Pope Francis, the Knights of Columbus, and Religious Freedom
The Memorare Army is joining Pope Francis in a call for increased prayers for religious freedom in America.
Two weeks ago, the Knights of Columbus held their 133rd Supreme Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the theme “Endowed by their Creator with Life and Liberty.”
In light of the upcoming convention, Pope Francis addressed the Knights concerning the importance of the defense of marriage, the family and religious freedom in a letter signed by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Cardinal Parolin.
In the letter, Cardinal Parolin wrote:
“His Holiness trusts that the theme of this year’s Supreme Convention – Endowed by their Creator with Life and Liberty – will draw attention to the duty of American Catholics, precisely as responsible citizens, to contribute to the reasoned defense of those freedoms on which their nation was founded. The cornerstone of these is religious freedom, understood not simply as the liberty to worship as one chooses, but also, for individuals and institutions, to speak and act in accordance with the dictates of their conscience. To the extent that this right is menaced, whether by invasive public policies, or by the growing influence of a culture which sets alleged personal rights above the common good, there is need for a mobilization of consciences on the part of all those citizens who, regardless of party or creed, are concerned for the overall welfare of society. It is the Holy Father’s hope that the program of catechesis and prayer which the Knights have inaugurated in view of the forthcoming Synod on the Family and the World Meeting of Families will contribute significantly to this prophetic witness.
The protection of religious freedom must also engage the consciences of believers on the global level, in response to the attacks unleashed on minority communities, most often Christian, in various parts of our world. His Holiness is profoundly grateful for the efforts of the Knights to raise public attention to this grave humanitarian tragedy. He is likewise grateful for the practical solidarity shown to suffering individuals and families through the recently establish Christian Refugee Relief Fund. He appeals once more to your Order for constant prayer, in families, parishes and the local Councils, for these, our beleaguered brothers and sisters, who strive only to be faithful to Christ. It is urgent that, from Catholics around the world, an unceasing sacrifice of prayer be offered for the conversion of hearts, an end to fanatical violence and intolerance, and a general recognition of those fundamental human rights which are not granted by the state, but from the hand of the Creator, whom all believers invoke as a God of peace.”
Benedictine College’s own Knights of Columbus chapter organizes events for religious freedom throughout the academic year.
The Memorare Army is proud to join Pope Francis and the Knights in prayer for religious freedom. Every prayer, holy hour and Mass counts!
The Gregorian Institute is Benedictine College’s initiative to promote Catholic identity in public life by equipping leaders (the Gregorian speech digest), training leaders (the Gregorian Fellows), defending the faith (the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom), and celebrating Catholic identity (the Catholic Hall of Fame).