HONORS GUN FIGHTING AFRICAN CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY
, VA - The St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc. presented Charl
van Wyk of Cape Town , Republic of South Africa with its Medallion
of Honor and accompanying certificate during recent ceremonies
in Potomac MD, Society Chairman John M. Snyder announced here
Charl is a true, heroic proponent
in both word and deed of the legitimate right to self-defense.
He is a genuine, living exemplar of the principles upon which
the international, interdenominational St. Gabriel Possenti
Society is based. We are delighted that he is here with us
in the United States to accept this presentation in person.
Even his brief presence among us offers a strong counter to
thoughtless calls for civilian disarmament emanating from
the lips of some American churchmen.
We in the United States face perpetually
the possibility of terrorist attack. The examples of both
Charl van Wyk and St. Gabriel Possenti offer valuable instruction
on how we may prepare ourselves individually to protect innocent
life from violent attack.
In July 1993, Charl, relying on his faith
and a .38 caliber special revolver, caused a gang of terrorists
to flee a church in Cape Town in what became known as the
St. James Massacre. The terrorists were part of the Azanian
Peoples Liberation Army, the military wing of the Pan
African Congress, a Marxist-Leninist group.
The terrorists, armed with grenades and
AK-47s, murdered 11 parishioners and wounded an additional
58 individuals. Charl, the only armed member of the congregation,
fired five rounds with his handgun. He wounded one of the
terrorists and the gang fled. His action apparently prevented
the murder or injury of many more people.
The incident led Charl to become an even
more ardent defender of the right to self-defense and of the
right to keep and bear arms than he already had been. A member
of the Anglican Church of South Africa, Charl is Assistant
Director of Frontline Fellowship, which he describes as a
trans-denominational missionary organization committed to
spreading the message of Jesus Christ throughout Africa .
St. Gabriel Possenti was a Catholic seminarian
who saved villagers of Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy from a
terrorizing gang of renegade soldiers in 1860 with a striking,
one-shot, lizard-slaying demonstration of handgun marksmanship.
He died of natural causes a couple of years after that. Pope
Benedict XV canonized him in 1920. The Society seeks his official
Vatican designation as Patron of Handgunners. It emphasizes
the historical, philosophical and theological bases for the
doctrine of legitimate self-defense.
The Society Medallion of Honor features
a silhouette of Possenti on the obverse and, on the reverse,
the following inscription: Guide our aim to strike at
the center. Protect us from the enemies of love, justice and
liberty. The certificate verifies its conferral.
PHOTO CAPTION: Charl van Wyk and John
M. Snyder display the Possenti Society Medallion certificate.