Skip to comments.The Knight time for fraternal correction (K of C Membership)
Posted on 05/21/2010 6:33:40 AM PDT by GonzoII
The Knights are making a mistake.
As reported by Catholic World News and other sources, the leadership of the Knights of Columbus is forbidding local and state councils from suspending politicians who support abortion or same-sex marriage. This is a complex issue, so let’s add some details and begin a conversation about their decision.
The argument from John Marrella, KofC Supreme Advocate, is essentially two-fold. It is not appropriate, he claims, for a local chapter of the Knights to take such a disciplinary action on its own authority – disciplinary proceedings should instead be reserved to the KofC leadership. Second, Marella argues that the KofC leadership ought not to go further in disciplining public dissenters from the Church’s teaching than the American bishops:
“If the public figure’s bishop has not excommunicated him for his public positions on issues relating to matters of faith and morals, it would be highly inappropriate for the Knights of Columbus to do so…”
This is a mistake: Marella’s argument confuses the Knights of Columbus with the Church. Being expelled from the Knights of Columbus, after all, is simply not the same as being excommunicated from the Church or being barred from receiving Communion by the local bishop. The Knights are a private, lay organization which operates by its own rules...
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicvoteaction.org ...
Who is going to save our Church?
Not our bishops, not our priests and
religious. It is up to you, the people.
You have the minds, the eyes, and the
ears to save the Church. Your mission
is to see that your priests act like priests,
your bishops act like bishops, and your
religious act like religious.
--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, address to the Supreme
Convention of the Knights of Columbus in June 1972
“what’s wrong to day..is that the girls all want to be boys....and the priests all want to be girls”-Anonymous
I'm not a member - obviously - so I have no standing to comment.
When I first read about this story that quote from Archbishop Sheen was the first thing I thought of. I had no idea it was actually spoken to the KoC in the first place, learn something new on FR every day!
A Catholic group should follow Church teaching. If the bishop chooses not to, then the hell with him. Somebody should act like abortion is what the bishops say it is, even if the bishops don’t. Maybe then regular Catholics might really get the impression abortion is truly a big deal despite how the bishops act.
“A penny for your thoughts. I’m not a member - obviously - so I have no standing to comment.”
Spend your penny elsewhere.
In all honesty, this has been a very frustrating issue for the more orthodox members of the organization like me. I think I probably know the guy who submitted the resolution, I am behind it 100%, but I am wise enough to know it is a long fight.
Realistically the K of C has the same problems as the U.S. Church, the liberalism of the 1970s has infiltrated and like the U.S. Church it will take some time to weed it out (or age it out if you will).
Unfortunately stuff like this creates a “Catch-22” traditional Catholics will be reluctant to join the organization, BUT, you need the traditional Catholics to join in large number to change the organization.
In all reality if traditional Catholics took this type of crap as a rallying call and join the organization in large numbers the changes at the top would happen much more quickly.
Just to give you the background, third generation Knight, one of the younger guys, served in Council and State roles and I am probably more frustrated about this stuff than anyone. I will probably be old and gray by the time this battle is won, but that doesn’t mean I am going to quit.
I don't think that things will change within the Order until things change within the hierarchy. I just don't see the Order ever getting ahead of the hierarchy on this issue. It's a fundamental attribute of the Order, for better or for worse.
In fact, I'd be drop-dead stunned if Supreme’s current stance wasn't developed after extensive consultations with those members of the episcopacy closest to the Order. And no way is Supreme going to depart from the line that the bishops strongly (even if privately) urge.
That’s rather sad. We’re supposed to be in the post-Vatican II age of the educated, participating laity. If some of the bishops are hiding under their desks, and behaving inconsistently with respect to one another on the question of handling the pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians, then the courageous Knights of Columbus, plumes and swords, ought to act.
Or is this organization back in the “pray, pay and obey” age and primarily about selling insurance?
No - You, though not a member, have a right to discuss and recommend. And criticize!!!when warranted.
I AM a KofC member, and WILL criticize the leadership very strongly about this matter. In this case, he is simply and irrevocably wrong.
Local coincils DO have the responsibility to acto “correctly and morally” DESPITE what the leadership says. When - and only when - the “leadership is wrong. And, now, the leadership is wrong by “deferring” to the wrong and politcally corrupt (er, correct) US Bishops councils.
Wrong is NOT negotiable. Moral values of “Right” and “Wrong” do not change when political-driven,race-driven, homosexual-driven, and power/abortion/media or money-driven bishops - such as Washington, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco, Berkley, Boston, LA, etc happen to be on the morally wrong side of a political and moral issue.
good for you, Robt. sounds like the right thing to do, to me too.
It depends on how you see the question at hand.
If it's a question that arises principally out of Catholic faith and moral theology, well, I think that Supreme is closer to the right answer than its detractors.
As a three-time Past Grand Knight, I can tell you that as Grand Knight of my Council, I was not the judge of any man's Catholicity. That was the job of our Chaplain.
I'm certainly entitled to my opinion, but that opinion has, and should have, very little formal meaning within the Church and her affiliates. I'm a laymen, not a cleric. I have my opinions, I may even share them with others, it is difficult to see the circumstances under which I may unilaterally, or in concert with other like-minded laypeople, give the force of law in any setting other than my own household.
The Knights of Columbus is mostly a lay organization, but hierarchs, from deacons to cardinals, are also members. And we take our spiritual and moral guidance from our members who are part of the hierarchy.
This is an attribute of the Order. It has many, many positive consequences, but at times, it may appear to have negative ones as well.
Now, if one strips the issue of its source in moral theology, then one might imagine the Knights acting. Stripped of its theological aspect, it is no longer a question of someone's Catholicity. But then, it would principally be a political issue, not a moral one, and Knights are not supposed to bring politics in the Council or Assembly (not that it's ever done - but I'm not quick to condemn Supreme if they're trying to avoid doing so).
I think most everyone will agree that it is the proper role of the hierarchy to be disciplining these men, and then all Catholic organizations could fall in behind the moral leadership of our priests and bishops.
I also think most everyone will agree that the hierarchy, collectively, is at grave fault for their failure to lead by disciplining wayward sons of the Church on these matters.
The question in dispute is whether or not laymen may rightly step into the role of the hierarchy because of their abdication of their proper role, whether the laymen of the Order may permissibly act in the stead of the hierarchy, especially the ordinaries of the dioceses of the offending men.
I go back and forth about this, but it's more than enough of a question in my mind that I find it difficult to muster criticism of Supreme for wishing not to get out in front of the bishops on this matter.
Well, while we respect the role of bishop, you seem to agree that the episcopacy in the US is coming up short on leadership.
I was surprised that as a Grand Knight you would simply defer to the Chaplain whom one would assume to be an advisor, a consultant, and not the leader. (Just which bishops are giving weak-kneed advice to the national K of C?)
We’re not speaking here as to whether supporting abortion is right or wrong — the answer to that question is clear — we are speaking about the SCANDAL and confusion engendered by these political leaders proclaiming themselves as Catholics, by their supposed affiliation with the Catholic Church and its lay organizations, and then publicly acting otherwise, without reproach (think Cuomo, Dodd, et al.). And, of course, being booted from the K of C is not the same thing as excommunication.
— Former (and disappointed) Knight of Columbus
Good comeback Robert. I believe you have right on your side.
On matters of faith and morals, spirituality, and determining the Catholicity of a man, I deferred to my Chaplain.
These are spiritual matters, and they are the area of competence of the hierarchy, not of the laity.
On all other issues, I listened to the Chaplain along with the rest of my membership and then did what I thought was right. These other matters were temporal matters, and the area of competence primary to the laity, and where the hierarchy has no special competence.
“Were not speaking here as to whether supporting abortion is right or wrong the answer to that question is clear we are speaking about the SCANDAL and confusion engendered by these political leaders proclaiming themselves as Catholics, by their supposed affiliation with the Catholic Church and its lay organizations, and then publicly acting otherwise, without reproach (think Cuomo, Dodd, et al.).”
I agree, but the source of that confusion is the hierarchy, not the Knights of Columbus. The Order suffers from the abdication of the episcopacy along with the rest of the Catholic faithful.
“And, of course, being booted from the K of C is not the same thing as excommunication.”
That's true. But which is the greater privilege? To be admitted (and remain in) the Knights of Columbus, or to be admitted to the Eucharist? Thus, Knights judged worthy to receive the Blessed Sacrament (but not to remain in the Order) might readily argue, “Oh, so I'm sufficiently Catholic to receive God in the Blessed Sacrament, but not sufficiently Catholic to be in the Knights of Columbus.”
And a lot of their fellow Knights would nod their heads in agreement, and leave the Order. I personally know Knights like that. Many of them are good Knights, even if misguided (at least in my opinion) about certain things.
So, Supreme is put between a rock and a hard place - if they act against faux-Catholic Knights, they'll lose (and incur the wrath of many bishops, without whose permission and cooperation they'd be sharply hamstrung), but if they don't act, then they lose folks like you.
And in neither case do the arguments all go in one direction.
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