Because I spent the month of August in Ireland, I missed the 119th annual meeting of the Knights of Columbus, which was held in Toronto, August 7-9. But I have just been reading a report of what took place at the meeting and it has given me great encouragement. The reason for this is that I believe it was the most positive pro-life stance since I entered the Knights some 30 years ago. One reason is, I think, the tremendous pro-life leadership of the new Supreme Knight, Mr. Carl A. Anderson. The main theme of the annual meeting was “Put Out Into the Deep” – the words spoken by Jesus Christ to Peter by the Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5). The Knights have certainly “put out into the deep.” I think the best way to explain this is to simply quote from the report.

Day of the Unborn

“Beginning in 2002, the Knights of Columbus will observe March 25 annually as ‘Knights of Columbus Day of the Unborn Child.’ The Feast of the Annunciation will be marked by K of C-sponsored events to bring recognition to the sanctity of unborn human life. The new initiative was passed unanimously by delegates to the 119th Annual Supreme Council Meeting in Toronto, August 7-9, 2001. Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson, said the program, in recognition of conceived life, was being undertaken “in solidarity with a similar effort by the Mexican bishops and in support of the pro-life work of all bishops.” On March 25, Mr. Anderson said, Knights and their families will pray, fast and work to restore respect and protection of the child before birth.”

Additionally, the Knights of Columbus has launched two other pro-life efforts. One is an educational and advertising project using prayer cards and posters featuring an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a mother and child with the phrase, “Celebrate the Gospel of Life.”

Among other resolutions adopted, the order declared that “abortions, infanticide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide are contrary to God’s law and the common good of every nation.” In reaffirming its historic commitment to be “unconditionally pro-life,” the order declared it would “oppose vigorously any governmental actions that in any way promote, legalize or finance the performance of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, or assisted suicide.” The pro-life resolution also reaffirmed the Order’s policy against providing a public forum and bestowing honours and privileges of the Knights on anyone – especially those in public office and candidates for public office – who does not support legal protection of unborn children or who advocates for euthanasia, assisted suicide, and partial-birth abortion. Among other resolutions adopted by the Knights in convention are: urging researchers and physicians to reject experiments and treatments that destroy human embryos; urging the U. S. government to terminate all federal funding for such research; and calling on the media to voluntarily refrain from morally offensive programming.

A word from Pope John Paul II