Tags: Michigan | Ann Arbor | Catholics | concealed carry

Michigan Priest Defers to Bishop on Armed Parishioners

By    |   Wednesday, 22 April 2015 01:18 PM

A Michigan Catholic priest who encouraged parishioners to carry guns and scheduled concealed pistol license (CPL) classes at the church has reversed course, posting on Facebook that Lansing Catholic Bishop Earl Boyea has decided "that CPL classes are not appropriate on church property."

"This is his [Boyea's] call to make and we will obviously follow his policy on this and on all decisions he makes as he shepherds this Diocese," the Rev. Edward Fride posted late Tuesday night. "No parish is an island unto itself and no priest operates on his own. I am his priest and I will continue to serve him to the best of my ability."

Fride made international headlines when during a Palm Sunday Mass he urged members of Ann Arbor's Christ the King parish to arm themselves as a means of protection following a spate of crime in the area.

Fride also penned a letter to members of his parish — titled "We're Not in Mayberry Anymore, Toto" — detailing why he believed carrying a concealed firearm was in their best interest, according to the Detroit Free Press.

"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," Fride wrote.

He further said in the letter that he was a pacifist and a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. He eventually converted to Catholicism and changed his pacifist perspective when he "asked himself questions of 'what would Jesus do' were he to come across women and children being harmed," the newspaper reported.

"I eventually concluded that I was certainly no longer a pacifist absolutist," he wrote. "There were situations in which I would actively intervene, even to a lethal level if necessary."

One gun licensing class was held at the church with more scheduled, before Boyea got involved.

After learning of Fride's edict from the Free Press, Boyea issued a statement that "guns and gun lessons do not belong in a Catholic church," according to the Free Press.

A diocese spokesman said that the bishop "has never given permission for anyone to carry a concealed weapon in a church or school in the Diocese of Lansing" and that it's "inappropriate" for CPL classes to take place on church property.

The Lansing diocese bans weapons on church property, translating to "gun-free zones," according to diocese spokesman Michael Diebold.

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A Michigan Catholic priest who encouraged parishioners to carry guns and scheduled concealed pistol license (CPL) classes at the church has reversed course.
Michigan, Ann Arbor, Catholics, concealed carry
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 01:18 PM
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