Gun use among clergy debated

Associated Press Published:

PHOENIX -- A deadly burglary at an Arizona church is raising questions about the wisdom of clergy possessing weapons, no matter how dangerous their mission.

Authorities say a Roman Catholic priest responding to a break-in last week at his downtown Phoenix church grabbed a handgun that ended up in the burglar's hands -- and was then used to kill a fellow priest who tried to help.

Many American Catholic leaders have argued that church teaching compels them to advocate for greater limits on guns, but self-defense is also part of Catholic theology, and Catholics have different views of the issue.

Concern about security at churches has grown in the last decade or so in the wake of several high-profile shootings.

The Diocese of Phoenix has no policy on priests carrying guns.

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