.- The Knights of Columbus closed their 128th Supreme Convention today in Washington, D.C., approving several resolutions renewing the fraternal organization's commitments to defending life from conception to natural end, protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman, strengthening the family and defending the Holy Father.
âThe Knights of Columbus renew our deep and historic commitment to oppose any governmental action or policy that promotes abortion, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and other offenses against life,â the first approved resolution states.
âWe continue to speak out to our elected representatives about the need to enact legislation to oppose these practices and to protect human life in all its stages,â it adds.
The Knights also emphasized that they âsupport programs that provide women facing crisis pregnancies with alternatives to abortion, including adoption,â and reaffirmed their âcommitment to building a âculture of lifeâ by promoting policies that favor the family.â
The worldâs largest Catholic fraternal organization also backed their long-standing policy of not inviting to any Knights of Columbus event, persons, especially public officials or candidates for public office, who do not support the legal protection of unborn children, or who advocate the legalization of assisted suicide or euthanasia.â The ban on people who support abortion or assisted suicide also extends to the granting of awards or honorary positions within the Knights, and renting or allowing them to use facilities controlled by the organization.
The argument being advanced by some in the Obama administration that freedom to worship must be protected rather than the freedom of religion was also addressed by the assembly.
The Knights of Columbus recalled that âthe full guarantee of religious liberty cannot be limited to âfreedom of worshipâ but must include full âfreedom of religion,â which necessarily encompasses the public dimension of religion, the freedom from persecution or discrimination on the basis of conscience and belief, and the fact that believers are called upon to play an active role in building the social order.â
âWe will never waver in our efforts to promote the Churchâs understanding of religious freedom as an inherent right of all; and that we remain steadfast in our support of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares that every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and that this right includes the freedom to manifest oneâs religion in teaching, practice, worship and observance,â the resolution says.
During the final session, the Knights of Columbus also approved a resolution expressing âits profound gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI for his lifetime of dedicated service to Christ and his Church.
âWe call upon the entire Order to express our solidarity with the Holy Father through a commitment to prayer, fasting and acts of charity for the intention that God may protect him from his enemies and grant him the courage and wisdom to guide the Church in these turbulent times,â the resolution states.
The Knights of Columbus âwill never waver in its commitment to defend the Holy Father and assist him in his pastoral mission of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world,â the group stressed.