San Antonio, Texas, Aug 7, 2013 / 11:41 am
Pope Francis issued a letter to the Knights of Columbus on the occasion of their 131st annual convention, praising them for their charitable works and encouraging them to defend the faith.
Sent by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone on behalf of Pope Francis, the letter expressed the Pope's "esteem for the ideals of faith and fraternity" that the Knights embody, as well as their "commitment to the Church's mission, and the many works of charity and evangelical witness" they have undertaken.
The letter was directed to the more than 2,000 Knights and their families who attended the San Antonio conference for the purpose of prayer, planning, recognition and fellowship. Present at the August 5-8 conference this year were Knights from dozens of countries, as well as more than 100 members of the Catholic hierarchy, including numerous bishops and 11 cardinals.
Pope Francis reminded the Knights of the importance and responsibility of the lay faithful in the Church, and encouraged every Knight and council to continue "to bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life, and the beauty and truth of human sexuality."