Have a look - first, an item from CatholicCulture.org:
of Knights and bishops... and getting rooked
By Phil Lawler
May 20, 2010 6:18 PM
When I think of knights, I think of lances and armor, jousting and swordplay. I think of heroic quests, and yes, even of crusades.
Or else I think of the Knights of Columbus. That's a different matter altogether, unfortunately.
Knights are--or should be--men oriented toward a mission, and there is no mission more noble than the defense of innocent people who cannot defend themselves. In contemporary American society the defense of human life--the protection of the unborn--is a quest tailor-made for men with strong sense of Christian mission and chivalry.
The Knights of Columbus are, and always have been, strongly supportive of the right to life in their public statements. So it has long been a mystery to me why the K of C allows some politicians to continue their membership even while those politicians promote legalized abortion: in flagrant defiance of the teachings of their Church and the public statements of their fraternity.
Is it possible to be a Catholic "knight" who favors not the protection, but the extermination of the helpless unborn? Evidently, yes.
The national directive from K of C leadership, warning local councils that they cannot suspend the membership of abortion supporters, is couched in neutral language, suggesting that any such move to oust a member must be approved at the very top levels of the fraternal order. But are the top leaders of the K of C ready to take action? To the best of my knowledge they have never yet ousted a member because of his support for abortion. If the local councils are forbidden to act, and the national leadership is unwilling to act, then the disgrace will continue: prominent men who support the killing of the unborn will be allowed to parade around in the guise of Catholic knighthood.
In his attempt to justify this policy of inaction, Supreme Advocate John Marrella writes: "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."
Well, yes. It would be "highly inappropriate" for the Knights of Columbus to excommunicate a member. It would also be impossible.
The Knights do not have the authority to deprive their members of the sacraments, nor is anyone suggesting that they should do so. What some K of C members do suggest is that pro-abortion politicians should be deprived of the privileges of membership in a private fraternal organization.
The Knights should look to their bishops for leadership on questions of faith and morals. But on questions of practical politics--the realm of the laity--the Knights should set their own course. Let the bishops decide whether an individual Catholic has separated himself from the Church. But the Knights can decide for themselves whether a man has separated himself from their fraternity.
The Knights set their own standards for membership. Some members have been removed from the rolls for failure to pay their dues; some have been ejected because they engaged in public attacks on the order. Are these more serious offenses than support for abortion?
If the Knights of Columbus are engaged in mounting a serious crusade--not merely in putting together a congenial social network or a successful insurance business--they must adopt some serious internal discipline. It's impossible to fight a crusade effectively as long as enemies are welcome within your own ranks.
From time to time a friend asks me why I've never expressed interest in joining the K of C. Now you know why. Let me know when they get serious.
And then this item from RealCatholicTV.com:
This program is from RealCatholicTV.com