Knights errant

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 06, 2004

From Supreme Knight Carl Anderson's speech at the Dallas convention of the Knights of Columbus:

No other organization in the Church today can make the impact that we can at every level of the Church.

Probably true. If the Knights want action, they can get it started by themselves.

Catholics in public office who defend legal abortion will increasingly find themselves at the margins of the Catholic community.  Today, they are no longer in the center.  The discussion now is whether they have become so marginalized as to be no longer in communion with their fellow Catholics — and whether they should admit this themselves or be told so by their bishop.

It is not up to us as members of the laity to judge whether fellow Catholics should be denied Communion, or whether they are guilty of scandal.  Those decisions are properly left to the pastoral judgment of ecclesial authorities.

Fair enough; certainly that's a logical stance. But while leaving the bishops to decide whether pro-abortion pols should receive Communion, the Knights could decide for themselves that a public official who supports the "culture of death" cannot remain a member in good standing of the K of C itself. We're still waiting...

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Aug. 11, 2004 7:20 PM ET USA

    There truly seems to be only a very few who are willing to defend God. I wonder when the 100 years spoken of that Pope Leo XIII overheard will be up. Will the majority of people be sent to you know where with all the evil present in our day because of those who will not stick up for God nor God's Commandments?

  • Posted by: - Aug. 11, 2004 7:08 PM ET USA

    Jim: Right on!

  • Posted by: - Aug. 06, 2004 10:43 PM ET USA

    Does anyone know how the Knights of Columbus voted on Resolution N. 48 which "requires ipso facto foreture of membership for any public official who promotes abortion, infanticifde, euthanasia or assisted suicide"? (quote from Wanderer issue 8/5/04) Many Knights are very unwilling to face issues like abortion because someone will get offended.. Prochoice Catholic politicians who are members of the KOC should be expelled because it gives scandal to not do so.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 06, 2004 7:50 PM ET USA

    Remember this: The Kof C is in the money making Insurance Business. Lets not interfere with that!

  • Posted by: Stonewall - Aug. 06, 2004 7:49 PM ET USA

    The Knights have been doing the same dance for at least 20 years...just waiting for the bishops. Charitable actions only go so far. When are we Knights going to join the joust?

  • Posted by: - Aug. 06, 2004 12:22 PM ET USA

    Good luck on this one, Phil. The Supreme Council is more concerned with publicity and looking good with the Pope then they are with whether or not their members are in conformance with the Magisterium. I will happily renew my membership in our local council when I read that the Council expels a member, especially a prominent one, because he rejects Church teaching. I hve no expectation of either happening.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 06, 2004 11:56 AM ET USA

    I know scandalous behavior when I see it or hear it--I don’t need a bishop to tell me what constitutes a scandal to the Church. It is precisely because “no other organization in the Church today can make the impact that (they) can at every level of the Church” that Supreme Knight Carl Anderson should have spoken more forcefully on this issue. The Church would be better served by the Knights’ unequivocal public support for enforcement of Canon 915. That’s not judging, that’s defending the Faith.