Fr. Joseph Terra
When I first read the unfortunate story of the murder of Fr. Kenneth Walter, FSSP, I immediately thought of the many posts Fr. Z has done on a priest's right to self-defense, gun ownership, shooting practice and training, as well as his support of conceal and carry, due to the increase of violent crime - especially on such soft targets as churches and rectories.
If only he had a gun.
That was my next thought. It turns out that Fr. Joseph Terra did have a gun, which he kept by his bedside, when he went to retrieve it, he was too badly beaten to use it, the criminal grabbed the gun and then used it on Fr. Walker.
The attacker managed to take the gun from Terra, made the priest get on his hands and knees and give him money, and then used Terra's gun to shoot Father Walker, who had come to investigate the commotion, police said. - Story here.
It's a tragic situation.
Anti-gun advocates often claim that is what happens - the homeowners gun is often used against them. Pro-gun advocates reject that notion and point to stats which claim the guns, though rarely fired, act as a deterrent to would be criminals and home invaders.
Then of course there are those who think a priest shouldn't be armed.
Fr. Walker was not armed of course. Fr. Terra was, but apparently too disabled to use it.
Now for something about how the story gets reported.
Media seems to be struggling with how to cover the story when it comes to identifying the priests of the FSSP. They describe them as if they are some sort of hybrid of Catholicism. I wonder if this contributes to, or is in any way related to how ordinary Catholics regard the Extraordinary Form of Mass? I'll post a couple of examples:
Terra and Walker's conservative order, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, was created in 1988 in response to Vatican II reforms in the 1960s that modernized the Church, with the fraternity's priests preferring to perform Mass in its “extraordinary form” -- that is, in Latin. Emphasis is placed on personal sacrifice in order to be closer to God.
During Monday's ceremony, priests spoke Latin, faced the altar rather than the congregation, and women wore mantillas, lace veils that were popular before Vatican II's reforms, when women were required to have their heads covered. - Story
I don't really expect secular media to get religious stuff right, but chances are this story was written by someone familiar with post-Vatican II Catholicism.
I think a huge problem is the ongoing 'separatist' movement regarding liturgy - ordinary form vs. extraordinary form, Latin vs vernacular and so on. The FSSP and traditional Catholics are not another branch/sect of Catholicism - they are Catholics. The FSSP was not created as a response or reaction to Vatican II. The Extraordinary Form is not necessarily a 'preference'. The priest doesn't face the altar, away from the people - he faces ad orientem, towards the East, towards God, if you will. It is a priestly stance - leading the people in prayer and worship, offering the Holy Sacrifice.
It seems to me these peculiar misrepresentations contribute to the confusion, divisiveness and polarization among Catholics. We do not have two branches of Catholicism.
O God, Who didst give to thy servant, Kenneth, by his sacerdotal office, a share in the priesthood of the Apostles, grant, we implore, that he may also be one of their company forever in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Requiem Aeternam dona ei, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace.