not protect themselves under the law regardless of the implications surrounding said law when they do not follow secular law. The vatican demands their “employees” priests, bishops cardinals etc. follow cannon law that prevents them from reporting violations of secular law to local law enforcement. As they are exempt from paying taxes we should never hear from them in regards to any secular legislation. When a priest steps out and starts talking about any political topic especially as it pertains to voting for or against a law I shut them out as I feel that they should have to pay in to the system if they want to try to influence it.

  31. I’m an LCMS Lutheran and technically we still view the Pope as the Antichrist.

    But I have to stand up for my Catholic friends here and say that the Bishop had good intentions but he is teaching contrary to authentic Catholic doctrine. The Catholic church issues a book called the Catechism of the Catholic Church that lays out what the church says about all sorts of issues – suffice to say, as others have posted, the Catholic church teaches the right of individuals for self defense.

    In addition, the Catholic church has a teaching called Subsidiarity – so while a lot of us ‘conservatives’ don’t like the Catholic church teaching on “social justice” the Catholic church also teaches that most issues should be at a start or local level.

    Given that there’s so many Catholics out there, it’s a good idea to brush up on authentic Catholic teaching so we can persuade reasonable Catholics to follow their church’s teaching and bring them onto our side.

  32. Very well said neo, however that is a slippery slope when it comes to alot of other church issues that the church is very involved in IE gay marrage, contraception IN the political arena. Not to get to far off point though. I concur with most of your comment that they just like alot of the antis have NO information to back their argument. That being said I have often stated i UNDERSTAND why they take that position. Life is precious and as I stated in my previous comment. If we as supporters of life liberty and the persuit of happiness want any moral groud to stand we need to be just as quick to jump on the anger killing and vengance killing and make sure our cause is to protect justifiable homicides not just the right to shoot somone. Thank you all BTW at TTAG for allowing this open discussion and dialog. I feel very happy there is a place where I can be a proud gun owner and a proud catholic!

    • Thank you for your well-thought out comments in defense of the Catholic Church’s teachings, especially your comment on meekness. It really made me think.

      It’s good to see that there are still good Catholics out there. It’s very sad that so many Catholics misunderstand the teachings, especially since many of them are bishops.

      God bless!

      • Thank you Simon I appreciate your kind words. I concur with that, I was having a conversation with someone the other day about that. If all the good minded people leave an organization when things like this happen all that is left is the bad. This is what has happened in many churches and many states, things get “HARD” and the good people leave and what are you left with. We must not be afraid to stand our ground, 😀

  33. Hmm.

    I guess that for a supposed Christian and teacher of faith he forget some of the first ten laws in which each man and woman were responsible for their own actions.

    08. “You shall not steal. (confiscation is the same as theft)

    09. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (lumping everyone who owns a firearm with criminals is – bearing false witness to your neighbors)

    10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Willfully wanting a person’s firearms and their rights to have those firearms because you do not think they should have them is still coveting your neighbor’s property and rights)

  34. I was raised Cotholic. But a lot of bad crap has been done by the church and the last thing I’d do is follow any request by the very people who moved pedophiles from one place to another. I’m sure they are all about protecting the children. Yeah right.

    • Good thing your “Cotholic” then ;)……… Seriously jirdesteva judging a group as a whole for the misguided actions of a few is no different then what the gun grabbers try to do to us. I would hope you would realize that.

    • I was raised secular, but a lot of bad crap has been done by secularists and the last thing I’d do is follow any request by the very people who destroyed the American family structure, undermined our Constitution, and punished the people with over-burdensome taxes.

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