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In the United States, the Supreme Court Heller decision ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. Thus, the Constitution’s individual protection of “the right to keep and bear arms [as] necessary to the security of a free state” comports with the Catechism’s declaration that “preserving the common good requires [that] those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel [aggressors] by armed force.”

On May 3, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops announced its opposition to HB 1927, Texas’s Constitutional Carry legislation, in a non-magisterial letter.

Rather than insisting on protections for “legitimate defense” using “armed force,” which the Catechism states is required in order to “preserv[e] the common good,” the bishops’ conference letter reads more like a laundry list of poorly researched anti-gun activist platitudes—promoting several disturbing gun control myths in the process. …

While the Catechism plainly supports individual Americans’ constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms for “legitimate defense,” the same cannot be said of our bishops.

According to Apostolorum successores, the function of a Bishops Conference is to facilitate, “the transmission of the doctrine of the Church in a more incisive way and in harmony with the particular character of a nation and circumstances of life of its Christian faithful.”

Unfortunately, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops’ letter lacks both doctrinal support and “incisive” commentary for any of the Christian faithful who choose to exercise their legally and magisterially protected “right to repel [aggressors] by armed force.” The letter also utterly fails to harmonize with the “particular character” of the United States, given the Second Amendment to our nation’s Constitution.

By slandering legitimate defenders who are intent on “preserving the common good” through the exercise of the “right to repel [aggressors] by armed force” with no reference to magisterial teaching, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops has committed a great disservice to the public policy voice of Holy Mother Church.

— Aidan Johnston in Catholic Bishops Should Support Constitutional Carry

 



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