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Catholic priest tells his parishioners to carry guns because ‘they can’t trust in God to stay safe’

  • The Reverend Edward Fride invited parishioners to take part in gun classes
  • Tells churchgoers how police back lessons to gain concealed pistol license
  • Fride is pastor at Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor Michigan
  • Warns that crime has gone up in the area while availability of armed police response is down

A Catholic priest has told his parishioners to carry guns – warning that faith alone is not enough to keep them safe.

Edward Fride, the pastor at Christ the King in Ann Arbor, Michigan, suggested churchgoers attend classes to gain a concealed pistol license.

In a pro-gun letter to parishioners, he warned that crime had gone up in the area while budget cuts meant that there had been a ‘significant reduction in the availability of an armed police response.’

Edward Fride (pictured), the pastor at Christ the King church in Ann Arbor, has told parishioners to carry guns

Edward Fride (pictured), the pastor at Christ the King church in Ann Arbor, has told parishioners to carry guns. He is pictured right in front of a target at a range wearing protective glasses

After highlighting mass killings at schools across the US, he wrote that police were supportive of ‘doing what is necessary to adequately protect our families and our homes.’

His letter was called ‘We’re not in Mayberry Anymore, Toto’ in a reference to the Andy Griffith Show set in a North Carolina town in the 1960s.

According to the Detroit Free Press, he 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?’

The newspaper reports that the priest informed parishioners about the CPL lessons during Palm Sunday mass and sent out the letter when some people questioned the idea.

A bulletin on the church’s website offers parishioners ‘eight hour’ CPL classes, which include instruction from law enforcement personnel, time on a range and use of guns and ammunition.

It says that the cost is $125 per person and urges parishioners to register early as class sizes aer limited.

Edward Fride, pictured next to a cut-out of the Pope, warned that crime had gone up in the area while budget cuts meant that there had been a 'reduction in the availability of an armed police response’Edward Fride, pictured next to a cut-out of the Pope, warned that crime had gone up in the area while budget cuts meant that there had been a ‘reduction in the availability of an armed police response’
Edward Fride posted this picture on his Facebook page along with the caption, 'Maybe I should get some of these - the way this day has been going, the zombies are bound to attack at sundown....'

Edward Fride posted this picture on his Facebook page along with the caption, ‘Maybe I should get some of these – the way this day has been going, the zombies are bound to attack at sundown….’

Edward Fride is the pastor at Christ the King Catholic Church (pictured) in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Edward Fride is the pastor at Christ the King Catholic Church (pictured) in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rev Fride points out in his Mayberry letter that he was once a pacifist and had been a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War.

But after converting to Catholicism, he said he moved away from pacifism and questioned what his own response would be if he saw a woman being ‘beaten or sexually assaulted, or somebody attacking kids.’

He wrote: ‘I eventually concluded that I was certainly no longer a pacifist absolutist; there were situations in which I would actively intervene, even to a lethal level if necessary.’

The Free Press said it had been unable to reach Rev Fride for comment but that a spokesman for the Diocese of Lansing which oversees his parish had confirmed the letter had been sent out.

Catholic Bishop Earl Boyea said that guns did not belong in a Catholic church while it was not appropriate to hold classes on church property, the paper reports.

The statement added that Bishop Boyea ‘has never given permission for anyone to carry a concealed weapon in a church or school in the Diocese of Lansing’ and that churches in the diocese were ‘gun-free zones’.

 

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