Convention Insider

Cardinal Dolan Commends the Loyalty and Work of the Knights of Columbus

The Archbishop of New York addresses the Supreme Convention

Praising the Knights of Columbus at their 130th Supreme Convention in Anaheim, Calif., Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops addressed the crowd.

On behalf of his brother bishops, he said, he was there to express his thanks to the Knights for two reasons.

The first was “the generous and unfailing loyalty of the Knights of Columbus to the pastoral goals of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops…especially the defense of religious freedom.”

“You know what we Knights have said for 130 years for God and country,” the Cardinal said.  “And we defend our first and most cherished freedom – yes, as Catholics, grateful for a land that welcomed our forefathers in the faith to a sanctuary where freedom of religion was listed as the first. But we also defend religious liberty as loyal, patriotic Americans – citizens conscious that government in the noble American project exists not to define, invent, or impede our freedoms, but to protect freedoms which by their very nature come not from government, but from almighty God.”

“Knights of Columbus,” he continued, “we need you now more than ever.”

Calling on his brother bishops, of whom about 80 were in attendance, the Cardinal asked, “would you back me up in saying it would be difficult to find an organization more loyally allied to our goals than the Knights of Columbus?”

The second reason for his gratitude, he said, was the lay leadership exemplified by Knights of Columbus.

“I thank you, and I thank almighty God,” Dolan said, “because the Knights of Columbus, I believe, are the genuine harvest of the vocation of the lay faithful that the Second Vatican Council spoke about: committed, credible, compelling, concerned Catholic laity who cogently bring the truth and light of the Gospel as passed on so faithfully by the Church we love to family, work, education, politics, culture, and the public square.”

“Nobody does it better than the Knights,” the Cardinal proclaimed, “and for that, hear your bishops say ‘thank you!’”