Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vatican has not sided with gun controllers

So as usual people are reporting that the "Vatican" has made a pronouncement about gun control and has lauded Obama's plans to increase these laws. This is false. Cardinal Federico Lombardi himself made statements in an editorial on Vatican Radio. The media always get this mixed up. When a Church official makes a statement somewhere in the Vatican and not even necessarily in their role as a bishop in the Church, the media reports that the Vatican released an official statement.

Even if somehow you could construe a statement by the Vatican as an "official statement", it wouldn't necessary hold any doctrinal power. In other words, it's not necessarily issued ex cathedra and all the other necessities to make it an infallible teaching.

The Catechism of the Church actually does speak about the use of firearms. It 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. (CCC 2265) Source: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm

Although it is a little ambiguous, the right to use arms to protect those under our care is granted in the Catechism. In fact, it says it can be grave duty, and not optional.

If a madman with a firearm threatens one's family, does it not seem just to repel this attacker with whatever means necessary? Allowing one's family to die because you will not protect them is not a Catholic value.

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