Priests should live a life of peace and sacrifices
A PRIEST cannot hold a gun and a crucifix at once.
While possessing firearms is lawful if compliant with the requirements of the law, Msgr. Joseph Tan, media liaison of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said that he cannot conceive of an image of a priest carrying firearms.
“Gun man gud is a symbol of violence even if it is used for the right reasons, like self defense or for a good cause. Priests are supposed to exemplify a different reality — that of the Kingdom of God,” said Tan.
Tan reminded the priests that the vocation that they entered is a life of peace and sacrifices.
He encouraged the members of the clergy to recall how saints, including Cebuano St. Pedro Calungsod, lived and how they sacrificed their lives in spreading the gospel.
“When they were in their missionary work there were those who were unfriendly towards them and threatened to attack them. But their parish priest with them, instructed all Christian missionaries not to carry arms to defend themselves,” said Tan.
“It is a matter of witnessing the Kingdom of God,” Tan added.
On Wednesday, the Philippine National Police announced that they have received requests from nearly 250 members of the clergy and other religious workers to be allowed to carry firearms.
The number includes 188 priests and 58 ministers and preachers. However, the PNP did not specify how many of the number are from Cebu.
Tan said he cannot judge those priests who applied for permits to carry firearms.
The issue of priests and pastors wanting to carry firearms stemmed from the spate of killings victimizing at least three priests in a span of just six months.
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