Knights of Columbus Reaffirms Opposition to Abortion, Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Resolution calls for laws to protect rights of conscience for medical personnel.

Delegates to the 125th annual convention of the Knights of Columbus Thursday, Aug. 9, unanimously adopted a resolution on Building a Culture of Life reaffirming its “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.”

The resolution, adopted during the final session of the convention at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, also called 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.”  The resolution also called for “similar protection for Catholic hospitals.”

The Knights of Columbus also reaffirmed its “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.”

Convention delegates also adopted resolutions  expressing “Support for Natural Marriage,” “Honoring Our Armed Forces,” calling for “Decency in the Media and on the Internet,” and calling for “continued use of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The convention celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Knights of Columbus, which was founded in New Haven, Conn., in 1882.  Among the highlights of the convention was attendance by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcissio Bertone, who delivered a major address Wednesday evening, and who expressed strong support for the cause for sainthood of the founder of the Knights, Father Michael J. McGivney. Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican’s number two official, received the Knights of Columbus’ highest honor, the Gaudiam et Spes award, on Tuesday evening. View transcript of his remarks.