Opinion

Priest urges congregation to carry weapons: ‘We’re not in Mayberry anymore, Toto’

This priest puts the bullets in church bulletins.

The Rev. Edward Fride, pastor of Christ the King parish in Ann Arbor, Mich., delivered a Palm Sunday homily that not only stressed the importance of having a concealed weapons permit to his congregation, but announced that the church would host classes for parishioners interested in obtaining one.

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Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Photo: Google Maps)

When some of the faithful doubted the wisdom of the move, Fride went even further, and issued a letter to the parish explaining the importance of self-defense, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Titled, “We’re not in Mayberry anymore, Toto,” the letter noted that Catholic teaching does not forbid violence for self-defense, and noted that police protection in the Ann Arbor area had been diminished because of budget cuts.

The Diocese of Lansing, which includes Ann Arbor, was not amused. A spokesman for Bishop Earl Boyea confirmed that Fride had mailed the letter, but said Boyea had never given permission for firearms to be carried in any of its churches or schools and said gun classes are “inappropriate” on church grounds.

In a 2012 statement, Boyea said: “We are followers of Jesus Christ, who raised not a hand against those who mocked, tortured, and finally murdered him. While we grasp both the Second Amendment and the legitimate right of some persons to defend themselves, our churches and our schools are dedicated to a far different approach to life’s problems.”

In the letter, Fride wrote that Christ the King had already hosted on concealed pistol license class and that the officer who conducted it told him “that because more Detroiters are protecting themselves, more of the criminals are now targeting the suburbs…”

“That same officer from the CPL class personally thanked me for having the parish do this class and expressed a hope that more would follow suit, because having law abiding citizens armed makes their job as police so much better,” Fride wrote.

“We will offer the CPL class on two more Saturdays and it is my fervent hope that people will take advantage of it, for the reasons I have mentioned. I think it perfectly appropriate for the parish to offer this class because the protection of our families and our kids is of paramount importance to us.”

In the letter, Fride also wrote that some in his flock are fearful of carrying arms.

“Several people have said to me, I’m afraid of guns. My response to one woman was, ‘well, how you feel about rape?’”

Amen, Father.

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