In his capacity as President of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, has demonstrated his anti-Cop attitude, in an attempt to pit all Law Enforcement against the Catholic Church and all peoples against Law Enforcement. This is an encouragement of more violence against Law Enforcement Officers (which, in his view and that of Black Lives Matter, is a race war of black against blue, as if all LEOs were white or effectively white). A cursory glance of his statement might leave one with the impression that he is against violence. I’ve written of this already (Ambush-Assassinations of our LEOs: Damnable statement of the USCCB) but we need to drill into this deeper. It seems that I’m the only one willing to do so. Am I wrong. I think not. My emphases and [comments]. ///
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement (HERE) in relation to the July 17 fatal shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Lousiana [sic]. Full statement follows.
“Stop, no more of this!” (LK 22:51) [This citation is his title for his statement. These words of Jesus reprimanding Peter for using his sword to protect Jesus sets up an equivocation between self-defense of self and others on the one hand and then on the other hand Jesus willingly laying down His life for our salvation, standing in our stead, the innocent for the guilty, that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. This is a false equation because you and I are not Jesus redeeming the world, nor are we in Gethsemane with Peter when Jesus is laying down His life. There are many times we can and should and must lay down our lives as well (e.g. Saint Thomas More), but self-defense of self and others outside of Gethsemane is the right thing to do inasmuch as we can do it. It is charitable and a positive contribution to the virtue of justice and can involve laying down one’s life as well, yes, also as a martyr. There is no greater love…]
A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [In other words, this is done in his official capacity and so is speaking for all the bishops of the the U.S. Bishops Conference.]
I offer my prayers for the officers and families affected by the horrible shooting in Baton Rouge. We find ourselves amid a prolonged prayer of lament as we join to console the grieving and support the suffering. [Agree…] People are suffering because their uniform is blue [Agree, because we mourn together… but then…], suffering because their skin is black [Whoa! In this context he’s saying that ALL Law Enforcement Officers always and everywhere are violent racists.] and suffering simply because of their station in life. [Wow. So, in this context, he is saying that poor people suffer from all Law Enforcement everywhere because they are poor.]
The temptation to respond to violence with violence is strong. Even St. Peter himself lashed out upon the arrest of our beloved Savior. Jesus’ response was clear. “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (MT 26:52). [Not “sheath” but “place” which also means “proper usage” or “office.” In other words, with Jesus purposely laying down His life, this is not the time or place, though not to say that there isn’t a proper time or place for the sword.]. As followers of Christ, let us always embrace love and ask ourselves how we can best invite all people of good will to live with us in peace [In other words, the Bishops are saying that all Law Enforcement Officers and our Military for that matter are anti-Christs for taking up the sword for the self-defense of self or others. This is a terrible insult. They risk their lives 24/7/365 for you and I. What a terrible insult to them. Look, the “living by the sword” bit refers to a sword outside of it’s proper usage. Jesus’ words are NOT against weapons as such.].
The reasons for so much suffering are complex and varied. As a society, we must come together to address the lingering evil of racism, the need to safeguard our citizens from the present danger of extremism and the overall breakdown of civility [He’s talking about black violence (his generalization) against LEOs and that of LEOs (his generalization) against blacks. But his generalizations do not express reality. There are simply a handful of individuals on both sides who do things they shouldn’t. Period. To generalize is actually to encourage a race war and a war against Law Enforcement Officers (in his perspective).]. As a Church, we will seek out ways to foster this life-saving dialogue. Answers will not come easily nor as quickly as we need. We must continue searching and listening until they do. [So, are Law Enforcement Officers NOT supposed to supply overwhelming force to stop someone who is pumping bullets into their fellow Officers in an active shooter ambush/assassination situation? They can and should and must do this. Dear Archbishop, let’s see you walk up to an active shooter and tell him to get with the program of dialogue. No, seriously, do a ride along with your local Law Enforcement every night and get dropped off in front of the active shooter shooting the windshield of the cruiser you’re riding in. Then command the Officer to drive away so that you don’t have the benefit of armed backup as he continues to pump bullets into those in the situation. No, really! Put your life where your mouth is. I’ve signed up to volunteer for the local Crime Victims support team, which does do ride-alongs to violent crimes. But I see no reason for armed Law Enforcement to drop me off and run away so I can dialogue with some guy while he beats a woman and her kids to death. I would want LEOs along while a Gas Station Attendant is dying and there’s an active shooter in the area. I would want them there, armed to the teeth. But, I insist. Practice what you preach. But you know what. It won’t happen. Not because you wouldn’t try, but because Law Enforcement would also protect you from yourself. And they don’t all of a sudden want a hostage situation. You would only make the situation worse and put more Officers at risk. Get it?]
As we seek a dialogue that cultivates a true respect for every human being, we should also seek ways, large and small, to be a sign of hope in the everyday routines of life. [Great. That’s invited by Law Enforcement, but there’s a time and a place.] The next time you are pulled over by a police officer or walk past one on the street, thank him or her for their service [but not for their service with weapons, right? They would soon all be dead. Some thanksgiving that is.]. For those in law enforcement, the next time you make a traffic stop, thank the person for their time [“time”? How about: “Thanks, Officer, sir, for putting your life at risk for us each and every day”? How about that.]. The task of building a society upon the strong foundation of love begins with each one of us every day. [Right, and that love encourages one to make a positive contribution to the virtue of justice by way of a self-defense that needs in the present conditions weapons that bring overwhelming force to an unjust and mortal aggressor.]
===== My continued comment:
Dear Archbishop Kurtz and bishops of these United States and territories:
Take a look at my Officer Down! website and read through the speech I wrote for our Officer Down! Memorial Dinner, and then take a look at my Officer Down! Twitter feed. Learn a lesson about mercy. And then, I beg you on behalf of our Law Enforcement Officers and on behalf of peace in these United States and on behalf of the Catholic Church in these United States, please, retract your comments and put out something that respects the rights of all. You have unjustly incriminated Law Enforcement Officers, all black and poor people. Have mercy.
Father George David Byers
Missionary of Mercy for Pope Francis in this Year of Mercy