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Public Policy Issues

The Knights of Columbus encourages its members to meet their responsibilities as Catholic citizens and to become active in the political life of their local communities, to vote and to speak out as individual citizens on the public issues of the day. To understand these responsibilities, the Knights of Columbus looks to The Second Vatican Council, which identifies the mission of the Catholic faithful to build a society consistent with Gospel values when it states, “By reason of their special vocation, it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will…. Thus especially by the witness of their life resplendent in faith, hope and charity, they must manifest Christ to others.” (Lumen Gentium, 31)...

In the realm of everyday affairs, this means conducting oneself with integrity, kindness, respect, hospitality, and civility.  It means charitable efforts of every sort on behalf of the poor, sick, elderly, and disadvantaged.

In the political realm, this means opening our public policy efforts and deliberations to the life of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church.  In accord with our Bishops, the Knights of Columbus has consistently maintained positions that take these concerns into account.  We promote the building of a civilization of love, in which the law honors the dignity of every human being from natural conception, through every circumstance in life, to natural death.  We promote the building and renewal of institutions within society based on honesty and fidelity, particularly the institution of marriage.

Today a consensus about these principles has eroded significantly in the face of new cultural currents which seek to curtail the proclamation of moral and religious truth.  Attempts have been made on the basis of a faulty rationality to dismiss the Church’s message as one grounded in blind faith.  Our tradition, however, does not speak from blind faith, but from a rational perspective which links our commitment to building a civilization of love to our moral reasoning based on the natural law written on man’s heart and fully revealed to man in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

We believe the human person is possessed of a “light of understanding placed in us by God,” through which “we know what we must do and what we must avoid.” (Catechism 1955).  This “light” or the “natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason,” enables us to understand the truth of our being, to act in accordance with it, and to shape a more just and humane world.  Living in accordance with this “light of understanding” is never a threat to our freedom, but a necessary condition to leading a life of genuine liberation and genuine love. 

The Knights of Columbus’ message, then, is of its nature public: we seek to act in solidarity with and to assist the poor and disadvantaged, to defend the dignity of human life, and to defend the dignity of marriage and on the basis of rational arguments proposed in the public square.  Our principles are not restricted either to our Order or to our Church.  They instead find their home across a diverse array of religious and ethnic and political backgrounds.  Our members are thus encouraged to engage the secular world and to help determine the values which will shape the future of the nation. 


Knights of Columbus®.