Monday, September 19, 2011
Note To Supreme Council of Knights of Columbus
We the undersigned being members of this Council, do hereby assemble ourselves in allegiance with Holy Mother Church, the Holy See, Holy Father, our Diocese and Bishop, our parish and Priest. We though laymen desire to conduct ourselves with a level of devoutness, purity, prowess and honor. We are disheartened and betrayed by the leadership or lack thereof of the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus and State Council of North Carolina and we hereby articulate several grievances that have emerged through the course of inaction, cowardice and disgracefulness in the order.
There have been several instances of inaction by commanding officials of this order. In specifically we are speaking first of the disgraceful memo that was sent to all Grand Knights whereby the Supreme Council did "refuse to allow suspension of members who promote abortion and gay marriage." Supreme Advocate John Marrella's example of bishops who do not "ex- communicate" Catholic politicians who vote in favor of abortion and same-sex marriage for why the K of C cannot "excommunicate" these men is a misnomer. As a Catholic fraternal organization the K of C does not have the authority to "excommunicate" from the Catholic Church any of its members; however, it does have the authority and duty to "discharge" any member whose behavior is a constant scandal to the Catholic faith. What happened to subsidiary? An individual priest would be within his rights to refuse communion to anyone guilty of public sin. Why should a local or state council be prevented from acting as their conscience dictates? Upon initiation, the Chaplain, which is generally the parish priest of the local council decides the “Catholicity” of the candidates the bishop is not consulted, nor is it a requisite. If the Candidate is not a practicing Catholic or is not in communion with the Church they are denied membership. This is the same for members as well, whereas he would have a more familiar involvement with member’s public stance and whether he has been resolved with Holy Mother Church. We are not speaking of an individual’s struggle with sin in general but the public display of support for such issues that are clearly not in line with the Catholic Church or the order. Which to us implies that one maintains not only a belief in but a support of it's tenets with regard to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and the Sacrament of Marriage. Nonetheless, laymen can be excommunicated on their own with out a Bishop’s pronouncement by way of their sinful actions and/ or failure to act when it is necessary to do so; such as against abortion or other political views that are contrary to the faith. Therefore public officials who need to be “excommunicated” already are due to their public display of support for such issues that are anti-catholic or go against the teachings of Holy Mother Church. This is referred to in Canon Law (915) as latæ sententiæ. When considered from a moral standpoint, the guilt requisite for the sentence of excommunication implies, first, the full use of reason; second sufficient moral liberty; finally, knowledge of the law and even of the penalty which in this case is Latae Sententiae. It is clear that a public official that continually supports issues that are contrary to Catholic teaching is not going to be in communion with Holy Mother Church whereas we are all Catechized so that we know what it is we are supposed to believe in. In cases such as these the politicians have no excuse; the Bishops who refuse to exercise their duty and right not to allow politicians who act against church teachings to receive communion have no excuse. We as an Order of Catholic Knights have no excuse to not admonish those who are against the very Church we are sworn to defend! By not allowing these self-excommunicated members who publicly support such sins as abortion and gay marriage to participate in council activities is not to be mean, harsh or judgmental but to preserve the very thing it is that we say we are dedicated to defend. No human is perfect but for a knight to say that they are in support of Catholic faith but then supports such things as that which is under discussion is deceitful, and not honorable. This type of action is dishonorable and disgraceful. A real-life slap in the face. By the inaction of Supreme Council or the lack of rescinding the memo and blaming Bishops for inaction on something that said self-excommunicated member is already outside of the normal and moral practice of his faith and has thereby distanced himself from the teachings of the Church and by proxy of the Order; is pure cowardice. We can not excommunicate but we can and should discipline, whether it be through temporary suspension or whatever course of action is necessary and just. Naturally praying for the member is a given and should be in practice; the extra step of discipline is a must.
Another form of inaction experienced is that of the Council of this State in an issue that involved a Fourth Degree Knight publicly humiliating and disrespecting an Ordained priest of Holy Mother Church and even went so far as orchestrating a demonstration and pad locking the parish and not allowing said priest to enter “Church” property. This same knight has since served as Honor Guard at State Convention Masses. In this case the Bishop took action and placed an interdict on the parish and they were publicly admonished by the Bishop. The brother knight should know better, the church is not ours; it belongs to God; the priest is the caretaker of the building the same as of our souls. What blatant disrespect. Inexcusable! As knights we are called to be in solidarity with our priests. We must let it be known that we do not tolerate such behavior from our members. The State Council was asked that to speak out against this, just as His Excellency made his authority be known, so too must we let our courage and solidarity be known. In response we were informed that the official stance of the State Council is that "We will pray for Father". We were told as of now there is nothing that they can do, the Diocese has everything under control. They will support Father and will respond in case of an additional occurrence." Although the State Deputy agreed with us that this incident was the most humiliating thing that can happen to a priest, he assured us that if it gets out of hand then the State will step in and offer their assistance. The situation had already been out of hand and nothing was done to remedy the behavior of the “brother” who was not only a key figure in the act but a ring leader. Nothing was done. The message sent in effect was that it was ok to disrespect a priest of God and publicly humiliate him. Wow! What a chivalrous act indeed! We beg to differ! Failure to do so is in itself scandalous and an act of cowardice! Are we not to have a Catholic backbone? Are we to give in to liberal political agenda? The answer is a resounding NO! This stance will only perpetuate the problem and as stated turn the order into hypocritical cowards.
The State Council has on several occasions employed the use of altar girls at state conventions. While this is a larger issue in which all Catholics should speak out against for obvious reasons, no one does. Without placing judgment on anyone and speaking out of charity; to continue to allow such liberalism at a state level is detrimental to our Catholic faith and to the order. It is the responsibility of the knights to defend every aspect of the faith and it is common sense that altar girls should not be in use and we will not try to argue the point here for this particular document. This would not be an issue if the entire order supported the Traditional Latin Mass. This is the Mass that inspired Catholic Warriors to defend Christendom at the Battle of Lepanto, the Battle of Vienna, during the Holy Crusades, etc. This is the Mass that strengthened centuries upon centuries of martyrs as they were led away to be beheaded, burned or have their guts slit open and their insides ripped out... all for the high crime of being Catholic." The Beauty and Graces offered by the Latin Mass should not be thrown to the way side. It is the Mass that has been used by the Catholic Church for almost 1500 years. One of the great strengths of the Latin Mass is its uniformity. Wherever Catholics go in the world the Latin Mass is exactly the same. The movements and gestures of the Mass are clearly prescribed, so there is no room for "personalization" of the liturgy. This factor alone works hand in hand with Holy Mother Church’s mission of Unity and establishes something for us Catholics to truly and humbly boast. And the time-honored Latin of the Mass reverently reflects the sacrificial nature of the celebration. Most importantly the Latin Mass secures the appropriate level of sanctity and reverence due Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is truly present in the Eucharist, and as such demands such level of respect and reverence by which the Latin Mass is founded. The Second Vatican Council was a true Church council however the massive destruction it has caused is not due to the misinterpretation of the Council's documents, but rather the documents themselves and at the present is grievously harmful to the Faith. The Novus Ordo mass is a valid Mass if done correctly, especially with the new translation and there is no qualm against its use, so long as it is done correctly. By correctly we mean within the proper legality of the mass, absent of such liberal abnormalities such as altar girls, clown masses, hippie masses, jazz dance masses and other abominations and desecrations to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. We as knights claim to be in support of our priests yet we as an order disobey the Holy Father when it comes to his Motu Proprio on Summorum Pontificum and the regular use of the Traditional Latin Mass. We refuse to be like the rest of those who have been led astray and take up the sword which is the Holy Mass and aim to defend the true teachings of Holy Mother Church.
Lastly the order has become more institutionalized and has ventured away from the ideals laid down by the venerable Fr. McGivney. The KofC claims to stand for life & families, but clearly only stands for the bottom line & profit! In a recent publishing of the top fortune 500 companies, the order was highlighted. It was described as a fraternal benefit society, a company, charity organization and such business like language. Nothing was stated of Catholicity nor was the word Catholic ever utilized. It is apparently obvious that the Order is looking at each situation from a business standpoint and is fearful of losing money, gained by insurance we should look to the code of Chivalry that would not allow the order to act as it is in this instance. It is even more disheartening to hear a field agent propose that without the insurance side of things the order would not survive. The rule of Chivalry expressly requires knights to be a visible example of holiness and moderation. The Templars would not allow any member to remain among them if they went about contrary to the Rule of their order which was written by the Catholic Priest Bernard of Clairvoux. Nonetheless the original motivation of Huge de Payen (the founder of the order) sustained the Temple for a relatively short time. It may be the rapid institutionalization was sufficient in itself to modify the original concept beyond recognition. The order has become institutionalized and will share in the fate of the Templars: extinction, excommunication or censure. Not only because of what it has done; but what those in charge have failed to do just to add bodies to the Order. Every month we hear that we need to recruit more men, what good are new members if they are not worthy to be called a knight. Who would not want to serve in a council full of such hypocrites? We do not, nor will we ask any man to involve himself in such a shameful organization. It would appear that the order indeed has become anything but catholic.
Outrageous cowardice! The Knights have been, and remain irrelevant to the process of restoring the laws and the culture of the United States to be in accord with Catholic moral teaching. Disgraceful! These are the fearless knights? Why can't a local council take courageous action in the face of the national copout and let the chips fall where they may??
Profit is the answer! The order is just pushing itself further towards being just an irrelevant social club. If we cannot do what it is that we say we must do as knights, then we have failed our faith, Holy Mother Church, and God. This just makes us seem cowardly and defeats the purpose.
We declare our intent to preserve Chivalric values of the purest form and to conduct ourselves in such a manner as to be warrior-brothers where the meekness and humility of Catholic life are united with the courage and noble intent of the virtuous knight and shall represent the perfect combination of physical force and inner strength so exalted in ages past but not forgotten. In doing so we must distance ourselves from the Knights of Columbus and hereby withdrawal our membership therein and aim to create and our own order of Chivalry. We shall also preserve, celebrate, promote and support the Traditional Mass and all the traditional teachings of Holy Mother Church. Above all we wish to defend our faith which has been revealed by God and made manifest in the One, Holy, Apostolic Roman Catholic Church through the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ and through the guidance of the Holy Ghost; and to uphold her teachings and especially her Most Cherished traditions in the Latin Rite. We understand that indeed it is not against enemies in the flesh and blood that we have to fight, but against the Lords, the Powers, the Rulers of the world of darkness, against the evil spirits which inhabit the heavens, yet we stand ready and on guard as a Militia Dei in service and in defense against all enemies of the Church.