In Annual Report, Supreme Knight Vows Fight for Life and Marriage
Declaring that “abortion is different. Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson pledged the Knights of Columbus to continuing its pro-life efforts in a special way in this election year in the United States.
In his annual report to the convention, he also said that the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization would support efforts to defend marriage as an exclusive union of a man and a woman, especially in the wake of a recent California court decision that legalized same-sex marriage by overturning the legislative will of the people of that state.
Citing the recent document by the U.S. Bishops, Faithful Citizenship, which holds up abortion and other life issues as the top consideration for Catholics at the ballot box, Anderson asked, “Can we support a candidate who may be attractive for many reasons but who supports abortion?”
In answer, he said, “What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation” of 40 million deaths through abortion? “The answer, of course, is that there is none. … It is time to put away the arguments of political spin masters that only serve to justify abortion killing. We have heard a great deal this year about the need for change. But at the same time we are told that one thing cannot change – namely, the abortion regime of Roe vs. Wade.
“It is time that we demand real change, and real change means the end of Roe vs. Wade.”
While stressing that the Knights of Columbus is a non-partisan organization that does not endorse parties or candidates, Anderson laid out a clear guide for Catholic voters on moral issues that touch upon the faith.
He explained, “First, we need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates. It is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for pro-abortion candidates. Catholics should no longer be asked to be partners in the abortion regime by voting for politicians who support abortion.”
He added, to the applause of the delegates, “We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who defend and support a culture of death. It is time that Catholics shine a bright line of separation between themselves and all those politicians of every political party who defend the abortion regime of Roe vs. Wade.
“Imagine if this year millions of Catholic voters simply said ‘no’ – ‘no’ to every candidate of every political party who supports abortion. It’s time we stop accommodating pro-abortion politicians, and it’s time we start demanding that they accommodate us.”
The Case for Marriage
Decrying the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages, the Supreme Knight said that the Order will strengthen its support for marriage and back initiatives to defend the institution against judicial attacks. Voters have defined marriage as a union of man and woman in the many U.S. states in which the issue has been on the ballot.
“The case for marriage is the case for family,” he said. “No one is more suited to pursue that goal than the world’s largest family fraternal organization: the Knights of Columbus.”
Anderson also reported on the Order’s efforts to keep the words “under God” in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance against the legal challenges of an atheist activist.
Greetings from Heads of State
The Supreme Knight delivered his address Tuesday afternoon, during the opening business session of the convention. The session began with a prayer by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William Lori, and included a greeting from Pope Benedict XVI, as well as greetings from U.S. President George W. Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other heads of state. The greeting from Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be given at the States Dinner Tuesday evening.
After the Supreme Knight’s address, delegates viewed a new documentary on the life of the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney.
Following the movie, Father Gabriel O’Donnell, O.P., postulator of the cause for canonization of Father McGivney, delivered a report. Father McGivney was declared “Venerable Servant of God” in March by Pope Benedict XVI, a step in the canonization process. The Vatican’s congregation on saints is consideration the miracle needed for Father McGivney’s beatification.
“This is an important moment for all Knights of Columbus and their families,” Father O’Donnell said. “The Church is affirming the spirit of Father McGivney and the fraternity that is a part of all our lives.”
The declaration of “Venerable” is “a signal from God and from the Church that we can trust his vision for the Order he founded,” Father O’Donnell said.
This vision is, he explained, “A commitment to Catholic manhood and a vision of Catholic family life, a reverence for every human life and recognition of the dignity of each human person. For these truths, Venerable Father McGivney waged war. And his Knights will continue to wage war for the cause of life and the dignity of the human person, with the intention of transforming the world in the light of this vision and these principles. It is to live in Christ, and to bring the world to Christ.”