Knights of Columbus Not Disciplining Members who are Off the Reservation
Thomas Peters, a young well educated Catholic, with graduate degrees in Theology, who writes at CatholicVoteAction.org wrote a critique of the K of C for a stand taken by the Knights to not discipline individual Knights who may be opposed to official Church teachings.
It was a thoughtful article, and made interesting points, following up on articles linked there and published elsewhere.
Mr. Peters published today an official statement from the Knights of Columbus which responded to his and other's concerns. Here it is:
Membership in the Knights of Columbus
There is an interesting conundrum in operation here. The Knights are committed to following Peter, and the successors of the Apostles, the local Bishops. If the Bishop does not take a stand against an individual officially as the local leader of the Church, are the Knights with their support of the local Bishop allowed to effectively override him?
So, we support our Bishop when he is right, in our "humble" opinion, but when he is wrong in our "humble" opinion, we do what we think is right. We are responsible for the formation of our own consciences, but like Christ did while here on earth, we must submit to authority. That said, we are to resist evil when we encounter it.
It seems that we should all be interceding for our Bishops particularly to use the authority that God has granted to them to make the tough decisions over dissident Catholics, and to provide the leadership that the Knights can follow in these matters.
But, I disagree with my friends over at Socon or Bust, who put the headline on an article about this "U.S. Knights of Columbus starting to rot from the top". This is not about rotting from the top. If you have knowledge about the good pro-Catholic teaching and pro-life work that the Knights do, it would be pretty hard to leap to that conclusion. Look through the Knights of Columbus main web site and see what Knights stand for and accomplish.
Let us pray for our Bishops and for the leaders of the Knights of Columbus that ways may be found to properly draw recalcitrant brother Knights into conformity with Church teaching.