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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Catholic prelate in New Mexico is praising the state's radical Democrat governor for attempting to ban firearms.
Santa Fe's Abp. John Wester is supporting Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a self-identifying Catholic, after her recent executive order banning individuals from carrying guns publicly in Bernalillo County for 30 days.
"I believe Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is correct to point out the crisis we are experiencing in Albuquerque and the county of Bernalillo," Wester claimed in a Sept. 11 statement. "The number of gun deaths we witness here is deplorable and tragic. I hope we can come together in New Mexico to address this issue."
The Santa Fe prelate continued:
In my view, the governor has been consistent in addressing gun safety through legislation and is not now attacking the Second Amendment. She knows the law. Rather, I believe she is trying to get us to solve what has become a crisis in our state. The focus should be on the sanctity of human life. That is the point. I hope to hear more of an outcry over an eleven-year-old boy killed by a bullet fired in a road rage incident than over the right to carry a gun. I do not see the governor's call to action and discernment as a threat to the Constitution. I ask all the faithful of the archdiocese of Santa Fe, along with all the faithful, to keep the victims of gun violence in your prayers so that we might take steps to solve the tragedy of gun violence in our society.
The endorsement follows the New Mexico governor's controversial Sept. 7 executive order, which she carried out by declaring gun violence "a public health emergency."
"The action plan includes a suspension of open and concealed carry laws in Bernalillo County, temporarily prohibiting the carrying of guns on public property with certain exceptions. Exceptions include for licensed security guards and law enforcement officers," the governor's website explained. "Citizens with permits to carry firearms are free to possess their weapons on private property (such as at a gun range or gun store), provided they transport the firearm in a locked box, use a trigger lock or some other mechanism that renders the gun incapable of being fired."
New Mexico citizens have since held multiple protests in defiance of the order. Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen did not agree with the order. He declared Monday, "It's unconstitutional, so there's no way we can enforce that order. This ban does nothing to curb gun violence." Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and the chief of police, Harold Medina, recently called for a special session in order to discuss some actual solutions to gun violence.
New Mexico gun owners rallied in Albuquerque today in open defiance of the New Mexico Governor's order banning open and concealed carry of firearms there as a one-month "emergency."— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) September 10, 2023
Police did not intervene or enforce the order. Footage by @FordFischer. pic.twitter.com/pWiBW2Y4zV
Abp. Wester's claim about the executive order focusing on the sanctity of life seems to fall flat when considering the governor's radical pro-abortion views. After signing an abortion-centered executive order in 2022, Lujan Grisham proclaimed, "Today, we have once again declared that we will take every available action to protect the rights and access to health care of anyone in New Mexico. As long as I am governor, abortion will continue to be legal, safe and accessible in New Mexico."
When asked by New Mexico's State Rep. John Block to deny Gov. Grisham Holy Communion, Abp. Wester responded, "While I do not know you, I presume your request is made for sincerely held religious beliefs and not for punitive or political reasons. In any case, I will not deny the governor Holy Communion."
"All of us who approach the sacrament of the Eucharist are unworthy. We are all sinners who depend completely on the mercy and love of God," wrote the Santa Fe archbishop. "True worthiness dictates that we are in sync with all the major teachings of the Church. Who of the faithful can claim such an ideal?"
Abp. Wester's gun stance is common among U.S. bishops with an "America last" agenda. In May, Newark's Cdl. Joseph Tobin suggested willingly surrendering Second Amendment rights. "Let's voluntarily set aside our rights in order to witness the truth that only peace, and never violence, is the way to build a free society that is lived concretely in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, our nation and our world."
On November 11, 2019 — day one of that year's USCCB Fall Assembly — Bp. Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, addressed his brother bishops, calling for gun control. Dewane asserted that "civilians should have significantly restricted access" to firearms, going so far as to declare that "society might be better off if civilians had virtually zero access to handguns."
Chicago's Cdl. Blase Cupich told NPR in 2022, "The Second Amendment, unlike the Second Commandment, did not come down from Sinai. There is an understanding that we all have in our hearts, engraved in our hearts, a natural law about the value of human life. And there is no amendment that can trump that.
New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan has also pushed the gun control narrative. Last year, he posted, "We bishops continue our call for sensible gun control, part of turning away from a culture of death and building a true Culture of Life. Changes to our current gun laws are clearly needed."
"For me, regulating and controlling guns is part of building a Culture of Life, of doing what we can to protect and defend human life," Dolan wrote in a 2013 letter. "The easy access to guns, including assault weapons, that exists in our nation has contributed towards a Culture of Death, where human life and dignity are cheapened by the threat of violence."
San Antonio's Abp. Gustavo García-Siller is possibly America's most anti-gun prelate. He regularly posts online about the need for gun regulation and propagates the narrative that "guns kill people." "Common good over guns," the bishop wrote in April. "Idolatry of guns has cost many lives of real people with families, children and beloved ones. Guns kill!"
Church Militant recently launched the Deposit of Faith Coalition to fight this anti-Catholic and anti-American mindset, along with the other "America last" agenda items of man-made climate change, illegal immigration and attacks on freedom of speech.