Saturday, October 04, 2008

Pope "Leavens" the Knights

As its leadership engages in an unprecedented election-season push -- including radio ads and last month's full-page open letter to the Democratic running mate run in several key media outlets -- the Knights of Columbus got the Pope's stamp of approval yesterday as the top brass of the 1.7 million-member order were received in private audience on their pilgrimage to Rome for the Pauline Year.

(Members are shown above heading toward the papal altar at DC's Nationals Park before B16's arrival for his 17 April Mass there.)

From the PopeText:
At the beginning of his Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul reminds his hearers that they are "called to holiness" (Rom 1:7). During my recent Pastoral Visit to the United States, I wished to encourage the lay faithful, above all, to recommit themselves to growth in holiness and active participation in the Church’s mission. This was the vision that inspired the foundation of the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal association of Christian laymen, and it continues to find privileged expression in your Order’s charitable works and your concrete solidarity with the Successor of Peter in his ministry to the universal Church. That solidarity is manifested in a particular way by the Vicarius Christi Fund, which the Knights have placed at the disposal of the Holy See for the needs of God’s People throughout the world. And it is also shown through the daily prayers and sacrifices of so many Knights in their local Councils, parishes and communities. For this I am most grateful.

Dear friends, in the spirit of your founder, the Venerable Michael McGivney, may the Knights of Columbus discover ever new ways to serve as a leaven of the Gospel in the world and a force for the renewal of the Church in holiness and apostolic zeal. In this regard, I express my appreciation of your efforts to provide a solid formation in the faith for young people, and to defend the moral truths necessary for a free and humane society, including the fundamental right to life of every human being.
Already a member or consultor at several Vatican dicasteries, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson will take part in this month's Synod of Bishops as an observer.

PHOTO: Reuters