130th Supreme Convention


WHEREAS, Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger was born at Martkl am Inn, in Lower Bavaria, on April 16, 1927 and was baptized on the same day; and

WHEREAS, his loving parents raised him in an atmosphere of goodness and hope, rooted in a devotion to the Church, even during those years in which the German National Socialist regime persecuted the Church; and

WHEREAS, he was ordained a priest on June 29, 1951 and served for more than two decades as both a pastor and a professor at the University of Tübingen, the University of Münster, and the University of Regensburg; and

WHEREAS, the young Father Ratzinger made a notable contribution to the Second Vatican Council (1962 - 1965) through his work as an expert and theological advisor; and

WHEREAS, in 1977 he received Episcopal ordination and was appointed by Pope Paul VI as Archbishop of Munich and Freising, in Bavaria, and was named a cardinal later that same year; and

WHEREAS, as the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and Freising, he took as his Episcopal motto “Co-workers of the Truth,” explaining that his primary responsibility as a Bishop was to follow the truth and be at its service; and

WHEREAS, in 1981 Blessed John Paul II appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican office charged with defending and explaining the truth of Catholic doctrine; and

WHEREAS, he served as President of the Preparatory Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which after six years of work (1986-1992) presented the new Catechism to the Holy Father; and

WHEREAS, in 2002 Blessed John Paul II approved Cardinal Ratzinger’s election as Dean of the College of Cardinals; and

WHEREAS, after the death of Blessed John Paul II in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected the Successor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ, and the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church on April 19 of that year; and

WHEREAS, after his election to the Chair of Peter, he explained that he took the name Benedict to remember Pope Benedict XV, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war, and Saint Benedict of Nursia, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe; and

WHEREAS, with the promulgation of his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), Pope Benedict XVI provided a source of wisdom and inspiration to the entire Church; and

WHEREAS, with the promulgation of his second encyclical Spe Salvi, he enriched our understanding of hope, and appealed to the world to find strength in Christian hope, as it is the source of our redemption; and

WHEREAS, with the promulgation of his third encyclical Caritas in Veritate, he provided further inspiration to the work of all Christians, a reminder that our charitable works must be motivated and guided by our faith, because only in Truth will our charity shine forth; and

WHEREAS, with his multi-volume meditation on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, he provided the world with a clear and distinct vision of Jesus as derived from the Gospels, and shared with us his own personal search for the face of the Lord, challenging us to do the same; and

WHEREAS, he preserved and renewed the divine worship of the Church, especially in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, enriching the faith and piety of Catholics everywhere; and

WHEREAS, with his convocation of assemblies of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church, and the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith, he helped clarify the Church’s approach towards the Bible and the Eucharist, respectively; and

WHEREAS, with his 2006 visit to the Republic of Turkey he made a courageous pilgrimage inviting a new era of dialogue between the east and the west, between Christians and Muslims, and between Catholics and Orthodox; and

WHEREAS, with his apostolic visit to the United States in 2008, he stirred millions to begin or renew their journey of faith and participation in the Church; and

WHEREAS, in 2008, during a homily at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he made special reference to our Order’s founder, the Venerable Father Michael McGivney, upholding his founding of the Knights of Columbus as an example of Christian vision and zeal, both rooted in faith and a spirit of constant conversion and self-sacrifice; and

WHEREAS, with his beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II, he advanced his predecessor’s cause for sainthood, and in doing so encouraged us to stand firm in our faith, to reclaim the world for Christ; and

WHEREAS, in continuity with his beloved predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, he worked tirelessly to foster a civilization of love and to proclaim the Gospel of Life; and

WHEREAS, he frequently expressed his gratitude to and support for the work of the Knights of Columbus in letters to the Supreme Council and numerous meetings with the Supreme Knight and the Board of Directors; and

WHEREAS, he has called the Knights of Columbus “a pioneer in the development of the modern lay apostolate”, and has entrusted our Order to continue that legacy, especially by providing “sound inspiration, guidance and direction to a new generation of faithful and dedicated Catholic laymen”; and

WHEREAS, in proclaiming this Year of Faith, he helped Catholics all over the world commit to a more complete conversion to God, to strengthen their faith, and to proclaim God with joy, thus advancing the New Evangelization; and

WHEREAS, with his resignation from the See of Peter on February 28, 2013, becoming Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, he demonstrated a courageous act of humility, discerning God’s will and acting upon it with his own free will; and

WHEREAS, he continues to enlighten Catholics with knowledge and wisdom, through his prayers for the Church, and his contribution to His Holiness Pope Francis’s first encyclical Lumen Fidei.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus expresses its profound gratitude to Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI for his lifetime of dedicated service to Christ and his Church as a priest, a pastor, a university professor, a theologian, a bishop, a cardinal, and as the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus, along with their families, commit ourselves to prayers of thanksgiving to our heavenly Father for the great gift that Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI has been to the Church and to the world; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon the entire Order to express our solidarity with Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI by praying for him during his retirement years, that God may protect him and bless him abundantly.