Message to the Knights of Columbus
On August 1, 2015, Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote on behalf of Pope Francis to the Knights of Columbus, a U.S.-based fraternal order of Catholic men. The Knights held their 133rd Supreme Convention, with the theme “Endowed by Their Creator with Life and Liberty,” in Philadelphia from August 4th to 6th.
In the first part of the Holy Father’s message, he thanked the Knights for their “steadfast public witness…to our Christian understanding of marriage and family.” The Knights’ defense of marriage remains pertinent as the Pope prepares for the 8th World Meeting of Families, which will take place in late September in Philadelphia.
The Pope extended the duty to defend the institution of marriage to all the faithful, who “are called to bear witness to this basic truth of biblical faith and natural law.” Now, when marriage is challenged by cultural trends, the Pope called for the faithful to have “great wisdom and perseverance” and emulate “the patience of the saints” in the Book of Revelation (Rev 14:12).
Pope Francis also expressed his hope that the Knights’ catechesis and prayer, inspired by the Synod on the Family and the 8th World Meeting of Families, will “contribute significantly to this prophetic witness” against the cultural attack on authentic marriage.
The Holy Father continued in his message to encourage the defense of religious freedom and to thank the Knights of Columbus for their work with persecuted Christian communities.