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ST. LOUIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - The archdiocese of St. Louis attributes the frequency of violent crime within its jurisdiction to the widespread availability of firearms.
The Missouri archdiocese will host an event on July 29 titled "Addressing Gun Violence: Promoting a Culture of Life" to address what it claims is a "scourge on our society."
The event's web page emphasizes the need for action. It says: "Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Inaction is not an appropriate response. Doing nothing is not an option. We as Catholic people of goodwill and disciples of Christ need to work to end this culture of violence — and promote a culture of life."
According to the site:
After a welcome address by Archbishop Rozanski, we will hear from local health officials and those on the front lines about the crisis we are facing; we will hear the theological perspective that shapes the Catholic response to this violence; and we will hear from victims and victims advocates about the trauma inflicted; there will be numbers; there will be prayers; and there will be breakout sessions on several topics ranging from advocacy to schools and children to pastoral care. The afternoon will provide workshops to discuss how we can address the issue of gun violence through our parishes, schools, youth, and legislative advocacy.
Critics are dubious of the meeting, particularly in light of recent gun-restriction remarks by the U.S. Catholic hierarchy — many of whom openly support Marxist ideology.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin recently penned, "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."
Last year, in an article for America Magazine, Cdl. Blase Cupich commented, "The Second Amendment did not come down from Sinai."
San Antonio's Abp. Gustavo García-Siller is possibly America's most anti-gun bishop. He regularly tweets 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!"
The USCCB said in a letter to the U.S. Congress in 2022, "We support a total ban on assault weapons and limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines."
Tobias Winright, Ph.D., is scheduled to give one of the St. Louis seminars titled "The Catholic Perspective on Gun Violence." Winright is a professor of moral theology at St. Patrick's Pontifical University in Maynooth, Ireland, and has written for Catholic publications like America, The Tablet and the National Catholic Reporter.
In an article for NCR, Winright opined, "[T]oo many Americans own guns, and too many of them misinterpret the Second Amendment as an absolute right."
Our failure to address and reduce the number of gun deaths, even more so in the wake of one school shooting after another, in which our children are injured, killed and traumatized, reveals a cultural, callous disregard for life. We foresee that these incidents will probably happen. If we do not take reasonable measures to minimize them, we as a nation are morally culpable.
According to a recent Gallup poll, just 74% of Americans believe in God, down from 90% in 2001. Worse, just 67% believe in Heaven and 59% believe in Hell, down from 83% and 71%, respectively, in 2001.
According to statistics from the archdiocese of St. Louis, the number of Catholics in the archdiocese has decreased from over 530,000 in 2000 to 490,000 in 2021. Only roughly 100,000 (20%) of the 490,000 attended Mass on Sundays.
Zoe Warren, who spoke at the Deposit of Faith Coalition's press conference on the subject of gun control, advocated a solution that was very distinct from the one being advocated by Marxists within the Church.
Warren insisted that the First and Second Amendments are our safeguards in fulfilling the two great commandments: love of God and love of neighbor.
He explained, "The U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed on multiple occasions that law enforcement [officers] have no legal duty to protect anyone ... not actively in their custody. So whose responsibility is it to protect you and me?"
"I love my local law enforcement. They are some of the bravest, the most self-sacrificial men and women alive today. But their job isn't to protect the populace, and it's our own failure to understand and protect our God-given right to protect ourselves and duty to protect our neighbors that has made our society so vulnerable to evildoers."
Correcting an often-cited Bible verse misused by gun abolitionists, Warren remarked, "Those in the Church who point to Jesus telling Peter to put a sword away — well, he told him to put it away, not give it to Caesar."
"The reason why we have so many police — and this might sound like 'defund the police' — but it's not. They're the most underpaid, courageous people on the planet," prefaced Warren. "We have so much crime because we have so many police officers. And what do I mean? ... What I mean is that, because we don't know and love our neighbors, we have to hire people to protect us from our neighbors."
According to the Deposit of Faith Coalition, there are three methods to defund the bishops and Marxist Catholic charity organizations: