New Jersey governor James Florio tendered his resignation form the Knights of Columbus on May 19. On May 18, Bishop James McHugh of Camden, N.J., in an address to the Knights’ State Convention, had called members who reject Church teaching on abortion “an embarrassment.”

Diocese cancels speech

At the suggestion of a Providence, R.I., diocesan school official, a Catholic high school in South Kensington, R.I., cancelled a scheduled communion breakfast speech by state Representative Patrick Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy is pro-abortion like his father Senator Edward Kennedy (Democrat, Mass.) The elder Kennedy is still a Knight of Columbus.

The new bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y., Thomas Dailey, has prohibited New York governor Mario Cuomo, a Democrat, from addressing parish gatherings because of the governor’s support for public funding of abortion. The bishop had said earlier that he does not accept governor Cuomo’s claim to be “personally opposed to abortion.”

“If anyone supports, either directly or indirectly, the practice of killing babies in the womb, that is terrible.”

Five hundred California Knights gathered at their state convention, passed a resolution which may become a history-making action. They overwhelmingly adopted a resolution “to suspend summarily and bring expulsion proceedings against any member who dissents from Church teaching and gives scandal by taking a public position on abortion whether by statement, vote or action.”

The same resolution also “encouraged” the Supreme Knight and the Board of Directors” to perform their duty under Section 165.”

In the past, K of C headquarters in New Haven, Conn., has been less than enthused about taking action. One response was “that the Knights of Columbus cannot be more perfect than the Church” and that “pro-life leaders…could more profitably spend their time doing other (things).”

K of C Convention

Only recently, this stand led a K of C convention in Washington state to withdraw their resolution, calling for the dismissal from society of Senator Edward Kennedy, a notorious pro-abortion politician.

But unease at the do-nothing stand of Supreme Knight Vigil Dechant has been growing. Just prior to the California convention, Orange County Bishop Norman McFarland had declared that the Knights themselves are “perfectly able” to determine “who is fit for membership.”

A particular target of the California pro-lifer is California Congressman Ed Roybal, who has voted pro-abortion consistently since 1973, yet who has been effusively praised by some clergy.

Aside from the above mentioned Governor Florio, Senator Kennedy and Congressman Roybal, there are seven other pro-abortion Knights: New York governor Mario Cuomo; and Representatives Tom McMillan (MD), Edward Markey (MA), John Dingall (MI), Bernard Dwyer (NJ), James Traficant, Jr. (OH), and David Ohey (WI).