Well, I guess I must have struck a nerve when I suggested that policyholders divest from the Knights of Columbus. The Catholic News Agency ran an article on my blog post “Boycott the Knights of Columbus.” You may read the full article at http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16441
When Father McGivney founded the K of C in the nineteenth century, it was to assist poor immigrant families. When the family’s breadwinner died, the rest of the family was left destitute. The idea of providing affordable life insurance to poor working immigrants was to protect those families in the face of such a catastrophic loss. I think that if Father McGiveny were alive today, he would most probably want the K of C to help the poor and immigrants of our time.
Take a short drive to your local hospital. Walk into the Emergency Room and you will find many poor people who go there for primary medical care because they have no health insurance. Speak to the nursing staff and ask them how many uninsured people they treat on an average day. I think that Fr. McGiveney would want the K of C to abide by it original intention and design that of providing low cost health insurance to the poor. They should be working to pass national public health insurance legislation that would benefit all citizens of this great nation. It is a national shame that we spend trillions of dollars on a war condemned by Pope John Paul II, and in violation of Thomas Aquinas’ just war theory, while not spending a small fraction of that cost to provide a comprehensive health care plan for the most vulnerable of our society. We are the only industrialized nation that fails to provide national health care for its citizens. That is a cause worthy of the efforts of the K of C.
Why didn't the leadership of the K of C join its voices to that of the late Pope John Paul II in his opposition to the war in Iraq? Why don't they raise their voices in union with the Pope in his opposition to capital punishment and work to end such laws in our nation? It seems that the leadership of the K of C is rather politically partisan in its "orthodoxy." Perhaps it is time for K of C members to consider a change in their national leadership.
Immigrants were very close to Fr. McGivney’s heart. Since politics is the proper sphere for the laity, perhaps the K of C could also use their considerable wealth and influence, mentioned in the C.N.A. article, to promote a national immigration law that reflects Catholic social teaching. I think father McGivney would agree that health care and just immigration laws are the two most urgent priorities facing both the poor and the leadership of the K of C today. The K of C’s leadership has lost its founder’s vision and has failed to work aggressively for health insurance for the poor and to protect the rights of immigrants. These constitute sins of omission, and their act to strip a minority group of their legal and civil rights constitutes a sin of commission.
An economic boycott was successfully applied to persuade the apartheid government of South Africa into doing the right thing. That boycott was not motivated by a desire for vengeance, but rather out of a thirst for justice, fairness and equality. It is for those very same reasons that I ask the faithful to pressure the K of C through a boycott. I ask fair minded K of C members to write to their national leadership and ask that they return this organization to the vision established by its founder and to stop its hateful attacks on the legal rights of same sex couples. I call upon them to return to the teachings of Jesus and follow the Great Commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight