Knights of Columbus to Prohibit Pro-Abort Politicians from Knight Events

At the Knights of Columbus 125th annual convention this week, the Order officially resolved to forbid pro-abortion politicians from attending their events. The Order also renewed its support for the traditional definition of marriage and called for the protection of conscience for people in the medical field.

During the final session of the Knights of Columbus convention at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on August 9, delegates passed the pro-life resolution, stating, "we reaffirm our long-standing policy of not inviting to any Knights of Columbus event, persons, especially public officials or candidates for public office, who do not support the legal protection of unborn children, or who advocate for the legalization of assisted suicide or euthanasia."

In addition, they resolved to continue "prohibiting such persons from renting or otherwise using facilities over which we have control, or speaking at Knights of Columbus events, or bestowing on them honors or privileges of our Order of any kind, or inviting them to serve as honorary chairpersons of events, celebrations, or committees, or hold any office in the Knights of Columbus."

In the same resolution, the Knights stated their official opposition to political moves towards allowing any scientific or clinical methods that jeopardize human life. They stated, "we renew our deep commitment to oppose any governmental action or policy that promotes abortion, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, euthanasia, assisted-suicide, and other offenses against life, and that we continue to speak out to our elected representatives about the need to enact legislation to oppose these practices and protect human life in all it stages."

With this in mind, the Knights also called for laws protecting medical professionals and Catholic hospitals from acting against their conscience. They resolved to work for "the adoption of laws that recognize and protect in law the right of conscience for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical personnel, guaranteeing that they may not be forced to provide medical services which violate their religious beliefs." They also resolved to "insist on similar protection for Catholic hospitals."

Inspired by Pope John Paul II's reminder (Evangelium Vitae) to grapple with the modern culture by means of proper moral formation, the Order committed to providing solid pro-life education within society. They stated, "We continue our efforts to inform, educate, and motivate, in a charitable manner, our elected officials, the public, and our own members about the importance of being consistently and unequivocally pro-life."

While condemning the evil of abortion, the Knights also compassionately supported its double victims — the unborn child and post-abortive mother. The Order resolved to "support programs that provide women facing crisis pregnancies with alternatives to abortion, including adoption," and to "support projects that provide spiritual support to those women suffering from the traumatic emotional and psychological after-effects of abortion."

Finally, they reaffirmed their commitment to "building a 'culture of life' by promoting policies that favor the family, and by recognizing that it is within strong and healthy families that moral values are taught and that the spiritual and cultural heritage of the nation is transmitted."

They concluded with a resolution to pray the rosary and do penance in reparation for the sins against life.

During the same convention, which marked the 125th anniversary of the Order which was founded in 1882, the Knights issued an official declaration in "Support for Natural Marriage," "Honoring Our Armed Forces," calling for "Decency in the Media and on the Internet," and a further commitment for the use of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Order awarded their highest honor, the Gaudium et Spes award, to keynote speaker Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State. During the conference, the Cardinal promised to support the canonization of the Knights of Columbus founder Father Michael McGivney, Catholic World News reports. He also challenged members of the order to remain faithful to the faith of Christ as laymen in a secular world and to courageously spread the Gospel.

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  • Guest
    When asked why He kept company with sinners, Jesus said that it was a physicians place to be with the sick. Are we then too good or self righteous that we cannot follow our Lord's example and seek the change of heart and conversion of pro-abortion politicians by being in our midst's and through our example instead of outside our influence.  The scriptural challenge to follow the Lord's example is a tough one. It is shameful that our brother Knights, especially those of rank within the Order, fail to seek this as a source of their decisions and actions.

    Jesus criticized the established religious rulers. He did not promote them, nor did he promote the civilian government (lend to Caesar what is Caesar's…) He, however, was among them and invited them in. Witnessing to the Gospel (in Jesus' time the gospel was "repent your sins and believe the good news that God loves you). I wouldn't hesitate to invite Kennedy or Pelosi to a Knights Event. I would preach to them in public about the sins of abortion and the meaning of human life. I would, as Jesus did, use every opportunity to give them examples of God's love by getting them to convert, repent, and believe the good news. That kind of witness is hard work. It goes against logic to love your enemies, turn the other cheek, give your coat to the thief that stole your shirt. Preaching and witnessing in public, with public people is a tough thing. Jesus did it extremely well as we know from Gospels. We pray for that kind of strength to witness to those you need it. And in the midst of this, our Order has "restricted" those that need the witnessing the most from those opportunities for grace. There is no scriptural logic or dogmatic logic to it whatsoever. It is my opinion, there is superficial grandstanding to baring politicians from Knight's events. It solidifies the lip service we tend to give pro-life and not the dedicated evangelical thrust into the very core of life-negating forces that the Gospel and Holy Father call us to.
    It's probably hard to hear that isolating the sinners is not the answer and to date, has not been all that effective in the political arena. It is even harder to compare our actions to Jesus' works and actions and find that we fall very short in that regard. It is my hope that our Order will at some point see the need to preach to those in need of the Word. Kennedy, Pelosi, and other pro-death advocates, especially those that call themselves Catholic, are in fact the most needy. My challenge to our Order is if push them away, at what point do we preach and render example to them?
    Mark Zecca
    KOC Council 10802 

  • Guest

    This is Excellent news!

    Too bad some people can't tell the difference between "witnessing" to people and giving them honors, awards, and speaking engagements.

    "Oh yes, Ms. Pelosi, please accept this award for being such a great Catholic politician. We hope you'll now become totally pro-life now that you have received and award from us!" DUH!!

    On the other hand, how did Jesus address the pharisees? "Whitewashed Tombs", and "Inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You Fools!"  I'd like to see the Order start talking more like Jesus did!

    Mzecca, you have no idea what you're talking about.

  • Guest

    In response to mzecca, I would just say that to many times these pro-abort politicians get invited to and even celebrated as speakers at conventions or commencements. Christianity is by its very nature, exclusive. "You are my disciples IF you do what I tell you." I support my brother Knights actions 100 percent. Remember, excommunication from the Church is not so much a punishment as a hope of leading the offending party to conversion, repentance and reconciliation. Maybe some of the pro-abortion politicians will get the hint from the actions of groups like the Knights of Columbus. 

  • Guest

    Dear Mark Zecca,

    You are ABSOLUTELY correct that we need to INVITE pro-abort politicians and the like to meetings of the Order.

    Unfortunately, you completely missed the point of the Order's decision. Pro-abort pols and the like are being forbidden places of honor or leadership. And they are being forbidden the use of the Order's facilities.

    Think of it this way, Mark. Did Jesus invite outsiders to the Last Supper? No, he reserved that for believers. But Jesus did reach out to the rest to teach and love them.

    So, Mark, before you get yourself worked up again. Try reading the article for what it says and not what you think it says.


  • Guest

    Well done, Knights of Columbus!

    There is a distinction between keeping company with sinners, and looking at manifest sin and calling it virtue. 

    We must continue to pray for the fallen away Catholics, especially those in high office, that they may come to repent (re-think) their public policy positions which enable the killing of so many innocent human beings. Lord, these politicians are you children — send Your Holy spirit to re-awaken their souls that they may come to their senses and turn back to You.

    Vivat Jesu!