I miss Pope John Paul II. Even though he had been targeted by would-be assassins, he still came down firmly for the right of an individual to defend himself, his family and his state.
In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the pope cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church that "legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life, the common good of the family or of the state. ... Unfortunately, it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life."
That's why it's so disheartening to hear Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi lining up behind President Obama's gun restrictions.
According to Lombardi, speaking on Vatican Radio, 47 religious leaders have appealed to congressional members "to limit firearms that are making society pay an unacceptable price in terms of massacres and senseless deaths. ... ’The initiatives announced by the American administration for limiting and controlling the spread and use of weapons are certainly a step in the right direction."
The American Catholic bishops have been leading the legal fight against the Obamacare mandate that all businesses and organizations including churches must carry insurance that covers contraceptives and abortions despite religious objections. The bishops and other plaintiffs have rightly pointed out that the mandate represents a gross violation of the freedom of religion.
So to then have the Vatican turn around and support violation of another constitutionally protected right underscores the internal conflict between supporting individual freedoms, and the church's love of bureaucracy and authoritarian power.
The church has a sad history of flirting with Marxist thought and leftist ideology, which made organizing the revolt against Obamacare an unlikely undertaking from the get-go. The mixed signals and cluttered thinking of the Catholic leadership goes a long way toward explaining why so many Catholics have supported Obama.
The church itself had a hand in creating this president by funding training seminars for Obama in his younger days. The church in the past even went so far as to provide millions of dollars in funding to several Chicago groups connected to Obama's role model Saul Alinsky, who dedicated his "Rules for Radicals" to Lucifer.
The church's dalliance with "social justice" groups has led many Catholics away from biblical teachings. Where the church should be standing up for human rights and true justice, the laity often receives a mushy commingling of Marxist revolutionary thought with biblical thinking.
The Vatican is deeply wrong on the issue of gun control, which only makes victims of those people the church was meant to help.
Catholic clergy would do well to refresh their memories of Luke 22:36 -- "If you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."