National Catholic Reporter

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Guns in Church?

Now, we can all feel safe going to church in Louisiana. We just have to remember to pack our handgun. Gov. Jindal signed a law that allows people to carry a concealed weapon in a church. Now, if the Governor signed it that means a majority of legislators approved it. This is crazy!

At my parish, St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the annual Red Mass always features a color guard that carries the nation’s flag down the central aisle, turns in front of the alter, and the whole congregation stands and signs the National Anthem. Until a few years ago, the flag bearers were flanked by riflemen, their weapons over their shoulders. A few of us protested the presence of guns in the church. The archdiocese nixed the riflemen.

In France, at the start of the Red Mass, the officers of the Army and Navy make a grand show of surrendering their arms at the portal to the church, indicating that these weapons of death have no place inside a house of worship. The Cathedral in New Orleans is dedicated to King St. Louis of France and Archbishop Aymond should think about reviving the French custom. It might help restore some sanity to the politicians upstream in Baton Rouge.

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November 21-December 5, 2014


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