It’s simply inappropriate, CBCP head says on arming priests

The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) reiterated his opposition to arming priests, saying that it is eminently fitting for priests who act ‘in the person of Christ’ to follow His example. Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP President, said that a priest’s actions and attitude should conform as closely as possible to Christ’s, and also should be such as to witness to the Gospel of Jesus. “A priest is a person who is configured to Christ,” Valles said. “And therefore, with this configuration of a priest to Christ, it is simply not appropriate, to say the least, for a priest to carry firearms to protect himself.” The Davao archbishop stressed that the recent killing of priests are not enough reason for clergymen to arm themselves, even in self-defence. “Together with other reported killings, we are most disturbed and deeply saddened by the death of these priests. We have strongly condemned these killings. But still to me, it does not warrant at all that priests carry firearms,” he said. Valles then challenged the police authorities to ensure the security of everyone in the country. “We pray for them and challenge them to do their very best in this difficult and demanding task of protecting all of us, including priests,” he added. The Philippine National Police earlier reported that over 200 priests and ministers from other religious denominations have filed applications for permit to carry firearms outside residence. - CBCP News