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Membership in the Knights of Columbus

Membership in the Knights of Columbus

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: americanpapist on May 22, 2010
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07/30/2010

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MEMBERSHIP IN THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
Patrick S. Korten
Vice President for CommunicationsKnights of Columbus Supreme Council 
The Knights of Columbus has always urged its members to live in a way completelyconsistent with Catholic teaching on all issues. We are proudly and unambiguouslypro-life and have been at the forefront of the effort to protect marriage. Though weare saddened that not all of our members always live up to the Catholic faith, weare grateful that the vast majority do, and that they do so much good for the Churchand society. Our councils have a chaplain, a Catholic priest, to ensure that theKnights of the council are educated in the tenets of the Catholic faith. In short, our beliefs are those of the Church, with no additions and no subtractions.Since our founding by Father Michael J. McGivney in 1882, membership in theKnights has been open to Catholic men at least 18 years of age who are “practical(that is, practicing) Catholics” in union with the Holy See. We leave thedetermination of who is a “practical” Catholic to the Church, and do not presume tosubstitute our own judgment for that of the bishop of each diocese. If the bishopconsiders a man to be a practicing Catholic in good standing, the Order does notattempt to second-guess his decision.Once a man becomes a brother Knight, our principles of charity, unity and fraternityrequire that we regard him as a brother in all respects, even when he may strayfrom the teachings of the Church. Our responsibility in such circumstances is to tryto help him embrace the fullness of the Catholic faith.As the largest Catholic family fraternal service organization in the world, the Knightsof Columbus is a strongly pro-life, pro-marriage organization, irrespective of theviews of a tiny minority of our members, just as is the case with the CatholicChurch. Our policy in these areas is stated with absolute clarity at each of our annual conventions and is widely circulated to members and the general public.We have been a mainstay of the pro-life movement since well before
Roe v. Wade
was handed down by the Supreme Court in 1973, and strongly supported thesuccessful effort by brother Knight Henry Hyde to legislatively prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.We ask each of our more than 13,000 councils to conduct pro-life activities eachyear, and we are proud that the great majority do so, providing the backbone of thegrassroots pro-life movement in the United States and many other countries aswell.Our financial support, and thousands of volunteer hours from our members, makethe annual March for Life in Washington possible. The same is true of the growing1

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