Monday, July 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Arizona break-in highlights gun-possessing clergy

By
From page C2 | June 22, 2014 |

PHOENIX — A Roman Catholic priest responding to a break-in at his downtown Phoenix church grabbed a handgun that police say ended up in the burglar’s hands — and was then used to kill a fellow priest who tried to help.

The Diocese of Phoenix has no policy on priests carrying guns, but the deadly burglary raised questions about the wisdom of clergy possessing weapons, no matter how dangerous their mission.

The attack occurred after the Rev. Joseph Terra opened the kitchen door of the Mother of Mercy Mission rectory on the evening of June 11 to investigate noises in a courtyard. The intruder he found beat him with a metal rod, but the priest managed to retrieve a .357-caliber gun from his bedroom.

He was unable to fire the weapon before the attacker grabbed it and used it to fatally shoot Terra’s colleague, 28-year-old Kenneth Walker, according to court records.

Terra is expected to make a full recovery after being beaten so badly that authorities initially doubted he would survive the first night.

A 54-year-old homeless ex-convict named Gary Michael Moran has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, burglary and armed robbery, among other charges.

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.

Walker’s relatives have mixed feelings about Terra having kept a gun in the rectory.

“On one hand, we feel that they should have a way to protect themselves. But on the other hand, we think about the fact that our brother was killed with it,” Sasha Keyes, Walker’s stepsister, said Tuesday in an interview.

Terra “was possibly thinking of both him and Father Kenny, in protecting them,” Keyes said. “But given his condition, he probably wasn’t thinking very clearly when he went for the gun.”

The Rev. Richard Malloy, who worked with fellow Jesuits in the 1990s in Camden, New Jersey, when crack cocaine was ravaging the city, said he never carried a gun as a city dweller. One time, when Malloy was riding in a van and preaching through speakers attached to the roof, someone shot down the speakers. No one was hurt. At the time, priests felt protected by their clergy collars, which a friend dubbed “the angel’s bulletproof vest.”

The Mother of Mercy Mission, where last week’s attack happened, is in a rough neighborhood near the state Capitol. Protective bars cover nearly every window, as well as the windows of most of nearby homes. At the same time, residents say the police presence is strong, in part because of the government offices.

But concern about security at churches has grown in the last decade or so in the wake of several high-profile shootings, including a 2007 fatal shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Many of the attacks were related to domestic violence, personal conflicts or robbery. In response, some congregations put armed guards at the doors during worship services.

Still, in states that allow concealed weapons, many congregations bar firearms. Catholic priests face a special challenge when it comes to security. The church’s shortage of clergy means many live alone, including some in downtown areas deserted at night.

“A pastor is no different than anyone else,” said Chuck Chadwick, president of the National Organization for Church Security and Safety Management. “If I’m in a bad place, and my mission is there, I’d probably carry a gun. You can’t have a universal policy for all pastors.”

At tiny Living Water Church, just east of St. Louis in the Illinois village of Cahokia, pastor Cory Respondek insists arming himself is a way to stop any threat to his 20-person congregation. What happened in Phoenix, he worries, reflects a cultural shift among criminals: Churches were once considered largely off-limits as targets, and many houses of worship left their doors unlocked. Now, he said, it looks like they’re fair game.

He generally doesn’t carry the gun during Sunday services, although he believes some congregants are discreetly armed.

“Nobody wants to take a life, and no one wants to have to hurt someone. But if you’re attacked and your church people are in danger of being hurt or killed, you have to react,” he added.

Johnny Shaw, pastor at St. John Baptist Church in Stanton, Tennessee, a rural town of about 430 people northeast of Memphis, said he keeps a gun in his pickup truck for protection when he drives to Nashville for his work as a state representative. But he doesn’t bring it into the church or when he’s working with the public, because he believes it would undermine the message of peace and restraint.

“I respect the church. It’s a place of hallowed ground,” he said. “It’s where we personally go to meet God … I don’t think I need a gun in hallowed ground.”

An intruder beat Mary Shepard and another woman in a southern Illinois church where Shepard worked as a treasurer, leaving both for dead. She believes she could have thwarted that attack if she hadn’t been barred from carrying a gun in public. She waged a long legal fight that helped bring about an end to Illinois’ last-in-the-nation ban on concealed carry.

Shepard, 74, said the Phoenix priest is “still a man and a person who has a right to self-protection.” Her church hasn’t taken a position on guns in the building, but she said she would go to another church if guns were barred.

“I don’t see anything wrong with having a gun in church,” she said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Rodriguez student collects, stuffs backpacks for others

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
30 years ago, Art Koch died keeping the city safe

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Relay for Life of Fairfield was super

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Weather for Monday, July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

National Alliance on Mental Illness meeting Monday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Summertime Fill the Barrel Food Drive ends Thursday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Live music at Solano Town Center mall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
County fair opens Wednesday in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Food preservation class at library

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Canines graduate from CHP training academy

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

 
Artistic ingenuity unhinged at Contraptor’s Road Rally

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Rockville Trail hike offered

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

GV Cellars to host Food Bank fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Suisun police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield gets new pizza shop

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Renowned cardiovascular surgeon comes to NorthBay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

 
Business workshop addresses marketing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Family law bills proposed in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Bills aim to bring family law into 21st century

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

UConn makes 3-D copies of antique instrument parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Man dies after lightning strikes 14 in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

California governor to meet with Mexican president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Study: Blue whales at risk of hitting ships

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

.

Opinion

It’s clear: Israel wants West Bank, not peace

By Jack Batson | From Page: A8

 
Arrogance of power evident

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8

 
California’s death penalty dying of old age

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
District needs peanut-free schools

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History for July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Randall: Why a ‘liar’ loves to hear from readers

By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

 
My 33-year-old daughter blames me for all her problems

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Horoscopes for July 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

Comic-Con: ‘Hobbit’ cast tease trailer, bloopers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: 4 DC Comics brought to TV get event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Radcliffe goes undercover as Spidey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ cast revealed: Lilly, Douglas, Rudd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Blacklist’ fans get black fedoras

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘The Vampire Diaries’ takes bite out of Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Batman v Superman’ stare-down

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Godzilla sequel announced

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Avengers’ unleash ‘Ultron’ footage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TV team: Actor, detective role paired for 25 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: Kingsley voices animated villain in ‘Boxtrolls’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Lucy’ tops ‘Hercules’ with $44M at box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Comic-Con’s dark side: Harassment amid the fantasy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

.

Sports

McGloin buried on Raiders depth chart again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants lose in Peavy’s debut, swept by Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lawrence Okoye preparing for the NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
It’s ‘Jeff Gordon Day’ at Indy for record 5th time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Spain sweeps to victory in International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Langer wins Senior British Open by record 13 shots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mudcats take pair from Pro Player Baseball

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline HOF class

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
LeBron deep-sixes number; will be No. 23 with Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Byron Scott says he will be LA Lakers’ new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jaso has 3 RBIs as A’s beat Rangers 9-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Horsey wins Russian Open in playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tim Clark rallies to win Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Monday, July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Elizabeth Terry

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C. July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7