Catholic Priest to Parish: Trust in God But Carry a Concealed Handgun

concealed permit (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

Ann Arbor Catholic Priest Edward Fride  recently sent a letter to his parishioners, warning them that the right solution to rising crime is not only to believe in God but also to carry a concealed handgun.

Moreover, Fride told parishioners they could “attend classes at Christ the King parish to earn a Concealed Pistol License (CPL).”

According to the Detroit Free Press, Fride wrote:

It is very common for Christians to simply assume that they live in Mayberry, trusting that because they know the Lord Jesus, everything will always be fine and nothing bad can happen to them and their families.

How to balance faith, reality, prudence, and trust is one of those critical questions that we struggle with all our lives. Pretending we are in Mayberry, while we are clearly not, can have very negative consequences for ourselves and those we love, especially those we have a responsibility to protect. If we are not in Mayberry, is there a real threat?

Fride then answered his own question by affirming that threats exist and that the rising crime rat, together with a “significant reduction in the availability of an armed police response” in Ann Arbor, suggests parishioners should have a gun and should carry it for self-defense.

Fride’s letter bore the heading, “Yes, it appears that ‘We’re Not in Mayberry Anymore, Toto!'”

Fride expressed fear over the safety of children at Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor and elsewhere. He cited an incident where would-be shooters were recently interdicted just before carrying out their heinous acts, saying, “Had the shooters got in, we would have had our own Columbine.”

He also cited his concerns about the horrible attacks unarmed female parishioners could face from criminals.

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

Upon learning of the letter, Lansing Catholic Bishop Earl Boyea said he “has never given permission for anyone to carry a concealed weapon in a church or school in the Diocese of Lansing.” Moreover, he believes “CPL classes are inappropriate activities to be held on Church property.”

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