.- Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, will serve as guest speaker at the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast April 19.
The breakfast, which began in 2004 in response to the late Pope John Paul II's call to evangelize formerly Christian societies, will focus on the theme of “Religious Liberty: Threatened at Home and Abroad.”
“Seldom has religious liberty been threatened in so many places in the world,” Anderson said in an April 16 statement, “and never before in this country's history have people of faith faced such widespread threats to their religious freedom as they face today here in the United States.”
The event comes amid intense controversy surrounding the Obama administration's recently announced HHS contraception mandate which would force employers to pay for insurance to cover abortifacients, sterilization and birth control for employees, regardless of religious beliefs.
The Knights of Columbus have been vocal in their support of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' defense of religious freedom as defined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
“For Catholics, and all people of faith, this is a critical moment,” Anderson said
Along with heading up the world's largest Catholic organization, Anderson holds several appointments to Vatican and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops committees, has served as acting director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and has worked for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for a decade. He is the author of a New York Times bestseller, “A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World.”
Archbishop Francis Chullikat, the Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations, will deliver the keynote address.