Catholicism Teaches it is a Grave Duty and Right to Use Arms for Self-Defense; Catechism 2263-65

Lay Catholics logoThe Catholic Church does not call for disarming the people.  As you will see below the Church calls for legitimate defense.  The duty to legitimately defend implies the capacity to do so.  That is to say that the person responsible for the lives of his family is sufficiently prepared to stop a potential aggressor who is armed by being armed hisself.  Therefore, the banning of firearms makes it impossible to defend and uphold the common good in one’s household and also in the community by a civil authority.  CCC section 2265 shows that the civil authority’s responsibility to repel an aggressor is secondary to the person’s grave duty to repel an aggressor when it states that those in authority “also” have the right to use arms.  This allows one to reason that the responsibility belongs to and starts with the person.  The conclusion is that the banning of firearms is illegitimate and contrary to Catholic teaching because it undermines and disrespects a person’s right to life as shown in CCC 2264.

CCC photoThe following sections are excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition (CCC 2263-2265.)  These sections are in the context of what is legitimate defense under the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill.”:

CCC 2263     The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor…. the one is intended, the other is not.”

CCC 2264     Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.  Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life.  Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful…. Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

CCC 2265     Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.  The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.  For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

5 responses to “Catholicism Teaches it is a Grave Duty and Right to Use Arms for Self-Defense; Catechism 2263-65

  1. I am a practising Catholic and have had opposing arguments with many who state the guns are the danger. When I bring up the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution as not a license to hunt but rather a means of a free people to defend themselves against not only a foreign threat but a domestic one, I am called irrational. I doubt Jefferson would agree with them though.
    The day the British marched into Concord and Lexington they carried what in that day was called an assault weapon, a musket. The patriots answered them with a weapon of equal measure, another assault weapon…the musket.
    I suggest it would be hard to repel a home invader, no matter a thief or a tyrant, if I am only permitted a 19th or 20th century weapon while the invader is equipped with a 21st century weapon.

  2. I don’t believe we want to ban all weapons but one can defend ones family without using the military type weapons and without a clip that holds a massive amount of ammo. I was an American soldier and I understand fire power.

    • And tyrants understand fire power as well. Thomas Jefferson knew that clearly when he was quoted in regard to the peoples right to bear arms.
      If the government is permitted to ban one weapon then which one and when?

  3. I still have conflicted issues with this topic regardless of the CCC. I’ve been a firm believer for a long time that what someone does for you they would do to you. Creation is not the Creator – there is the issue of people who do not legitimately hold authority trying to do so and grasp it for themselves. Christ’s declaration of love is “I would die to save you,” not “I would kill for you.” (“kill” being an arguably debatable term) What would the CCC say to that, if faced by Christ Crucified? Would the CCC call Him a fool for “not fighting back”? (The CCC is not the be all and end all – it is a companion in faith, not the rule-placer; God’s Word makes and communicates the rules.) The way I see it besides my issues, by all means, act when action is necessary, but do so firmly knowing what you are doing, to whom, for whom, how, and why. That might change later, but that’s where what my concern is at present.

  4. Who is talking about disarming the people?