Addressing Ukrainians whose lives have been upturned and devastated by the war, Kelly said: “You are not alone. We are with you. And the Knights of Columbus are not going anywhere.”
‘Stand for the truth because it’s right’
Recalling the recent Dodgers scandal, in which the Los Angeles Major League Baseball team honored an anti-Catholic hate group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with a “community hero award,” Kelly said that Catholic men are called to defend the faith even more vigorously in the face of such bigotry.
“I was shocked to see a professional baseball team honor an anti-Catholic hate group that masquerades as nuns,” Kelly said. “This group mocks Our Lord and Our Lady in the foulest ways. And they insult the courageous women religious who have dedicated their lives to prayer and service. I can think of no more blatant example of the new anti-Catholic bigotry.”
While Catholics have taken criticism for their work upholding religious freedom and the sanctity of life, Kelly urged the Knights to never back down from defending the truth of the Catholic faith.
“There is nothing hateful about the sanctity of marriage, the reality of biological sex, or the humanity of the unborn child,” he said. “And the Knights of Columbus will never apologize for defending the truth.”
“We stand for the truth because it’s right — even when it leads to ridicule and scorn,” Kelly said.
Standing for life
Kelly acknowledged that “the fight for life is far from over” and that struggle has even grown in importance with new efforts to undermine the right to life in states across the country.
“Life will be on the ballot in many states over the next two years,” Kelly said.
“This November,” he went on, “Ohio will vote on whether to put the so-called right to abortion into its constitution. Radical activists are already pouring millions of dollars into this battle. They think it will be the beginning of the end of the pro-life movement. But we will prove them wrong.”
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Highlighting the Knights’ Aid and Support After Pregnancy Program, Kelly shared how the Knights have supported pregnant and parenting mothers since the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Through the program and other efforts, the Knights have donated 1,745 ultrasound machines and raised $6 million for pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes across the country.
Rather than backing down from the fight for life after the overturn of Roe, Kelly urged Knights to stand stronger on the life issue than ever before.
Kelly said that the Knights remain dedicated to not only making abortion illegal but also unthinkable. He mentioned the Knights’ efforts to reach younger generations with the pro-life message, pointing out how the order teamed with the Sisters of Life to put on the first-ever “Life Fest,” which took place in January the morning of the national March for Life and was attended by more than 4,000 youth.
Our goal is the same,” he said, “win more hearts, change more minds, and enshrine the right to life in the laws of the land.”
“Think back to where we were, just a few years ago. The powers that be said Roe was settled law. They said it would never be overturned. But the pro-life movement kept the faith. And we carried the day,” Kelly said. “Since the end of Roe, nearly half of our states have taken new steps to protect life. And as I stand before you today, 14 states have ended abortion altogether — and more are on the way.”