Action follows messages from the pope, Cardinal Dolan, and president of Canadian Bishops Conference encouraging organization's religious liberty work
Contact: Andrew T. Walther, Vice President, Communications and Media, Knights of Columbus, 203-752-4253, 203-824-5412 cellular
ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 10, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- In response to recent threats to religious liberty, delegates to the 130th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus passed a Resolution in Defense of Religious Liberty which reads "that as American citizens and as Knights of Columbus, we will steadfastly support the free exercise of religion as it is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States." The resolution comes days after Pope Benedict the XVI, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and the President of the Canadian Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Richard Smith, expressed gratitude and support for the organization's leadership in defending religious liberty.
The resolution is consistent with the guarantee of religious liberty as stated in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment and with Catholic teaching that holds that the right to religious freedom is based on the inherent dignity of the human person. It also draws on the comments from Pope Benedict XVI during his 2008 visit to the United States in which he reminded the faithful that it should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy their rights as citizens and that it is inconceivable that believers should have to suppress their faith in order to be active citizens.
The resolution further calls upon all members of the Knights of Columbus and all U.S. Catholics to stand with and support the Catholic bishops of the United States in their work to oppose this mandate and to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus an international Catholic fraternal organization with more than 1.8 million members worldwide, the majority of whom reside in the United States. Based in New Haven, Conn., the K of C is among the most active charitable organizations in the United States. Last year, the Knights set new records by volunteering more than 70 million service hours to worthy causes and donating more than $158 million to charity.