Columbia March 2010

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M ARCH 2010




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march 2010 ♦ Volume 90 ♦ Number 3


8 We Shared the Struggle From its earliest days, the Knights of Columbus has stood with those who have sacrificed for religious freedom. BY COLUMBIA STAFF

15 Reflecting on Liberty With support from the Knights, international conferences address the importance and history of the right to religious freedom. BY ELIZABETH LEV

19 Symbol of Enduring Freedom Doors open to Historic St. Mary’s City chapel as a sign of religious freedom. BY MARK ZIMMERMANN

22 International Freedom, National Interest The state of international religious freedom and why it matters to the United States BY THOMAS F. FARR

St. Mary’s Academy, a school operated by the Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Portland, Ore., is pictured circa 1925. Support from the Knights of Columbus was instrumental in the 1925 U.S. Supreme Court case Pierce v. Society of Sisters, which declared unconstitutional an Oregon law requiring parents to send their children to public schools.


PHOTO: Courtesy of Holy Names Heritage Center


Building a better world


The cross of Christ inspires consolation and charity amid tragedy. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON


Learning the faith, living the faith Through the sacraments, the Church continues Christ’s healing ministry.

Knights of Columbus News Order rushes emergency aid to Haiti • ‘Venerable’ Pope John Paul II • Hundreds of Thousands March for Life

26 31

Knights in Action Year for Priests Remembering the 1921 slaying of Father James E. Coyle BY SHARON DAVIES


Fathers for Good


A model for laymen today, St. Thomas More’s faith defined the way he lived, worked and ultimately died.




Columbianism by Degrees

PLUS Catholic Man of the Month

MARCH 2010


Of Church and State TODAY, most people believe there should be a “separation of church and state,” yet there is an ongoing disagreement about what form such a separation should take. Many interpret it to mean that all religious beliefs and expressions of faith should remain “private” and have no place in the public square. The political sphere is thus declared to be explicitly a-theistic. From this perspective, moral arguments are sometimes rejected simply because they are associated with religious beliefs, while the rational basis of such arguments is denied or ignored. Of course, the Catholic understanding of the church-state distinction, like the relationship between faith and reason, is much different. As the Second Vatican Council observed, “The Church and the political community in their own fields are autonomous and independent from each other. Yet both, under different titles, are devoted to the personal and social vocation of the same men” (Gaudium et Spes, 76). Both religion and politics, in other words, play an important role in society and public life. Certainly, any attempt to force a person to accept particular religious doctrines or to worship in a particular way is contrary to the nature of the Gospel, which, as Pope John Paul II said, cannot be imposed but only proposed through authentic Christian witness. Nonetheless, public recognition of human dignity and the common good, rooted in our being created by a loving God, is a prerequisite — not an impediment — to true religious freedom. On this point, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is instructional: “Every in-

stitution is inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision of man and his destiny….” Societies that do not recognize “a certain preeminence of man over things” and “man’s origin and destiny in God” — or that reject this vision “in the name of their independence from God” — are left to find their source of meaning in some ideology. The result, the Catechism argues, is an implicit or explicit form of totalitarian power (CCC 2244, cf. Centesimus Annus, 45-46). The importance of recognizing the transcendent dimension of human identity was understood by the Founding Fathers of the United States when they drafted the Declaration of Independence, declaring that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” This was likewise understood by the Knights of Columbus when the Order petitioned the U.S. government to add the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in the early 1950s. Defending these words of the Pledge, and defending those individuals who as a matter of conscience refuse to participate in or accept immoral practices, are among the many ways that the Order remains a voice for authentic freedom today. Whether countering prejudices against religious minorities or speaking out against oppressive atheistic regimes, the Knights of Columbus, from its earliest days, has stood for an authentic separation of church and state, while recognizing that the source of man’s dignity and freedom is not found within himself or the state, but in God.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI MANAGING EDITOR

Supreme Knight’s Book Club – March 30 In his new book, Be a Man!: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be (Ignatius, 2009), Father Larry Richards invites all men to grow in understanding of true manhood. A popular speaker and author, Father Richards is a member of Francis V. Kloecker Jr. Council 13602 in Erie, Pa. Join Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Father Richards online for a discussion of Be a Man! March 30 at 5 p.m. (ET). For more information, or to submit your questions, visit 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

MARCH 2010


Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 PHONE 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 E-MAIL INTERNET CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.

________ Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER Originally from Ireland, Father James E. Coyle (1873-1921) was a Knights of Columbus chaplain in Birmingham, Ala.

COVER PHOTO: Courtesy of Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library Archives



The Spiritual Side of the Suffering in Haiti The Cross of Christ inspires consolation and charity amid tragedy by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson Many news reports compare Haiti to the ALL OF US HAVE BEEN horrified in recent weeks by the scenes of death and devastation of Hurricane Katrina in the destruction in Haiti, and millions have U.S. Gulf Coast region or the recent floods sought for a way to alleviate the suffering in the Philippines. There is one similarity there. No doubt many homilies have that I think is worth pointing out: In Haiti, been given to help us understand how a as in the Philippines or on the Gulf Coast, there has been an outpouring of giving by loving God could allow such a tragedy. One “explanation” in the United States the members of the Knights of Columbus. Haiti is today a test of our faith in God came from a Protestant evangelist who stated that Haiti had been “cursed” ever and our commitment to our fellow man. since its founders had “sworn a pact with the So far, Knights have kept their commitdevil” to achieve the nation’s independence ment and have shown the true meaning from France. His comments, as one might of the first principle of our Order: charity. In thinking about Haiti, I could not expect, caused a storm of controversy. Certainly, there is ample evidence in the help but consider the work of St. Damien Old Testament of nations being punished of Molokai, “the Leper Priest,” who was by God for idolatry, and some Christians continue to look to this Old Testament history for God has freely and lovingly explanations of world events. However, Catholics today are united himself with human more likely to look in a differsuffering in the sacrifice of ent direction to understand how God deals with human his Son upon the cross. sinfulness. And they need look no further than the crucifix above the altar in their church. God has freely and lovingly united himself canonized last fall by Pope Benedict XVI. with human suffering in the sacrifice of his Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Molokai, Hawaii, and while visitSon upon the cross. Those evangelists who so often quote ing a church there I saw a photograph of John 3:16 might also remember what is an elderly woman taken in the 1930s. She said in the next verse: “God did not send had lost her ears, nose, and all of her finhis Son into the world to condemn the gers and toes to leprosy. She was also world, but that the world through him blind. Yet, I was told, she prayed the rosary every day by holding the beads bemight be saved.” The tragedy in Haiti is likely to have tween her teeth. Not long after that, I spoke to a mislong-lasting effects, not only for the people who have lost loved ones there, but for sionary priest who mentioned that he had an entire generation that has witnessed its opened a home for people suffering from destruction. As such, it is important that leprosy. Each day as he celebrates Mass we get the right understanding of what there, an elderly man, also blind from the disease, says during the prayers of the has occurred.

faithful, “Father, God, thank you for all the good things you have given me.” Philosophers and theologians will continue to search for explanations concerning the problem of suffering in the world. Perhaps the best answer, though, comes from those whose suffering goes beyond what we are able to imagine. These believers experience the reality that God has united himself to them in their suffering. In his homily during the canonization Mass of Father Damien, Benedict XVI said: “Jesus invites his disciples to the total giving of their lives, without calculation or personal gain, with unfailing trust in God. The saints welcome this demanding invitation and set about following the crucified and risen Christ with humble docility. Their perfection, in the logic of a faith that is humanly incomprehensible at times, consists in no longer placing themselves at the center, but choosing to go against the flow and live according to the Gospel.” Ultimately, this is the key to understand the events of Molokai and Haiti. And it will be the measure of our response as Christians. In Haiti, much of what we have seen is the response of neighbors helping neighbors — of brotherly solidarity. There is no better way to rebuild a city, for, as Proverbs tells us, “A brother that is helped by his brother is like a strong city” (Prov 18:19). Vivat Jesus!

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The Sacraments of Healing Through the sacraments of penance and anointing of the sick, the Church continues Christ’s healing ministry by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori WHEN HE WALKED THE EARTH, Jesus forgave sins and healed those who were ill. He often linked the forgiveness of sins and physical healing, as in the case of the paralytic whose cure is recounted in the second chapter of Mark’s Gospel. At other times, Jesus’ forgiveness was not linked to a physical cure. In the eighth chapter of John’s Gospel, for example, we read how Jesus forgave a woman caught in adultery. Because he forgives sin and heals sickness, we rightly call Jesus the Divine Physician. Rejoicing and giving thanks, the Church continues the Lord’s work of forgiving and healing through the sacraments of reconciliation and anointing of the sick (Compendium, 295).

this sacrament on that first Easter evening (298). Although baptism gives us a new life of grace, a tendency toward sin, called “concupiscence,” remains as a result of the Fall. Mortal sin separates us from God and damages our relationship with the Church. And venial sin, while not destroying our friendship with God, weakens our relationship with him and with others. Through the Church and her ministry of reconciliation, Christ’s call to lifelong conversion is addressed to the baptized (297, 299). Although the season of Lent focuses on the need for repentance, our daily lives should always be marked by genuine sorrow for our sins. We manifest a con-

how to do so. Thankfully, the Knights of Columbus publishes a step-by-step guide to the sacrament. There are several things that we, as penitents, must do: make a careful examination of conscience, based on the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes; make a sincere act of contrition; confess our sins to a priest — all mortal sins not yet confessed as well as venial sins; and fulfill the acts of penance that the confessor assigns (303-304). Note that contrition is perfect when it is motivated only by love of God; it is imperfect if fear of just punishment is the motivation. Contrition also includes a firm resolve not to sin again and to avoid the SEEKING FORGIVENESS near occasions of sin. The sacrament of penance goes by As the sacrament of penance Since Christ entrusted the several names: reconciliation, conpower to forgive sins to the fession, or the sacrament of forgivebrings about the forgiveness of Apostles and their successors, ness or conversion. These names our sins, we are reconciled with only a bishop or priest can hear highlight various aspects of the sacrament: It reconciles us to God confessions. Bishops and priests God and the Church. and to the Church; it brings us act in the person of Christ God’s forgiveness; it is how we acthrough the power of the Holy knowledge our sins and repent; and Spirit to grant the Father’s forit is a powerful means of conversion (296). trite and humble heart when we fast, pray giveness (307). Bound to absolute seThe experience of our imperfection and give to those in need (cf. Ps. 51:17). crecy, they listen attentively and help readily illustrates why the Lord gave us If we commit a mortal sin, we are penitents open their hearts to the Lord’s obliged to go to confession before receiv- mercy, amend their lives and grow in dising holy Communion (Compendium, cipleship (309). A confessor can offer The 24th installment of Supreme 305). Strictly speaking, we are not general absolution only “in cases of seriChaplain Bishop William E. Lori’s obliged to confess venial sins. Nonethe- ous necessity” such as impending death faith formation program addresses less, we should regularly confess even our or some grave emergency (311). questions 295-320 of the Comvenial sins — sometimes called “devoAs the sacrament of penance brings pendium of the Catechism of the tional confession” — in order to resist about the forgiveness of our sins, we are Catholic Church. Archived articles are temptation and grow in virtue (306). reconciled with God and the Church. at Sometimes, people hesitate to go to The eternal punishment due to mortal sin confession because they have forgotten is remitted, and some of the temporal 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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punishment due to sin is taken away. Temporal punishment is further remitted through prayers and good works to which indulgences are attached (312). This sacrament also brings us peace, serenity, joy and strength for living the Gospel. HEALING THE SICK We now turn to the second sacrament of healing: anointing of the sick. As he healed the sick, Jesus showed that he was ushering in the kingdom of God and its victory over sin, suffering and death. The Church continues the Lord’s compassionate care for the sick and dying in many ways. In many parts of the world, the Church is the largest provider of medical services through its


Offered in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI GENERAL: That the world economy may be managed according to the principles of justice and equity, taking account of the real needs of peoples, especially the poorest.


MISSION: That the churches in Africa may be signs and instruments of reconciliation and justice in every part of that continent.

hospitals and clinics. Through anointing of the sick, celebrated only by a bishop or a priest, the Church ministers in the Lord’s name to those in danger of death or those who begin “to be in danger of death because of sickness or old age” (315-317). In the Latin rite, this sacrament is celebrated by anointing the sick person with oil on the forehead and hands. In all cases, a prayer accompanies the anointing (cf. James 5:14-15; Compendium, 318). If possible, the person suffering from serious illness should go to confession prior to being anointed (316). The sacrament of anointing unites the sick person more closely to the suffering, death and resurrection of

Christ, and contributes to the salvation of the patient and to the good of the whole Church. This sacrament also provides comfort, consolation, serenity and courage to patients in their suffering. If the sick person is unable to go to confession, this sacrament brings about the forgiveness of sins. If it is God’s will, it can also restore a sick person to health. In every case, this sacrament prepares the recipient for everlasting life (319). As we thank God for the gift of these two sacraments, may we pray for our own conversion and for the conversion of sinners everywhere. May we also pray for those who are seriously ill, especially those who have asked for our prayers.♦


Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (1928-2002) BORN APRIL 17, 1928, in Hue, Vietnam, Françios-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was raised in a strong Catholic family alongside seven brothers and sisters. Ordained in 1953, he served at a parish, a hospital and a small school before earning a doctorate in canon law and teaching at a seminary. Pope Paul VI appointed him bishop of Nha Trang in 1967, where he served until his appointment as archbishop of Saigon in 1975. Vietnam’s communist government opposed this appointment, in part because Archbishop Van Thuan’s uncle, Ngo Dinh Diem, was the first president of the Republic of South Vietnam. Months later, the archbishop was arrested and sent to a reeducation camp for 13 years — nine of them in solitary confinement. The faithful sent him a small bottle of wine — presumably “medicine for stomach aches” — and he was able to celebrate the Eucharist with other prisoners in the middle of the night. He later recounted that each day, his palm became his altar, and “three drops of wine and a drop of water” became “the medicine of

immortality.” He also secretly wrote prayers and reflections, which were smuggled out of prison and later published. Freed Nov. 21, 1988, and sent into exile, Archbishop Van Thuan was named president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 1998, and was elevated to the College of Cardinals Feb. 21, 2001. He died of cancer Sept. 16, 2002. Cardinal Van Thuan’s last years were dedicated to proclaiming a message of hope and forgiveness, and to organizing the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which was completed two years after his death. Today, his deep hope in God amid difficult circumstances remains a model for all those who suffer.

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Order rushes emergency aid to Haiti

A Haitian boy receives water from U.S. forces at a food distribution point in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 19.

‘Venerable’ Pope John Paul II POPE BENEDICT XVI announced the opening of the cause for canonization of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla, d. April 2, 2005), May 13, 2005. On Dec. 19, 2009, Pope Benedict declared that John Paul lived a life of “heroic virtue” or holiness, and that the Church considers the late pope “venerable.” This important step allows for John Paul to be beatified after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints certifies a miracle through his intercession. The Knights of Columbus enjoyed a long and close relationship with Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005. Also, a miracle submitted for the cause for canonization of Blessed André Bessette, C.S.C. (1845-1937) was approved. “Brother André,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson stated, “is shining example for the Knights and all Catholics in Canada of faith, humility and charity to those most in need.” 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦

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sent an immediate contribution of $50,000 to Catholic Relief Services. Officials estimated that 200,000 people may have perished under the rubble of thou-

Hundreds of Thousands March for Life

College Knights, representing many different schools, stand together Jan. 22 at the 37th March for Life in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Capitol building is seen in the background. HEAVY OVERNIGHT RAIN finally tapered off just as Washington’s 37th annual March for Life began Jan. 22. Thousands of members of the Knights of Columbus were among those who listened to speakers at a rally preceding the march on the National Mall. Although many of the marchers came from states along the Atlantic coast, Knights from throughout the Midwest were also well represented. To give just one

example, the Indiana state council organized a group of more than 200 Knights and family members for this year’s march. According to the Washington Examiner, unofficial estimates of the size of the March ranged from 250,000 to 400,000 people. The West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco drew an estimated 40,000 participants, who braved a hard, steady rain to publicly witness to their opposition to abortion.

TOP: CNS photo/Jorge Silva, Reuters

IN THE WAKE of the massive destruction caused Jan. 12 by the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti and the tremendous suffering of the Haitian people, the Supreme Council

sands of collapsed buildings. Among the dead is Catholic Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince, whose body was found in the ruins of his office. Knights are invited to make contributions through the Supreme Council to maximize the impact of the funds raised and to document the amount donated in this tragedy by members of the Order. State and local councils, and individual Knights, contributed more than $150,000 to Haiti earthquake relief during the first 12 days following the disaster. Additionally, at its quarterly meeting Feb. 6, the Supreme Board of Directors voted to donate $150,000 for the purchase of 1,000 wheelchairs for distribution to Haitians suffering from disabilities. State and local contributions exceeded $400,000 as of Feb. 8. Donation checks may be made out to Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. and mailed to 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510. Please write “Haiti Earthquake Relief ” on the memo line of the check.


A Beacon of Conscience and Integrity A model for laymen today, St. Thomas More’s faith defined the way he lived, worked and ultimately died

PAINTING: Sir Thomas More's Farewell to His Daughter by Edward Matthew Ward, ca. 1841/© Fine Art Photographic Library/Corbis

by Conor Dugan HANGING ABOVE MY DESK is the famous portrait of St. At home, More was a model for fathers with regard to eduThomas More by Hans Holbein the Younger. It is a constant re- cation — both for themselves and for their children. He was minder of my adopted and vocational patron, whose life and ex- not merely a lawyer, but also translated, wrote, lectured and ample as a husband, father and lawyer serve as a roadmap for me. read prodigiously. He established a classical curriculum for his The story of More is well known. For the purpose of this essay, children and took a special interest in their education. His reit is enough to say that More was a lawyer, humanist, husband lationship with his daughter, Meg, was particularly touching, and father who rose to the highest legal office in England only to and he ensured that her education was the best of any woman’s be executed for refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to Parlia- in England. ment’s Act of Succession, following More’s life as a lawyer, too, was a King Henry’s VIII’s break from Rome. reflection of his integrity. English auWhile More’s martyrdom can teach thor Peter Ackroyd describes that us much about religious liberty and when More was Lord Chancellor, the the rights of conscience, his faith and highest legal officer in the realm, he constancy were evident in all aspects would invariably kneel down and beg of his existence. Indeed, More’s vihis father’s blessing whenever they brant life offers laymen numerous lespassed in Westminster Hall. More’s sons to follow in their vocations as filial piety grew both from a well-dehusbands and fathers, and in their veloped sense of respect for his daily work. earthly father and for his spiritual First, there is More’s shining exammother, the Church. This was not ple of conscience and integrity, which blind acceptance, either. Rather, is a particularly salient point for us in More was critical of the Church’s the 21st century. Jesuit Father Joseph abuses, but his calls for reform were Koterski, a professor of medieval phi- St. Thomas More (1478-1535) was canonized in always made with love and respect. losophy at Fordham University, 1935 and declared the patron saint of statesmen and Finally, More teaches us the form points out that More’s understanding politicians in 2000. In this painting, he is depicted saying that true service should take in our of conscience did not revolve around farewell to his daughter before being led to his martyrdom. professional and working lives. His personal beliefs. Instead, he underfinal words exemplify the belief that stood that conscience is about “disbeing a good civil servant necessitates covering the moral order” that comes before our choices and being God’s servant. Although most accounts have More saying “not a matter of deciding” what form such an order should take. that he died “the king’s good servant, but God’s first,” a conWe don’t decide the truth, but discover it just as More did, temporary Paris newspaper account suggests the conjunction through prayer, learning and the guidance of the Church. was different: “I die the king’s good servant and God’s first.” In Today, we live in a world of dualisms: faith vs. reason; public this version, More clearly states the conviction that his opposivs. private; church vs. state; work vs. family; body vs. soul. These tion to Henry’s actions were not an act of treason but of true dualisms, however, did not define More’s life — nor should they service to the king. define ours. The fact that More was a truly integrated man is Even though St. Thomas More lived five centuries ago, he redemonstrated not only by the circumstances of his martyrdom, mains a true friend and model for us today. More’s life stands as but also by the fact that his faith was the starting and ending point a beacon for all Catholics, but especially those of us who are husthat guided his entire life at home, in law and in politics. bands and fathers living in the world.♦ We are often taught that masculinity and fatherhood are primarily about doing and action. They certainly involve this, but CONOR DUGAN is an attorney who lives in Silver Spring, Md., with in More we see that the capacity for true fatherhood must first his wife and their two young children. He is a member of Notre Dame be received from God. Council 1477 in South Bend, Ind. FIND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES FOR CATHOLIC MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES AT WWW. FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .

MARCH 2010


We Shared the struggle From its earliest days, the Knights of Columbus has stood with those who have sacrificed for religious freedom by Columbia Staff

Photo: Father Francisco Vera, a priest in the town of Jalisco, Mexico, was shot in 1927, after being caught secretly celebrating Mass.


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CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World


rom its founding in 1882, the Knights of Columbus has stood strongly for religious liberty. Father Michael J. McGivney established the Knights to prevent Catholic men from entering secret societies that attacked the faith and to unite them so that they might aid each other in times of need. Standing together, Knights joined in defense against the virulent antiCatholic sentiment of the era. Prejudice against Catholics, in fact, contributed to the Order’s early growth. According to Christopher K. Kauffman in his book Faith and Fraternalism, the Order’s “social dimension appealed to those men who sought a Catholic milieu for their leisure, recreation and intellectual stimulation, while expressions of anti-Catholicism led many to join an organization dedicated to defending the faith” (107). Zealous in their charge, Knights fought to create an environment of tolerance for Americans of any religion. In response to attacks against the Catholic Church, Knights labored to forge an antidefamation atmosphere in their communities. And while the Order has outlasted several of the groups that fostered prejudices in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, its practice of defending religious liberty on a variety of fronts continues to this day.

The Gift of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois, The Jews in the Making of America by George Cohen and The Germans in the Making of America by Frederick E. Schrader. While not commercially viable at the time, the books were nonetheless a significant contribution to historical scholarship.

THE BOGUS OATH Perhaps no other element has worked to stain the Order’s reputation more than the “bogus oath,” an umbrella term that refers to any number of libelous pamphlets and writings that have accused the Knights of Columbus of making oaths to undermine American — and in some cases, global — stability. Some of the bogus oaths that have circulated throughout the Order’s history have been attributed to the Ku Klux Klan; others have been authored by nameless antiCatholic propagandists. The bogus oath first appeared in 1912 as a supposed Fourth Degree oath in which the candidate denounced the U.S. government and vowed to fight against members of any other religion, thereby helping to spread papal power throughout the civilized world, even by violent means. The Supreme Council worked quickly to denounce the oath and even went so far as to publicly release the actual Fourth DePresident John F. Kennedy receives Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart at the gree pledge — which was, of White House on Columbus Day 1961. During the visit, Hart presented COMMISSIONS FIGHT course, steeped in patriotism. the president with a framed copy of the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. PREJUDICE Whenever a similarly Prior to World War I, the themed oath surfaced, the Supreme Council authorized Knights of Columbus en$50,000 to start the Commission on Religious Prejudices. The gaged in countless lawsuits to bring the publishers to justice. group met for the first time in January 1915 to study the source Nonetheless, the bogus oath has surfaced in practically every of malicious publications and to aid the U.S. Justice Depart- era of the Order’s history: It appeared when Al Smith ran for ment in bringing about criminal libel prosecutions. Despite president in 1928 and again when John F. Kennedy ran in 1960; working for only two years — the commission disbanded in it has been referenced in articles published by major magazines; 1917, when it unavoidably took a back seat to The Great War and today, it has made its way to the Internet, where it remains — organizers felt it had made important strides in stamping out a troublesome parasite of anti-Catholic sentiment. religious bigotry. It was no surprise, then, that the Order moved forward in re- CATHOLIC EDUCATION suming the commission’s original intent after the war ended. In In the early 20th century, criticism of Catholic education among 1921, the Fourth Degree established the Knights of Columbus self-proclaimed “patriotic societies,” including the Klan and anHistorical Commission to combat revisionist history that excluded other “nativist” and anti-Catholic groups, developed into politiminorities. Within three years, the commission released several cal movements that targeted parochial schools. One such case books under the Knights of Columbus Racial Contribution Series: occurred in 1921, when Bishop Michael J. Gallagher of Detroit enlisted the Knights’ support to fight a proposed state constituA first-grade student at St. Mary of Czestochowa School in Cicero, Ill., joins tional amendment that would require public education for children between ages 5 and 16. her classmates in the Pledge of Allegiance during the first day of school. MARCH 2010

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The first successful campaign for compulsory public education took place the following year, when the state of Oregon passed a similar law. The Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary contested the law, and Archbishop Alexander Christie of Portland discussed the proposed suit at the Jan. 7, 1923, meeting of the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors. The board responded with a resolution to “provide the money that may be required,” authorizing $10,000 for initial legal expenses. After the federal district court declared the law unconstitutional in March 1924, the decision was appealed and carried to the U.S. Supreme Court. There, the federal court’s decision was unanimously upheld June 1, 1925. The Supreme Court’s decision, written by Justice James C. McReynolds, notably affirmed the rights of the family with regard to education: “The child is not the mere creature of the State. Those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty, to recognize, and prepare him for additional duties.” With these words, Pierce v. Society of Sisters became the first U.S. court decision to be quoted in a Vatican document, when Pope Pius XI wrote his encyclical letter on Christian education, Divini Illius Magistri, in 1929. THE PERSECUTION IN MEXICO Five years after the first Knights of Columbus council in Mexico was instituted in 1905, the Mexican Revolution brought about an era of anti-religious persecution amid an already unstable social environment. The Catholic Church was seen as hostile toward the revolution, and with the Constitution of 1917, public devotions were forbidden; the number of priests was regulated; religious orders were disallowed; properties were seized; and priests were not allowed to vote. As it did in the United States, religious persecution contributed to the Order’s rapid growth throughout Mexico. Numerous councils were instituted, and membership grew from 400 to 6,000 between 1918 and 1923. In 1926, anti-Catholic pressure intensified, and laws became more strictly enforced under Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles. Addressing 25,000 Knights at the 1926 Supreme Convention in Philadelphia, Supreme Knight James A. Flaherty said, “The religious crisis in Mexico will be the most important question discussed.” Delegates unanimously passed resolutions condemning Calles’ “despotic anti-Catholic persecution” and establishing a $1 million education campaign. That fund enabled the Order to print nearly five million copies of pamphlets denouncing the Mexican government, as well as to aid Mexican refugees. The Supreme Officers also met with President Calvin Coolidge in September 1926 to encourage the U.S. government to help bring about a solution to the persucution in Mexico. When Pope Pius XI addressed the situation in his encyclical Iniquis Afflictisque, published Nov. 18, 1926, he singled out the work of the Knights: “First of all we mention the Knights of Columbus,

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson speaks March 11, 2009, during a rally at the Connecticut State Capitol, opposing an attempt by legislators to remove administrative control of Catholic parishes from priests and bishops. 12 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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an organization which is found in all states of the Republic and fortunately is made up of active and industrious members who, because of their zeal in assisting the Church, have brought great honor upon themselves.” Among the numerous Knights who were killed in Mexico during this period were six priests, whom Pope John Paul II canonized in 2000. Beaten, shot and hung for carrying out their priestly duties such as distributing ashes on Ash Wednesday, refusing to break the seal of confession and celebrating Mass, these priests are known today as the Knights of Columbus Mexican Martyrs. Protests in Mexico ceased in 1937 when a lasting agreement between the state and the Church was reached. Nonetheless, the Order continued to educate about the threats posed by anti-religious governments and ideologies, beginning with the printing and distribution of nearly 1 million copies of Divini Redemptoris, Pope Pius XI’s 1937 encyclical on atheistic Communism.

Within the next six years, Supreme Knight John W. McDevitt asserted that the Order had moved away from being a “fortress where members could gather and find mutual encouragement and strength against the attacks of a society still hostile to both their religion and their nationality.” Rather, it was seen as a global organization whose work is based on the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes).

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE A three-year campaign initiated in 1951 by the Knights of Columbus concluded with the public adoption of the phrase “under God” in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. Since 2005, the Order has contributed to numerous court cases involving the Pledge to uphold the constitutionality of that phrase. In 1952, one year after the Order’s Board of Directors amended the Pledge’s recitation at Fourth Degree assemblies to include “under God,” both the Supreme Council and the National Fraternal Congress adopted resolutions AL SMITH & encouraging congressional JOHN F. KENNEDY representatives to publicly When Knight Al Smith ran amend the Pledge in the same for president in 1928, he befashion. The cover of the November 1926 issue of Columbia highlights the Knights’ came the first Catholic to run The resolution introduced vocal opposition to the persecution of the Church in Mexico. for the office on a major party by Congressman Louis C. ticket. During his campaign Rabaut of Michigan was tour across the country, Smith adopted by both congreswas greeted by flaming crosses as his train entered Oklahoma — a sional houses and subsequently signed into law by President welcoming card courtesy of the Ku Klux Klan. Dwight D. Eisenhower on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. On his campaign stops, Smith did not shy away from the issue More than 50 years later in Sacramento, Calif., the Knights of his faith, arguing that he was not just running against Herbert and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty defended the Pledge Hoover but against the bigotry and hatred that had seeded itself against a suit filed in the U.S. District Court by Michael Newin some aspects of American life. dow, an atheist seeking to return the Pledge to its supposed secDespite large crowds at each destination, Smith lost the elec- ular origins. The brief filed on behalf of the Knights and seven tion by a landslide. Historians point to several reasons why, in- families who joined as defendant-intervenors argued that the cluding Smith’s attitude toward prohibition — he favored phrase “under God’ is a political expression rather than a theorelaxation of the law — and the fact that he was Catholic. In the logical one, reminding citizens that their inalienable rights are end, the United States simply wasn’t ready for a Catholic presi- derived from a power much higher than the State. dent — at least not until 1960. After the District Court in Sacramento ruled against the The second time a Catholic — and Knight — ran for the pres- Pledge’s constitutionality in 2006, the Knights and the Becket idency on a major party ticket saw a much different outcome. Fund appealed the case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth The election of John F. Kennedy, a member of Bunker Hill Circuit has not yet issued a decision. Council 62 in Charlestown, Mass., worked to dispel the idea that On Oct. 31, 2007, Newdow and several other New Hampbeing American and Catholic were somehow opposed. shire plaintiffs filed a similar lawsuit against the Pledge that was MARCH 2010

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dismissed in September 2009 with help from the Knights and the Becket Fund. U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe ruled that the Pledge — including the words “under God” — “does not foster excessive government involvement with religion” and was “enacted to enhance instruction in the Nation’s history.” PUBLIC RELIGIOUS DISPLAYS Promoting religious displays in public and private places, Knights continue to work with local governments and private organizations to celebrate the Christian tradition through signs and symbols. For example, as part of the Order’s “Keep Christ in Christmas” campaign, Knights display nativity scenes each year as visual reminders of the season’s focus. The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing cases concerning public religious displays in 1980, and courts at every level have not been able to decide such cases with consistency. Knights teamed with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in 1995 when St. Teresa Council 2961 was refused permission to display a crèche, or nativity scene, on the town hall green of Trumbull, Conn. The green had been used for numerous festivals and fairs, and featured a Christmas tree and menorah during the winter months. After the U.S. District Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit ruled against the Knights, the appealed case advanced to the Supreme Court, and the Second Circuit Court’s decision was overturned June 29, 1995. Also, in response to the 2000 removal of a monument of the Ten Commandments from a Kansas courthouse, numerous K of C councils began to support the work of Project Moses, an organization that offers monuments of the Ten Commandments to display at churches, synagogues and elsewhere. According to two 2005 polls conducted by Pew Research Center, 83 percent of Americans agree that Christmas symbols should be allowed on government property, and 74 percent do not object to displaying the Ten Commandments in government buildings. HYDE AMENDMENT AND CONSCIENCE PROTECTION In a response to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, Henry Hyde (1924-2007), a member of Father McDonald Council 1911 in Elmhurst, Ill., and congressional representative for the 6th District of Illinois, introduced an amendment that greatly limited federal funding of abortion. Presented only two years after Hyde entered the House of Representatives in 1974, the amendment has since limited abortion funding through the Labor/Health and Human Services/Education (Labor/HHS/Ed) Appropriations Bill. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, following the Hyde Amendment the number of federally funded abortions was reduced from 295,000 in 1977 to 2,100 in 1978. In 2006, that number was fewer than 200. Hyde also co-sponsored a subsequent amendment to the bill in 2004 that protects health care entities from being forced to provide or participate in abortions. Known as the Hyde/Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment, it protects health care pro14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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fessionals, facilities and insurance providers from discrimination concerning their decision to “not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.” In recent years, however, pro-abortion organizations have had some success exploiting gaps in existing legislation, attempting to force hospitals and medical professionals to make abortions available and to mandate abortion coverage in health care. In response, delegates to the 127th Supreme Convention in Phoenix last August unanimously voted to adopt a resolution opposing the repeal of restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortion and calling on legislators to adopt laws protecting the religious conscience of health care providers. RECENT THREATS The Knights of Columbus continues to work in various ways to protect religious freedom and freedom of conscience. One dramatic example occurred last year, when the Supreme Council helped to mobilize opposition against a bill in the Connecticut legislature that sought to remove administrative authority of Catholic churches from priests and bishops throughout the state. After a week of outcry from Connecticut citizens, legislators canceled the hearing for the bill, which singled out the Catholic Church and attempted to turn over control of parishes to elected lay boards. To a crowd of more than 5,000 who gathered for a rally at the State Capitol in March 2009, Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport said, “I am very grateful to the people of other faiths and the many citizens who have stood up to defend religious freedom.” The following month, another Connecticut senate bill proposed to codify the state Supreme Court’s October 2008 ruling that imposed same-sex “marriage.” The initial bill included virtually no religious liberty protection for churches, religious groups like the Knights of Columbus or individuals, setting the stage for legal attacks against any teacher, church or organization that did not recognize same-sex marriage. The Order once again mobilized citizens to communicate with their legislators, which led supporters of the bill to include religious liberty protections that the bill had previously lacked — applying to things such as wedding ceremonies and adoption services. Of course, there have been many more examples of the Knights defending the free exercise of religion than those that have been mentioned here. There will likewise be many more opportunities for the Order to stand up for religious liberty in the future. In each case, let us recall the words of a July 1925 letter to members, written by Supreme Knight James A. Flaherty. Speaking of the Supreme Court victory in the Oregon schools’ case, Flaherty stated, “As Knights of Columbus, as members of this great Order of Catholic men, let us be proud of our part in the good fight, let us rejoice that when, in the dark hours of bigotry’s first threatening advance, the victims of a small and prejudiced group sought our aid, they did not seek in vain. May the day never dawn that will find our swords sheathed and idle in any struggle against injustice. As we shared in the fight, so let us share in the joy of victory.”♦


Pope Benedict XVI greets former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon during a private audience in 2008.

With support from the Knights, international conferences address the importance and history of the right to religious freedom by Elizabeth Lev

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THE COURAGE TO ENGAGE as religious liberty made any Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson gives the IN CIVIC LIFE AND TO BRING progress since the Roman Emperor welcome address to the “Voices” international Hadrian banned circumcision in A.D. symposium in Mexico City Sept. 25, 2009. The ONE’S DEEPEST BELIEFS 130? Thanks especially to the 1948 Uniconference, co-sponsored by the Knights, sought to versal Declaration of Human Rights, the raise awareness of international religious liberty AND VALUES TO REASONED obvious answer seems to be “yes.” This and to discuss its application in the Americas. seminal document was designed to safePUBLIC DEBATE.” guard religion from government interferthe initiative, first by funding the conference, but forces today are attempting to POPE BENEDICT XVI ences in Rome, and later by co-hosting undermine its original purpose. WHITE HOUSE ADDRESS, APRIL 16, 2008 “Voices: The Secular State and Religious Through the efforts of the U.S. EmLiberty,” a symposium in Mexico last Sepbassy to the Holy See and the Knights of tember that was dedicated to exploring reColumbus, a series of conferences during 2008-2009 examined how the measures created to safeguard reli- ligious liberty throughout the Americas. gious liberty could be transformed into weapons against it. When U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon took THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION up her post in 2008, she was particularly well poised to commem- The opening conference in the series, held at Rome’s Regina Aposorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human tolorum University May 2, 2008, examined the origin of the UniRights, having authored A World Made New (Random House, versal Declaration of Human Rights, bringing to light the 2002), a study of the history of the U.N. declaration. Two other his- fundamental role of Latin American countries in the shaping of the toric moments converged during her brief tenure as ambassador: the document. In her talk, Ambassador Glendon noted that diplomats 25th anniversary of the U.S. mission to the Holy See, formalized such as Guy Pérez Cisneros of Cuba and Hernan Santa Cruz of Jan. 10, 1984, and the reciprocal visits between Pope Benedict XVI Chile brought ideas from the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man as a model for the U.N. version. This docuand President George W. Bush in April and June 2008. Ambassador Glendon proposed a series of conferences in the ment, then a work in progress in Latin America, was based on Eternal City to explore the origins and challenges of the human Catholic social teaching and grounded the concept of human rights rights project. The Knights of Columbus actively participated in in the Catholic notion of human dignity. Many distinguished in-


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dividuals also gave papers illustrating the historical and present-day situation of human rights and democracy in Latin America, including Notre Dame Law Professor Paolo G. Carozza, who is a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Thomas A. Shannon, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs; and the ambassadors to the Holy See from the nations of Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil and Panama. The second daylong forum began at the Roman Istituto Maria Santissima Bambina Oct. 16, 2008. Titled “For Everyone, Everywhere: Universal Human Rights and the Challenge of Diversity,” it looked at the growth of the declaration over the last six decades. While the human rights project has flourished in some areas, in others its progress has been unruly. Inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s United Nations speech in April 2008, speakers illustrated some of the contemporary threats to the document and emphasized the need to re-fertilize its foundations. The declaration has been accused by some of being a “Western document,” pertinent only to a European worldview. Professor Jean Bethke Elshtain of the University of Chicago addressed not only this issue, but also the problem of Western interest groups trying to fragment the declaration, as if it were a sort of à la carte menu. In doing so, said Elshtain, these detractors are reinterpreting the document and ignoring its fundamental understanding of the dignity of the human person, Catholic social teaching’s greatest contribution to the declaration. In her own paper, Ambassador Glendon noted the extraordinary diversity of the declaration’s architects and their combustible historical circumstances. Despite cooling relations between Russia and the West, and the boiling Palestinian crisis, the 58-member assembly passed the declaration with only eight abstentions: the Russian block, apartheid South Africa and Saudi Arabia. The commission that drafted the document was a global assembly, including among its 18 members representatives from China and Pakistan alongside French and U.S. delegates. Ambassador Glendon explained that the problems of the declaration — a model of diversity — lay not in its “Western Imperialism,” but in “the intense efforts to capture its prestige for various ends, not all of which were respectful of human dignity.” She emphasized that the declaration cannot be treated as a laundry list, but as a “whole with mutually conditioning parts.” Father Thomas D. Williams, a theology professor at the Regina Apostolorum University in Rome, closed the day’s session by contrasting two incompatible visions of human dignity: one that sees dignity as possessed by all human beings in equal measure, and a second that defines degrees of dignity. He asserted that only the first vision is capable of grounding universal human rights. Without this grounding, he warned, the human rights project will continue to evolve into a simple list of special interests determined by consensus and subject to the power plays of pressure groups. CHURCH AND STATE The third conference, held Jan. 13, 2009, marked the 25th anniversary of U.S. diplomatic relations with the Holy See. At Villa Aurelia in Rome, Ambassador Glendon drew inspiration from Pope Benedict’s praise for the model of U.S. church-state relations. En route to America, the Holy Father had commented, “What I find fasci-

nating in the United States is that they began with a positive concept of secularism, because this new people was formed by communities and people who had fled from the state churches and wanted to have a lay state, secular, that would open possibilities to all confessions, for all the types of religious exercise.” Defining the American model of church and state relations, however, proves to be difficult as the United States experiments with different forms of religious liberty. Professor Richard Garnett of Notre Dame Law School outlined three models of religious freedom currently at play. The first attempts to exclude religion from public life as if it were “just another hobby.” The second treats religion with a “benevolent evenhandedness” but refuses to acknowledge the specialness of religion. And the third — the ideal model, he argued — is freedom for religion, which doesn’t impose religion but recognizes man’s “search for truth is an important human activity.” Dr. Joseph Weiler of New York University, underscoring citizens’ responsibility for their own religious freedom, said, “Citizens cannot break the First Amendment, only governments [can]; it is a shield, not a sword.” He further argued that when Americans consent to the sterilization of speech from religious content — what the late Father Richard John Neuhaus called the “naked public square” and the willful misunderstanding of the separation of Church and state — they are allowing their own religious freedom to slip through their fingers. Weiler’s talk echoed Pope Benedict’s challenge to the American people in his speech at the White House on April 16, 2008. “Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility,” the pope said. “The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility toward the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate.” NEW AND SUBTLE THREATS The Knights of Columbus, together with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the Archdiocese of Mexico, drew together the themes and issues raised in the Rome conferences in the “Voices” symposium Sept. 25-26 in Mexico City. The event looked at topics ranging from the application of international religious liberty to specific issues in several countries of the American continent. In his opening remarks, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson highlighted the importance of the Western Hemisphere in the debates and resolutions regarding religious liberty. Indeed, he noted, the discovery of the New World “spawned much debate over civil rights and personhood.” Examining closely Pope Benedict’s discourse to the United Nations, the supreme knight warned of new, more subtle attacks on religious freedom. Legislation and marginalization force people to deny God in practice in order to enjoy religious rights, leading to an “incomplete citizenship” where one is permitted private worship but barred from acting according to one’s conscience in public. Ambassador Glendon highlighted specific threats to religious liberty in today’s society, emphasizing the challenges brought about by the sexual revolution. Between “open hostility toward religious institutions” and the “appearance of new legal rights in the areas of abortion, sexual orientation and embryonic experimentation,” religious freedom has entered into conflict not only with these “new MARCH 2010

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Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon and Cardinal rights,” but also with the interests of powRenato Martino, former president of the Pontiferful lobbies. ical Council for Justice and Peace, speak in Rome Calling for religions to encourage their Oct. 16, 2008, at a conference titled “For members to the responsible exercise of freeBEAUTY AND GOODNESS IN Everyone, Everywhere: Universal Human Rights dom, Ambassador Glendon warned that it and the Challenge of Diversity.” is up to religious institutions “to teach their THE WORLD; OUR SOUL, members to advance their religiously grounded moral viewpoints with reasoning OUR MORAL INTEGRITY, goodness in the world; our soul, our moral that is intelligible to all men and women integrity, our hope for eternal life. These of good will, and to reject ideologies that OUR HOPE FOR ETERNAL are the things that matter.” manipulate religion for political purposes.” LIFE. THESE ARE THE THINGS The series of conferences sounded a call The reflections of Archbishop Charles J. that has been a consistent theme for the Chaput of Denver, delivered by his senior THAT MATTER.” Knights of Columbus: Citizens should counselor, Luis Soto, brought the churchnot take religious freedom for granted. It state question down to its most essential ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT OF DENVER is a right that has been hard fought, and terms. The ancient Romans believed in the every generation must appropriate and divinity of the emperor, but, as Archbishop defend it. Chaput declared, “The state is not god. It’s For text and video from last Septemnot immortal. It’s not infallible. It’s not even synonymous with civil society, which is vastly larger, richer and ber’s “Voices” symposium, visit♦ more diverse in its human relationships than any political party or government bureaucracy can ever be. Ultimately, everything impor- ELIZABETH LEV teaches Christian art and architecture at Duquesne Unitant about human life belongs not to Caesar, but to God: our intel- versity’s Rome campus and at the University of St. Thomas Catholic Studies lect, our talents, our free will; the people we love; the beauty and program in Rome.

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Symbol of Enduring Freedom Doors open to Historic St. Mary’s City chapel as sign of religious freedom by Mark Zimmermann

CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier


English-speaking colonies in 1634, any Americans think that rebuilt the colonies’ first Catholic ligious freedom began with church. The wooden chapel was the Pilgrims in New England, or then burned during an attack on St. with William Penn in Pennsylvania Mary’s City in 1645. or Roger Williams in Rhode Island. When a majestic brick structure According to Dr. Henry Miller, was constructed in its place 22 years however, “liberty of conscience and later, it stood as a sign of the freedom its first application as a principle of that had been a cornerstone of Marygovernment occurred in Maryland land since its founding. In England at with its founding in 1634.” that time, Catholics were a despised Maryland’s status as the birthplace minority. In the new Maryland of religious freedom in the United colony, though, Catholics — while States became tangible in September A team of historians, archaeologists, architects, archivists still a minority — could worship 2009, when an estimated 1,000 peofreely. Lord Baltimore, a Catholic, and others worked to re-create a 1667 brick chapel in ple witnessed the unlocking of the based Maryland’s government on the reconstructed Brick Chapel in St. St. Mary’s City, Md. principles of freedom of conscience Mary’s City, Maryland’s first capital. and separation of church and state. “This [chapel] is a powerful symIndeed, religious freedom had been part of Maryland’s origibol of the beginnings of religious freedom in what is now the United States,” said Miller, the director of research at Historic nal charter in 1634. Fifteen years later, the Maryland Toleration St. Mary’s City. “As a permanent, impressive, free-standing Act protected the rights of Christian colonists, noting, “No perRoman Catholic church, it could not have been built anywhere son or persons whatsoever within the Province or the islands, else in the English-speaking world at the time. Persecuted ports, harbors, creekes or havens thereunto belonging … shall Catholics in England and Ireland could only have private from henceforth be any waies troubled, molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion nor in the free exchapels in their homes.” The original Catholic chapel was built in 1667 on a site later ercise thereof.” But in 1704, following an order from the royal governor, called “Chapel Field.” It was at this location that Jesuit Father Andrew White, who celebrated the first Catholic Mass in the Sheriff John Coode locked the doors to the chapel in St. Mary’s

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A COMMUNITY EFFORT The dramatic ceremony that reopened the Brick Chapel last September echoed the circumstances that closed it. Tim Cameron, the current sheriff of St. Mary’s County, unlocked the massive oak and pine doors of the reconstructed chapel, using a key believed to be a replica of the one that his predecessor used 305 years earlier. Before the ceremony, Sheriff Cameron reflected on the significance of reopening the chapel, which was rebuilt on the foundation of the original structure. “I’ll be unlocking that door and reaffirming the idea of freedom of conscience,” said Cameron, who is the 133rd sheriff of St. Mary’s County. “It’s absolutely one of the best things I’ve been able to do.” Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, joined by Jesuit Father Edward Dougherty, walked in a procession to the chapel from a nearby barn. They were joined by a group of men and women dressed in colonial garb, as well as a Knights of Columbus honor guard. One of the reenactors beat a large drum as the sheriff turned the key, and another shot off his musket in celebration as Archbishop Wuerl and Father Dougherty pushed the chapel doors open. Moments later, Archbishop Wuerl said that when he helped push open the doors, “It was a reminder of how we have to keep the doors of our hearts open, first to God, and then to one another. That’s what freedom of conscience and freedom of religion is all about.” In his closing remarks, the archbishop added, “Just as God was with our forefathers who founded what became Maryland ... so God is with us today.” Scholars used historical detective work in designing the reconstructed chapel, basing its look on Jesuit chapels from that time period. In 2004, historians, architects, builders and archaeologists came up with a plan for the chapel. From the foundation, they knew the chapel was about 54 feet long, and clues led them to believe it was about 25 feet tall. Members of the community raised $3.2 million for the project. “It was a matter of faith, not only faith in God, but faith that we could do it,” said Jeanne Chandler, past president of the Historic St. Mary’s City Foundation. Nancy Hislop, whose ancestors came to Maryland in the 1660s, said, “Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were based on this concept [of religious liberty] that started here in Maryland. We should be proud of that.” Miller praised the work of the artisans who had reconstructed the chapel, including the brickmasons whose bricks had been made from clay from the surrounding countryside. “This site is so fundamental to America and the freedoms we share,” Miller said. Father Dougherty, the pastor of St. Ignatius in Chapel Point, the last remaining Jesuit parish in Southern Maryland, said the first time he saw the reconstructed chapel being built in St. Mary’s City, “It brought tears to my eyes.” Blacksmith Peter Himmelheber fashioned the wrought iron cross atop the chapel from part of a tobacco press and made the 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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metal door latch from the iron tire of an Amish buggy. He said he was ecstatic — and relieved — when the chapel doors swung open. THE FIGHT CONTINUES In his Oct. 1, 2009, column for the Catholic Standard, Archbishop Wuerl wrote, “The unlocking, while a symbolic or ceremonial event, carried with it great significance because it was a reminder that we are a free people, and among the rights we celebrate are freedom of conscience and freedom of worship.” He added, “As the key turned in the lock and the doors swung open, we were all provided an opportunity to reflect that sadly there are still those who think that the best way to deal with opposing opinions, differing views, moral perspectives and ethical imperatives is through force. … The Church is denounced as bigoted, arrogant or even un-American simply because her teaching respects human life, upholds marriage and calls for health care for the most needy in our country.” Earlier last year, the archbishop urged government officials not to weaken federal regulations protecting the conscience rights of health care workers, and noted that Catholic doctors, nurses and others should not be compelled to participate in abortion or other procedures that violate their moral or religious principles. In the fall, officials from the Archdiocese of Washington urged the D.C. City Council to protect the religious freedom of groups that opposed redefining marriage. But in December 2009, the council passed a same-sex marriage bill, titled the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009,” by an 11-2 vote. The bill contained only two narrow exemptions for religious organizations. Church officials expressed concern that under the law, the city would restrict Catholic Charities from receiving social service contracts by requiring recognition of samesex “marriages” in employment and other policies. Meanwhile, in St. Mary’s City, work continues on the Brick Chapel’s interior, as scholars research the design of the tabernacle, altar, pulpit and baptismal font. According to family legend, the Carroll Tabernacle in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore was once the tabernacle at the St. Mary’s City chapel. “The goal is to create a period space as true to the original as scholarship and artisans can make it,” Miller said. “We hope that when a person enters the door of the recreated Brick Chapel, they will have an experience similar to that of a 17th-century Catholic, coming to worship and praise God in the new colony of Maryland. At the same time, we hope that all persons, regardless of religious belief, can come to the chapel, learn about early Maryland and its key contributions, and better understand how the struggle for religious freedom has been a vital element of the American story from the beginning.” Miller added that the story of the Brick Chapel at St. Mary’s City should resonate today: “The efforts of 17th century Marylanders are indeed important for contemporary times, showing that freedoms that are hard won and seemingly enduring, may be lost.”♦ MARK ZIMMERMANN is editor of the Catholic Standard, newspaper for the Archdiocese of Washington.

BOTTOM: CNS photo/Bob Roller — TOP: Catholic Standard photos by Michael Hoyt

City, which was later dismantled, brick by brick. Catholics could no longer worship in public in a colony that had been founded on the principle of religious freedom.

Left: Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, speaks during the Sept. 20, 2009, ceremony. Right: As the doors are unlocked, scores of people enter the chapel. Below: The first brick Catholic church in the English colonies, the Brick Chapel was, and now will continue to be, a landmark for religious freedom.


n Dec. 3, 2008, in the Henan Province of China, police broke into a house church, arrested more than 50 Christians and seized 22 copies of a textbook titled Training in Ministering the Gospel to Children. According to the U.S. State Department’s 2009 “Annual Report on International Religious Freedom,” 20 of the Christians were sentenced to administrative detention and a large fine. Three others were sentenced to a one-year term at a Chinese reeducation through labor camp for the crimes of “attending an illegal gathering” and “illegal proselytizing.” Hundreds of “reeducation” prisons exist throughout China, and, according to the Laogai Research Foundation, as many as 2 million Chinese may be held in them. Many of the prisoners are Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, and Chinese Protestants and Catholics who, like the Henan Christians, have committed the crime of exercising their right to religious freedom. On June 12, 2002, Ali Al-Misaad, a 25-year-old Saudi Isma’il Shi’a, was stopped by his country’s religious police for listening to music while driving his car. The police told him to listen to the Quran instead, but he responded that this would be “boring.” Two months later, Al-Misaad was sentenced to eight years in prison and 2,000 lashes for insulting the Quran. He was released after eight months because of the intervention of relatives well connected to Saudi elites. In May 2008, three Iranian Bahá’ís were arrested for burying their dead in a Bahá’í cemetery and imprisoned in Isfahan Prison where they remained as of the summer of 2009. In January 2009, the Bahá’í cemetery of Ghaemshahr was attacked for the fourth time in eight months. According to witnesses, Iranian municipal officials bulldozed the cemetery at night in part because the Bahá’í faith is considered heretical by the Iranian government. Finally, in June 2003, the chief justice of democratic Afghanistan’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of two Afghan newspaper editors for insulting Islam. The newspaper, Aftab, published articles questioning official interpretations of religious texts and argued that drafters of the new Afghan constitution should accept an interpretation of Islam compatible with modernity. Ultimately, the journalists were released, reportedly after apologizing. Later, the Supreme Court agency responsible for issuing fatwas — legal decrees handed down by Islamic religious leaders — called for a death sentence against the editors. Both fled the country. POLICY MATTERS Each of these stories has at least two things in common. The first, and the most obvious, is the terrible injustice they represent. More than a decade after the United States officially adopted a policy of opposing religious persecution and advancing religious freedom as a core element of its foreign policy, millions of people continue to be persecuted because of their religious beliefs or those of their tormentors. Indeed, the problem seems to be getting worse. An exhaustive study published in December 2009 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported that almost 70 percent of the people of the world live in countries with high or very high restrictions on religious freedom. That finding is shocking, or should be, to anyone who cares about justice and human rights.

A Chinese Catholic man prays at his home in a village on the outskirts of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, in 2007. 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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International Freedom, National Interest The state of international religious freedom and why it matters to the United States

by Thomas F. Farr

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ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Recognition of this sad fact led some in the field of religious freedom to express hope that the Obama administration would see an opportunity to elevate the status of the issue. Unfortunately, despite some fine words from the president on religious freedom (including his Cairo address), the current administration has done very little to establish a policy on advancing international religious freedom in the Muslim world or elsewhere. For example, the post-Cairo interagency working group does not have a religious freedom component, even though the president highlighted religious freedom in the Cairo speech as one of the six most important issues to be addressed by the United States and the Muslim world. The facts are troubling. As of this writing, the administration’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for IRF has not yet been announced. The fact that it has taken so long — more than one year since President Obama took office — suggests that IRF will be a low priority for the Obama administration. By contrast, an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues was appointed almost immediately. There are likewise senior envoys for anti-Semitism, outreach to Muslim communities, disabilities, counterterrorism, global AIDS and international energy. 24 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦

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Above: A Coptic Christian cleric shows the damage in a church burned May 31, 2008, during a clash between Muslims and Christians at the Abu Fana Monastery near the city of Minya, Egypt. Below: Christians return to seek shelter after spending days hiding in a forest at Naugram village in the eastern Indian state of Orissa Aug. 30, 2008. Thousands of people, mostly Christians, had sought shelter in makeshift government camps in eastern India after being driven from their homes by sectarian violence. Each of these officials are viewed by both foreign governments and U.S. diplomats as senior to the ambassador-at-large for IRF. Beyond the elevation of these priorities above that of religious freedom, there is another quite serious concern. Recently, the State Department has intensified its promotion of “gay rights” as part of the U.S. foreign policy agenda. In her recent speech at Georgetown University, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton equated religious liberty with the right of people “to love in the way that they choose.” Whatever one thinks of the gay rights agenda, surely promoting the right of religious freedom should have at least equal status and policy relevance in our foreign policy. Most Americans would support U.S. efforts against the persecution of homosexuals as part of our human rights agenda. However, employing the U.S. diplomatic establishment to advance the gay agenda on matters such as same-sex marriage, or supporting international laws to establish a “right to love” whomever one chooses, is another matter. There is a supreme irony here. A key argument of the current administration has been that terrorism cannot be defeated by military means alone — that diplomacy must play a greater role, especially in Muslim-majority countries. It would be tragic indeed if religious freedom diplomacy were sidelined under the pretext that it will not play in Muslim countries, while at the same time U.S. human rights policy becomes associated with extremist gay rights demands — something that is problematic in itself and will certainly not play well in Muslim countries. Such a development, which seems entirely possible, would turn both logic and national security on its head. In fact, there is strong evidence that advancing religious liberty in Muslim-majority countries where Islamist terrorism has been incubated and exported will help eliminate religious extremism by empowering moderates and enticing otherwise illiberal religious actors into the democratic public square. It is important to note that the Obama administration has decided to place significant emphasis on interreligious dialogue. But interreligious dialogue, however successful, is merely one component of religious freedom policy. By its nature, it cannot — and should not — be employed as a surrogate for religious freedom. In sum, the state of international religious freedom is nearly catastrophic. To its credit, the United States has put in place the means to combat this tragedy. It has both a humanitarian and a national security rationale for devoting the diplomatic resources necessary to success. To date, however, there is little reason to hope that it will do so.♦ THOMAS F. FARR is visiting associate professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Prior to leaving the Foreign Service to write and teach, he served as the U.S. State Department’s first director of the Office of International Religious Freedom from 1999-2003.

Previous Page: CNS photo/Reinhard Krause, Reuters — Egypt: CNS photo/Nasser Nuri, Reuters — India: CNS photo/Parth Sanyal, Reuters

The second commonality is that the policies adopted by these countries (and others like them) are critically important to the national interests of the United States. The health of China’s economy, let alone its increasingly aggressive foreign and military policies, is directly linked to America’s well-being. If, however, the Chinese government cannot learn to deal fairly with its religious citizens — whose numbers are increasing exponentially — the chance of China’s remaining stable diminishes significantly. Similarly, Iran’s clerical autocracy, its pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support for Islamist terrorism all pose serious threats to American interests. Saudi Arabian Wahhabism continues to be exported to and absorbed by Islamist terrorists. And if Afghanistan proves incapable of defeating the Taliban and its ideas, American national interests in the Middle East will suffer. In fact, America’s vital national interests and its long-established desire to stand with the persecuted come together in the field of international religious freedom. In 1998, Congress passed the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Act, mandating that the president and the State Department take significant steps to advance religious liberty around the world. It created a senior diplomatic post — the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom — to implement the new policy. It also created a separate and independent U.S. IRF commission to act as a watchdog agency and provide separate policy recommendations. Unfortunately, and despite some small but worthy successes, neither the Clinton nor the Bush administrations focused significant resources and attention on the issue of religious freedom. Both adopted an essentially reactive approach, “cursing the darkness,” as it were, by identifying the worst persecutors in an annual list and attempting to get religious prisoners out of jail. Some were released, and that is an achievement of which the American people can be proud. Likewise, important steps were taken in Vietnam and Laos, and creative negotiations yielded some modest victories in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, it cannot be said that religious persecution was reduced or religious freedom advanced because of the policies initiated by the 1998 IRF Act.

MARCH 2010






$7,420 to dig a well in a village in Nigeria and build a water storage tank there. The well will be the village’s new source for clean drinking water and will replace the need to obtain water from a nearby polluted river. FOOD FOR THE HOMELESS

An man has his dog vaccinated for rabies at a clinic hosted by Santo Niño de Molino (Luzon) Council 9926. More than 120 pet owners brought their dogs to the council hall to be vaccinated.

Each month, members of San Juan Bautista Council 1543 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, deliver food and clothing to the homeless of the Cantera section of Hato Rey. RAISING THE ROOF(S)


St. John Neumann Council 6969 in Cherokee Village, Ark., refurbished the columbarium at St. Michael the Archangel Church. Each memorial stone of a deceased member was also engraved with the emblem of the Order. FOLLOW THE BRICK ROAD

Members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council 13300 in Wildwood, Fla., repaired the brick walkway at St. Vincent de Paul Church and did some minor landscaping.

church. The statue, originally purchased in 1965, was once located in the church parking lot before it was moved to its current location, sans grotto, in 1970. CLEAN WATER

Father Stanley Bowers Council 8698 in Dundee, Mich., raised $500 to purchase water filters for a small village in Ghana. The filters will provide clean drinking water for at least 12 families. Van Nuys (Calif.) Council 3148 raised



St. Joseph the Worker Council 10531 in Thornhill, Ontario, ordered custom blazers and badges for the ushers at its parish to increase their visibility during crowded Masses. Both items, which feature the new parish logo, were purchased to commemorate the completion of extensive church renovations. GROTTO BUILT

Orland (Calif.) Council 3606 built a new base and grotto for a statue of Mary at its

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Los Altos Council 13587 in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, donated 5,000 quetzal (the country’s national currency) to its parish to help replace a portion of the church roof that was damaged during a tropical storm. Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) Council 410 donated $2,000 to the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal to repair the roof at their convent in the Bronx. The council also donated $5,000 to repair the roof at St. Ursula Church. Finally, St. Damien (Quebec) Council 2920 donated $10,000 to help repair the roof of St. Damien Church.

Ernest and Pauline Dupuis take the stage to receive a certificate commemorating their 50 years of marriage. Belle River (Ontario) Council 2775, in conjunction with Woodslee Credit Union and the town of Lakeshore, honored 142 area couples that have been married for 50 years or more.

Ave Maria Council 9380 in Tucson presented the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration with a new pressure iron and steamer to use in their liturgical vestments department. The sisters sew albs, stoles, linens and other articles needed for priests, deacons and ministers. CHILI, COMEDY AND CRIME

Immaculate Conception Council 13966 in Malden, Mass., held a “Chili, Comedy

Marty Mazurek (left) of St. Raphael Council 14171 in Naperville, Ill., signs up a potential donor at a blood drive to benefit Heartland Blood Centers. The event, which was co-sponsored by Naperville Council 1369, drew 165 donors.

and Crime Night” to benefit the Malden and Medford police departments. The event featured local comedians, four chili entrees and prizes. Proceeds were used to purchase body armor for each police department. CAPITAL IDEA!

St Nicholas of Myra Council 10847 in Mont Clare, Pa., donated $3,000 to the capital campaign at Holy Archangel Michael Byzantine Catholic Church. The funds are earmarked for the preservation of the church and other parish buildings. PATRIOTISM NIGHT

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Assembly in Arlington Heights, Ill., held its annual patriotism night in support of military members and their families. The evening consisted of a buffet dinner, followed by video horse racing and a live auction. The event raised $2,672 for Salute Inc., which offers financial support to military members and veterans.


to protect the environment. Knights, along with the Jalos A.C. Foundation, planted 1,000 trees on 4-kilometer lot that borders a state road. QUITE A HEIFER

Members of Father Pierre E. Bovin Council 5041 in Morrisville, Vt., work to build a new pavilion at the Mount Norris Scout Reservation in Eden. Knights raised funds, solicited materials and services, and participated in the construction of the new pavilion, which was dedicated in memory of Past Grand Knight Edwin Taylor, a Scout leader. Extra funds raised for the project were then used to establish a campership program for needy Scouts.


St. Helen (Mich.) Council 8390 donated $26,550 to its parish over a two-year period to aid with renovations and to repair the church roof. MAKING THE CALL

In January 2007, Paul Myers of Bishop William T. Mulloy Council 1301 in Newport, Ky., developed a genetic condition that caused complete

blindness within six months. While Myers was able to receive government aid for a guide dog and computer, he could no longer use his cell phone due to its limited functionality. Council 1301 donated $2,000 to purchase a special phone for Myers that has a built-in camera and special software that allows the phone to scan and read text. COUNCIL PAINTERS

St. Joseph’s Council 10069 in Dubuque, Iowa, painted the home of an elderly woman who lives alone. Knights provided all materials and manpower for the project. PASTA DINNER Father Charles Ssubulime sits astride a new motorcycle that was purchased with help from Los Crusados Council 1990 in Redondo Beach, Calif. Father Ssubulime, who is a member of Council 1990 and who studied for the priesthood in Southern California, reported difficulties in ministering to his scattered parishioners in Uganda. Knights donated $4,000 toward the motorcycle’s purchase price.

Msgr. J. M. Hanson Council 5038 in Ankeny, Iowa, held a pasta dinner that raised more than $1,000 for the council’s charitable fund. Knights secured donations from Hy-Vee supermarkets and Barilla for the event, which saw more than 200 diners. TREES PLANTED

Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Council 4910 in Jalostotitlàn, Mexico Central, hosted an ecological campaign

St. Stephen Council 12458 in Bentonville, Ark., donated $500 to Heifer International to purchase a cow for a poor family in a third-world country. Funds for the donation were raised at a council-sponsored breakfast. MEN OF COMFORT

Our Lady of Fatima Council 12698 in Wilton, Conn., donated 27 teddy bears to Norwalk Hospital. The bears will find new homes with young patients in the pediatrics wing and in the emergency room. Funds for the donation were raised at the council’s annual wine tasting. BROTHERS IN ANGOLA

Holy Family Council 11981 in Iverness, Ill., shipped three 40-foot cargo containers to Father Moses Mwaniki Gitau, a priest from Angola. Among the numerous supplies were two tabernacles for use in native churches. HOUSING TRUST

St. Clare of Assisi Council 13630 in Woodbridge, Ontario, established a trust to aid local residents who are facing eviction or missed mortgage or rent payments. The council sponsored a dinner and auction that was attended by 300 people and raised $20,000 to fund the nascent program. UP THE FLAG POLE

St. Bede the Venerable Council 13755 in Mentor, Ohio, and Boy Scout Troop 383 collected $2,000 to install a 25foot flagpole at their parish. Cardinal Newman Assembly in Lake & Geauga provided

Two children fill a wheelbarrow while construction commences on a church in Honduras. Members of Nuestra Señora del Rosario Council 10517 in Santa Fe, N.M., traveled to Honduras to complete two village churches that had been abandoned due to a lack of construction funds. In addition, Council 10517 raised more than $18,100 for building materials.

an honor guard for the pole’s dedication ceremony. NOW WE’RE COOKING

Nevada Council 978 in Reno, Nv., donated two new convection ovens to the parish hall at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral. RACING AROUND

The Sacred Heart Round Table in Waynesboro, Ga., sponsored by Cardinal Terence Cooke Council 8495 in Evans, raffled a set of four NASCAR tickets to raise $2,200. The funds were split evenly between Special Olympics and the American Cancer Society. THE BEST MEDICINE

Father Mitchell J. Cetkowski Council 6201 in Howell, N.J., hosted a dinner and auction to benefit a local girl with childhood cancer. Lucy Littlefield, the daughter of council member Scott Littlefield, was diagnosed at 12 weeks with Neuroblastoma. The event raised more than $24,000 to help offset the family’s medical expenses.

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donation by operating a mobile food booth, as well as several breakfast and dinner fundraisers. GROTTO & WALKWAY

Father James J. McCafferty Council 11013 in Yardley, Pa., funded and installed a Marian grotto and memorial walkway at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church. EQUIPPED FOR EFFICIENCY Members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Council 12845 in Gardnerville, Nev., stand with an ultraviolet radiation warning signal that the council donated to the town. Knights teamed with the Carson Valley Skin Cancer Awareness Foundation (SCAF) to install the sign, which indicates the level of ultraviolet radiation and the amount of skin-care protection required.


Middlesex Council 857 in Woodbridge, N.J., hosted a movie night fundraiser that raised $400 for Middlesex County Right to Life. VOLUNTEERING AT THE CENTER

Members of Holy Redeemer Council 12899 in Vancouver, Wash., participated in a multi-year remodeling project at their church. As part of the project, Knights installed landscaping around the

church grounds, including an underground sprinkler system. By doing the work themselves, the council saved the parish untold sums of money in contractor fees. SPECIAL SCHOOLING

St. Vincent de Paul Council 12191 in Berkeley Springs, W. Va., raised $1,224 for Hancock Elementary School during the council’s annual fund drive for people with intellectual disabilities. The funds will be used to support special education programs for students.

MARCH 2010

At the request of the Trinitarians of Mary Monastery in Tecate, Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe Assembly in Santee, Calif., collected more than 800 pairs of shoes for the needy. Area Girl Scouts assisted in the collection. EDUCATION IN AFGHANISTAN


Dr. Briggs Council 4597 in Courtenay, British Columbia, fulfilled a $100,000 pledge to expand Christ the King Church. The project will provide a new hall, offices and classrooms to benefit surrounding communities. Knights raised funds for the

Father Thomas O’Reilly Council 4358 in Decatur, Ga., runs an informal tree service that cuts and removes fallen trees from the homes of parishioners. The council charges nothing above the


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At the request of Maj. Jeff Camp, a three-time veteran of conflicts the Middle East, Queen of Angels Council 12154 in St. John, Ill., collected school supplies for children in Afghanistan. Knights engaged the entire parish community to collect writing implements, notebooks and other supplies, as well as $700 in cash donations.

Tomah (Wis.) Council 4125 donated $5,000 to St. Mary Immaculate Conception School for the purchase of new desks for fifth-, sixthand eighth-grade students. William Hielscher (center) of Cardinal John Dearden Council 744 in Mt. Clemens, Mich., presents Tim McNamara (left) and Steve Mateja of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit with a new U.S. flag. Knights donated the oversized flag for use in the seminary’s gymnasium.

Holy Spirit Council 6792 in Topsail, Newfoundland, donated $1,800 to help equip an efficiency kitchen at St. Georges Elementary School. The funds will be used to purchase a refrigerator, stove, microwave and cutlery for the school, which serves children with disabilities.


Harold Kyle and Mark Shutters replace a set of stairs at the Walter J. Mitchell School outdoor science center. Volunteers from several community groups — including Archbishop Neale Council 2279 in La Plata, Md. — gathered to repair the outdoor classroom, observation house and storage shed after all three buildings had fallen into disrepair. Shutters is a member of Council 2279.

cost of renting equipment and usually donates the wood for use as fuel among council members or needy individuals. A VISION IN GLASS

Kirkwood Council 2117 donated more than $120,000 to repair and restore the stainedglass windows at St. Peter Church. Over a one-year period, the windows, which are valued at $1.5 million, were cleaned, re-leaded where necessary and re-caulked. LEARNING CONTINUES

Middletown (Pa.) Council 3501 contributed $50,000 to help equip the science lab at a new Catholic education center. Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church opened a new parish ministry and education center with assistance from community businesses and civic organizations. The council was among the largest local donors.


chalice in the care of the other seminarians there. However, the chalice could not be found when he returned to his native country. The new chalice, purchased by the Knights, is engraved with Father Gerald’s name and the emblem of the Order. HOCKEY COMPETITION Members of Father Emil J. Kapaun Council 11987 at the Sembach Air Base in Germany stand with Father Mike Morris and the portable tabernacle they donated to Ramstein Air Base. Council members attended Mass with the Catholic community at Ramstein and presented the tabernacle to Father Morris, who serves as the base’s senior Catholic chaplain.



Msgr. Raymond P. Kelly Council 10966 in Pasadena, Md., hosts a living rosary at St. Jane Frances de Chantal School twice each year. Past Grand Knight Joe Turchetta organized the event and constructed a 75-foot rosary to use with students in grades one through eight.

Mobile (Ala.) Council 666 presented a 100-year-old Knights of Columbus ceremonial plate to Jason Laurence, curator of exhibits at the Museum of Mobile. The historic piece will become part of the museum’s permanent exhibit.


St. Odilia Council 9598 in Shoreview, Minn., donated new collection baskets to its parish. Council members also actively serve as ushers and Eucharistic ministers at St. Odilia Church. MADONNA SCHOOL


Msgr. Peter Blessing Council 5273 in Coventry, R.I., raised $1,000 to purchase a portable ultrasound machine for the Mother of Life Center in Providence.

Father Paul Gaggawala (center) of St. Joseph the Worker Council 10921 in Orefield, Pa., celebrates Mass in Uganda with vestments, chalices and other items donated by St. Vincent de Paul Council 11901 in Plymouth. Knights made a shipment to Africa that included religious goods, school desks, computers and more — all of which they collected for needy communities around the world.

Holy Angels Council 11826 in Brighton, Ontario, organized a hockey competition for area young people. Boys and girls ages 7-10 were tested on their ability to make a penalty shot, and each attendee received a certificate of participation.

St. Joseph Council 10894 in Springfield, Neb., donated $250 to Madonna School, a school for children with intellectual disabilities. St. Joseph Church provided matching funds of $250 for the donation as well.



Pateros Rizal (Luzon) Council 4640 reupholstered the kneelers at St. Roch Church, saving the parish approximately 20,300 pesos in repair costs.

Msgr. Maurice C. Deason Council 8141 in Austin, Texas, served lunch to attendees at St. Mary School’s field day. The event raised $1,000, which was donated to the school’s athletic department.



John XXIII Council 6621 in East Vineland, N.J., presented a new chalice to Father Anthony G. Gerald, a priest from India whose original chalice was misplaced. When Father Gerald left India after his ordination, he left his

Our Lady of Angels Council 13044 in Plano, Texas, donated $3,500 to upgrade the 15-year-old rectory at its parish. The funds were used to refurbish three bedrooms, the living room, dining room, hallways and den.

Members of Father Crisostomo Circle 2047 in Cabantuan City, Luzon, plant euphorbia plants outside a K of C hall. Concerned with environmental stewardship, Squires planted new saplings throughout the vicinity.


Tambo (Luzon) Council 6167 provided free haircuts to approximately 120 schoolchildren, ages four to 16, before the start of the new academic year. SHARING CITRUS

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Council 13571 in Debary, Fla., harvested oranges, lemons, grapefruits and tangerines from the gardens of area parishioners who wished to share their citrus harvests. Knights collected 15 tons of citrus and donated the bounty to several local food banks.

Members of Pangasinan Council 3711 in Dagupan City, Luzon, paint new parking lines at their church. Knights repainted the parking lot after the old lines had faded away.

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shelter was cited for not being up to code, Knights donated $1,200 to cover building supplies and volunteered to help re-grade the driveway, put up siding and remove debris. SIGN ME UP

Jim Hoffman of Petoskey (Mich.) Council 923 removes a foundation stone from the St. Francis Solanus Mission Church. Council 923 answered a call to help preserve the church, which was built in 1859 and is one of the oldest structures in northern Michigan. Among other preservation tasks, Knights helped lift the building six feet off the ground so a new foundation could be built. And since the site also sits on an historic burial ground, removing the old foundation needed to be done by hand.


Bago City (Visayas) Council 7936 donated school supplies to pre-school and first-grade students at Sagasa Elementary School.

handcrafted cedar-strip canoe, which raised more than $8,500. Some of these funds were donated to the Fountain Clinic, which provides free medical and dental care to people without health insurance.


St. Mary Council 5999 in Marshall, Mich., raffled a


Sagadahoc Council 249 in Bath, Maine, held a spaghetti supper that raised $1,567 for eHope, an organization that provides support to families and loved ones who are facing a life-threatening illness. FOOTBALL FOR IVORY

Brian Mulcahy of St. Augustine Council 7273 in Peru, N.Y., stands with Christian Rodriguez Ortega (left, pictured with his mother) and Isreal Antonio Castello and his mother while on a mission trip to Nicaragua. Council 7273 sponsored Ortega’s education for one year while the Mulcahy family sponsored Castello. Council 7273’s financial assistance has helped several people undertake mission trips to Nicaragua.

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MARCH 2010

St. John Vianey Council 14582 in Fishers, Ind., hosted a cornhole (beanbag) football tournament to raise funds for a new piano at its parish. The seven-hour event raised $265. SOUND OF SILENCE

Members of Holy Rosary Council 869 in Harrisburg, Pa., and St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus Council 8921 in New Cumberland made several repairs at Silence of Mary Home, a Harrisburg-based homeless shelter. When the

When high winds destroyed the sign at St. Louis Church, Aroostook Council 2851 in Limestone, Maine, stepped in to have a new sign built and installed. Knights completely funded the sign, which lists Mass times and has concrete footings. BENEFIT LUNCHEON

St. Patrick Council 13394 in Corning, Kan., held a benefit luncheon to defray the medical costs of two local cancer patients. The event raised more than $14,200, which was divided evenly between both recipients. FISH DINNER

St. Anne’s Council 9594 in Seal Beach, Calif., held its annual Alaskan fish dinner for parishioners at St. Anne’s Church. Knights, at their own expense, flew to Sitka, Alaska, where they spent several days at sea catching halibut, salmon and a variety of other fish that were then frozen and shipped home. More than 300 people attended the dinner’s two seatings, which raised more than $5,300 for vocations in the Diocese of Orange. NEW TRICYCLE

When Royal Canadian Legion Branch #93 failed to raise sufficient funds to purchase an adaptive tricycle for a local boy with disabilities, Msgr. Boyd Council 6774 in Oromocto, New Brunswick, stepped in to cover the shortage. Knights and veterans together then presented the bike to the boy and his family.



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Tragedy in Birmingham Remembering the 1921 slaying of Father James E. Coyle

PHOTO: Bill Fex Collection, Birmingham, Alabama

by Sharon Davies FATHER JAMES E. COYLE, an extraordinary priest and to convince a grand jury to return an indictment, and when it Knight of Columbus in the early 20th century, courageously finally did, the Klan ran a statewide drive to raise funds to hire stood up against widely-held anti-Catholic views at the risk, a young lawyer named Hugo Black to lead Rev. Stephenson’s and then cost, of his life. defense. Black would later be elected to the U.S. Senate and apThe Irish-born priest was scarcely in his 20s when, after his ordi- pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. nation in Rome, he was dispatched to Alabama to begin his priestThe Klan’s presence at Rev. Stephenson’s October 1921 trial hood. The Catholic population in Alabama had exploded with a was manifest. Historians would later report that the jury foreman promise of jobs, especially in and around Birmingham’s network of and the presiding judge were both Klansmen. Hugo Black himcoal mines, steel mills and iron foundries. Father Coyle arrived in self would join the ranks of the KKK less than two years later to the city shortly before a wave of antiforward his own political aspirations. Catholicism flooded the country, and the On the eve of trial, Rev. Stephenson’s revived Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rebranded lawyers announced they would amend his itself as a “patriotic” fraternity, targeting plea to “not guilty by reason of insanity” blacks, Catholics, Jews and foreigners. to permit the argument that Rev. It was a tense time in America, and Stephenson was not responsible for his acfear of the new immigrants gripped more tions after he learned Father Coyle had than a small band of hysterics. A number married Ruth to Pedro. The minister and of states passed “convent inspection his wife both claimed that “the Catholics” laws,” which authorized the warrantless had tried to seduce Ruth away from her search of convents, monasteries and even Protestant faith; news of their daughter’s Catholic hospitals. Investigators looked marriage was the last straw. for Protestant women and children purThough little remembered today, Rev. portedly being held against their will and Stephenson’s weeklong trial was a nafor weapons and ammunition the tional sensation. Reporters from farKnights of Columbus had supposedly flung cities raced to Birmingham to stashed there. Knights were plotting an observe the spectacle. The jury, however, insurrection, the fear-mongers said. They took only a few hours to return their verFather James E. Coyle (1873-1921), a were the pope’s secret foot soldiers and dict: “Not guilty.” Knights of Columbus chaplain, courageously spoke could never be “true Americans.” Catholics in Birmingham have never against anti-Catholic prejudice in the South. He Against these baseless accusations, forgotten the outrage. “It is our hope Father Coyle defended the faith and the that the sharing of the life and death of is pictured here several months before being killed. Order, becoming a lightning rod for atthis holy man may promote greater untacks. Federal agents warned Bishop derstanding, reconciliation and peace Edward Allen of Mobile, Ala., of threats against Father Coyle’s among all of God’s children,” writes James Pinto Jr., a member life and of plans to burn his church to the ground. of Father James E. Coyle Council 9862 and an organizer for Then, on Aug. 11, 1921, Rev. Edwin R. Stephenson, a the Father James E. Coyle Memorial Project. Methodist minister and Klansman, stepped onto the porch of St. Before his death, Father Coyle served as the chaplain of Paul’s rectory with a loaded handgun. About an hour earlier, Fa- Birmingham (Ala.) Council 635 and was a charter member of ther Coyle had officiated the wedding of Rev. Stephenson’s 18- Mobile (Ala.) Council 666. He remains a model of faithful and year-old daughter, Ruth, to Pedro Gussman, a Catholic migrant courageous priestly service today. from Puerto Rico. Like many other Klansmen, Rev. Stephenson For more information about Father James E. Coyle, visit despised Catholics. When he learned that Father Coyle had mar-♦ ried his daughter to Gussman, he was livid. He shot the priest in SHARON DAVIES is the John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Designated Professor of cold blood, and Father Coyle died within minutes. The climate for bringing Rev. Stephenson to justice could Law at the Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University, and author of not have been worse. A veteran prosecutor spent weeks trying Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America (Oxford, 2010). O B S E RV E T H E Y E A R F O R P R I E S T S W I T H A S P E C I A L P R AY E R C A R D AVA I L A B L E AT W W W. KO F C . O RG / Y E A R F O R P R I E S T S

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Patriotism FATHER GARY DEROUCHEY of Pierre (S.D.) Council 2686 prepares to celebrate Mass at a military chapel in Iraq. Father DeRouchey, a military chaplain, received the pictured chalice and paten from Rosebud Assembly in Winner, S.D., which donated the items in memory of Michael J. Sharkey (inset), a deceased Knight and World War II veteran. • Msgr. John F. Callahan Council 3600 in West Hartford, Conn. — along with representatives from the VFW, the confirmation class and women’s club at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, and West Hartford Girl Scouts — assembled 23 care packages for U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.




CHILDREN in Bar-Kowino, Kenya, stand with some of the care packages they received with help from Msgr. F. X. Prefontaine Council 11085 in Seattle. Knights held a pancake breakfast to benefit Father Crispin Okoth, a Knight who works with children and orphans in Kenya. The event raised $1,560 to help Father Okoth assemble care packages of food, clothing, school supplies and mosquito nets. • Bishop Brady Council 399 in Barre, Vt., has held a spaghetti dinner on the second Tuesday of each month since January 2000. Over the past decade, Knights have raised more than $65,000 for charity.

MEMBERS of The Risen Christ Council 6399 in Moonwalk, Luzon, look on as Father Melchor Boyet Montalbo (far left) blesses the council’s Ten Commandments monument at a council-sponsored dedication ceremony. • To ensure the safety of parish children, members of Santa Barbara Council 14166 in Austin, Texas, removed grass spurs — weeds with sharp prickers — from their parish playground. Knights also installed a safety fence around the playground area.

COLLEGE KNIGHTS Jason Gangluff, Matt Winkeler and Aaron Isley repair a fence at the Clear Creek Monastery in Hulbert, Okla. Knights from four college councils — Cardinal John Henry Newman Council 7787 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Father Blaise Haritchabalet Council 5354 at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma State University Council 11135 in Stillwater and Tulsa University Council 11633 — gathered at the monastery to clean brush and perform other maintenance duties. Gangluff belongs to Council 7787, while Winkeler and Isley both belong to Council 11633.

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MARCH 2010


Building a better world one council at a time

Members of St. Paul of the Cross Council 6681 in Marikina, Luzon, paint newly constructed homes at a housing project for needy members of the community. Knights painted the façade of each house a distinct and attractive color.

Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.





♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 33



‘THE LORD PLACED A DEEP DESIRE IN MY HEART FOR ALL PEOPLE TO KNOW HIS INTIMATE LOVE FOR THEM.’ What does it take to commit to a religious vocation? A strong prayer life, love, perseverance, humble service and an attitude of selflessness. This is true for any vocation, but the religious life demands a holy audacity to live out the Christian life in a radical way. I witnessed what it means to be generous with the Lord through the example of my parents. Through my father’s active participation in the Knights of Columbus and my mother’s role as a catechist, I was surrounded by examples of faith in action. They showed me what it was to perform quiet, humble acts of service using God-given blessings and talents. Because of this, I naturally became generous with the Lord and opened my heart to the possibility of a religious vocation. I wanted to become a religious sister not for my own sake, but so others can see, experience and know God’s love through me. The Lord placed a deep desire in my heart for all people to know his intimate love for them, and in serving God’s people I have found unspeakable joy. SISTER ELIZABETH BEUSSINK Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R., of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother Toronto, Ohio