Sunday, April 26, 2015

I think he got it right the first time

From the Detroit Free Press

An Ann Arbor Catholic priest has urged his parishioners to arm themselves and attend classes at Christ the King parish to earn a concealed pistol license (CPL).
In a letter sent to Christ the King parishioners recently, the Rev. Edward Fride explained why he believed it was necessary to get concealed pistol licenses because of recent crime in the area. During a Palm Sunday mass last month, Fride announced that the parish would be holding the CPL class.
Please read Rev. Edward Fride's letter, even if you do not read another word on this blog.  It is very well written.

Bishop Boyea weighed in on the topic

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...
I don't expect that there will be much push-back on Father Fride.  Seven of  the Diocese of Lansing's twenty-eight seminarians studying to be priests came from Christ the King parish.  There are ninety-five parishes in the diocese and fully one quarter of the seminarians come from just one of them, Christ the King.  And it is like that year-after-year-after-year.

I know that churches are not like industry.  But in industry, when somebody excels, the bosses make every effort to leverage that success by inculcating those habits/techniques into all of the workers.

Peter's Sword

The design of the short sword stabilized about 300 B.C.  The design was so well conceived (20" blade, 32-to-48 ounces) that it changed little from the Roman Gladius to the US Navy 1841 Naval Cutlass.  This image is of a M1831 French Artilleryman's sword.  Given the realities of metallurgy and economics, Peter's sword was probably shorter (15" blade) and stouter....sort of the Hi-Point pistol of the day.
Peter defended Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with a sword.  The Bible is silent on the topic of whether Simon Peter packed a sword as his EDC.  Given the times; the robbers (the backstory to The Good Samaritan was all too real), the simmering revolt (the two who were executed at Jesus's side were likely revolutionaries as well as thieves) all prudent travelers carried something.

Jesus rebuked Peter.  Jesus was reconciled to the script that was to follow and would not allow Peter to derail it.

Jesus said, "All those who live by sword shall also die by the sword."  The usual interpretation is to spin that into an injunction against protecting one's self.  I cannot read it that way.  There are no "Shall not.." anywhere in that statement.

More practically, it can be seen as a simple statement of reality.  Those who do violence against others will eventually run into somebody who will stop them with lethal force. 

The bishop said

 "...that CPL (concealed pistol license) classes are not appropriate on Church property,"  (Emphasis is mine)
That is an elegant turn-of-phrase.  "Appropriate" is situational, it depends on circumstances.  What is not appropriate today can be appropriate tomorrow.  And Bishop Boyea did not prohibit practicing Catholics from taking CPL classes.  He merely stated that the classes should not be held on church property as a matter of policy because "it is not appropriate".

And policy can change.

The Good Shepherd

"Pastor" is another way to say "Shepherd".  Let's take a clear look at what was expected of shepherds in the time of Christ.

In the Holy Land, in the time of Christ the following top predators were endemic:
  • Lions
  • Leopards
  • Brown Bears (same species as the North American Grizzly)
  • Wolves 
  • Other Humans
They all loved to eat lamb and mutton.

The shepherd protected his sheep.  He had rocks, a sling and perhaps a short, stout spear.  Defending his flock was up-close and personal and demanded constant vigilance.

I think the Rev. Edward Fride was doing his duty as a Pastor.  He was helping his flock, as Christians, become capable of being "a Good Shepherds" in turn for those under their care.  Good Shepherds, the way that Jesus's immediate audience understood the term.

1 comment:

  1. ERJ,
    Don't know if you heard Al Kresta on the Catholic Radio, he who is a parishioner there, but he didn't like Father's message one bit. Unlike me.