Gun violence has emerged as one of the most significant issues in modern America. Thousands lose their lives daily to guns, and more still are severely injured with ever increasing frequency. Despite consensus that the status quo is untenable, meaningful progress to decrease gun violence has been elusive. As with many social issues, the loudest voices in the gun control debate are often those on the far extremes, making common ground difficult. Political, legislative and judicial measures to curb violence are only as effective as their foundational will and intent. As Catholics, we see the Church as the place where what separates us yields to the faith that unites us. Our faith is the common ground upon which we come together to find solutions to the problem of gun violence.
Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus. servant of the high priest and one of those who had come to arrest Jesus. But Jesus saw a different way. He healed Malchus, and told Peter to put his sword back into its sheath. This story illuminates the call to forgiveness and restraint, and highlights the unpredictability and frailness of human emotion, factors to consider when deciding to own or use a weapon. It also reminds us of the healing power of faith, a hopeful glimmer in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulty.
The Malchus Project is an initiative of Catholic laity seeking to illuminate gun reform within the context of Catholic and Christian faith. Our mission is twofold. First, we facilitate broad dissemination of the Catholic perspective on the relationship among individuals, society, and guns, grounded in scripture, sacred tradition, and Catholic social teaching.
Second, we serve as a forum for research, study, reflection, and application of the more refined analysis which Catholic teaching has historically applied to other social issues, such as racism and poverty. The gun control debate is uniquely American. It is particularly challenging for persons of faith, as there is potential tension between the Second Amendment right to bear arms on the one hand, and the message of the Gospel on the other. Although our faith does not provide easy answers, it does provide a strong foundation for reflection, dialogue, and discernment. The witness of the saints, the writings of the Holy Father and Doctors of the Church, and the academic contributions of contemporary religious and philosophical scholars, all serve as resource for inspired consideration of the gun violence issue.
We seek to engage the rich Catholic tradition of research, education, and outreach in the pursuit of a faith based approach to gun policy.