Friday, July 13, 2007

Knights of Columbus Hypocrisy

Speaking of hypocrites, the Catholic News Agency is reporting ( that the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus is fussing and fuming over some of its members who serve in the Massachusetts Legislature who failed to vote in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage:

New Haven, Jul 9, 2007 / 10:50 am (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus was disappointed to learn that 16 of its members, who hold political office in the Massachusetts Legislature, voted against the same-sex marriage amendment in June.

The June 14 vote, which decided whether same-sex marriage would be put on the 2008 ballot, got only 45 votes — five votes shy of the 50-vote requirement.

"It is certainly embarrassing to the order and to every Knight out there who is firm in his support of traditional marriage and the right to life," Pat Korten, vice-president for communications for the Knights, told

A Knights member must be 18 and a practicing Catholic “who is recognized as such by the local Church where he goes or the ordinary of the diocese," said Korten. It is up to the diocese or the Church hierarchy to decide whether these lawmakers are no longer Catholic, Korten told "We as laymen do not presume to decide whether other laymen are Catholics or not," he said.

When this article came to my attention, I posted a comment on the CAN website about the story that has yet to be approved – and I suspect that my comment never will be – that discussed the hypocrisy of the Knight of Columbus.

As readers of this blog may know, I am a former Catholic and a former Knight of Columbus (I was a charter member for Council 10804 in Virginia Beach, served as a council officer for three years, and reached the 4th Degree level). Thus I am VERY well acquainted with the Knights and the vision of their founder: to provide a fraternal organization for Catholics who were at the time excluded from most fraternal organizations and to provide insurance and the protection for the widows AND CHILDREN of member Knights.

Over the last 125 years, the K of C has done much good work. HOWEVER, when the sex abuse scandal exploded in the Boston Archdiocese in 2001 and then spread across the country, forcing a number of dioceses into bankruptcy, the current leadership of the Knights of Columbus showed their moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy and betrayal of the K of C’s founder’s purposes. Instead of demanding the punishment and removal of bishops and cardinals who had been actively involved in the cover up and casual transfer of sexual predators from one unsuspecting parish to the next, the Supreme Council – and many, many rank and file Knights – marched in lock step with these corrupt members of the Catholic hierarchy. To this day, they act as pitiful lap dogs for the Catholic hierarchy and grovel before them like Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid drinkers at Jonestown.

Even more sickeningly, even after news reports and court proceedings revealed that Thomas V. Daily (by then Bishop of Brooklyn and pictured above) had been one of the “soldiers” who was involved in visiting and intimidating families of abuse victims to remain silent, the Supreme Council leadership allowed Daily to remain as Supreme Chaplin for the Order for another TWO YEARS. Worse yet, Daily was allowed to write disingenuous columns based on his past conduct in the monthly magazine, Columbus, sent to all member knights.

A few voices did call for a house cleaning of those involved. In August 2003, the National Catholic Reporter demanded that Daily among other former Boston auxiliary bishops, to resign for the way they handled the sex abuse scandals in their dioceses See the editorial: ( The call followed a stinging report by Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly. That report detailed six decades of Boston archdiocesan malfeasance related to priests who molested minors. It offered a blistering critique of former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law's 18-year tenure, while placing much of the blame for the catastrophe on deputies who were later promoted to run dioceses of their own. These included Daily.

Did the Knights of Columbus or Vatican take any similar action? Oh, no. The Knights just continued to kiss the frequently wide asses of the very same bishops and cardinals. So much for the Knights of Columbus protecting families and living by Christ’s message. To this day Bishop Daily is a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and a member of the boards of the Society of St. James the Apostle in Boston and the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities in Washington.
So much for any accountability among the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps the Knights and the Church in general should worry less about gay marriage and focus on putting their own organizations in order. Both currently fail to live up to the goals and values of their respective founders. In addition to my coming out, it was the utter moral bankruptcy of the leadership of the Catholic Church and the leaders of the Knights of Columbus caused me to leave both the Knights and the Catholic Church.
P. S. I am faxing a copy of this post to the Supreme Council for a response.


BostonPobble said...

This saddens me about the K of C. My experience with them has been, for the most part, a positive one. However, I want my legislators to be able to separate their own personal, religious convictions from the law of the land. I saddened about the K of C here in Boston ~ and thrilled with my legislators!

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