Head Knight of Columbus takes on idea of 'pro-choice but personally opposed' [CNA]


http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Supreme_Knight_Dr_Carl_A_Anderson_address_the_129th_Knights_of_Columbus_Supreme_Convention_during_the_States_Dinner_Credit_Peter_Zelasko_CNA.jpgNew Haven, Conn., Aug 18, 2016 / 02:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Since it was first used by Mario Cuomo in 1984, many Catholic politicians have taken up the argument that they are “personally opposed to abortion” but still “pro-choice.” The argument “has always been a poor one, but it has never made less sense than it does today,” writes Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, in an opinion piece published yesterday in The Hill.

In a speech at Notre Dame in 1984, Cuomo famously declared that: “As a Catholic I accept the church’s teaching authority. … I accept the bishops’ position that abortion is to be avoided.” Cuomo added: “My wife and I were enjoined never to use abortion to destroy the life we created, and we never have.” Still, he maintained that abortion should be protected legally.

In his piece, Anderson says the Cuomo argument was never morally coherent, that its premise that opposition to abortion is the minority view is no longer valid, and that the intervening history proves that Cuomo’s claim that such actions will bring tolerance for Catholic positions has been disproven by new attempts to force religious individuals and entities to act against their beliefs.

Anderson notes that if we apply the “personally opposed” rationale to another evil we see how quickly the logic breaks down.

In addition, Cuomo’s logic was based on not imposing his view on the majority of Americans. But, the piece notes, it “simply is not true that legally restricting abortion is the minority view,” and “a broad consensus to restrict abortion” has emerged in the intervening years on that and on the immorality of abortion.

The piece sites Marist polling commissioned by the Knights of Columbus that shows about eight in 10 Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion. A solid majority would limit abortion at most only to rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. And by a margin of 23 points – 60 percent to 37 percent – most Americans now say abortion is “morally wrong.” By contrast, only about one in 10 Americans say they want no restrictions of abortion.

Anderson writes that this means that “pro-choice” politicians who claim to be “personally opposed” now not only violate their own consciences, but also impose on the country a view held by only a “tiny minority.”

Cuomo’s idea is “now bankrupt in another way,” continues Anderson.

In defending his “pro-choice” stance, Cuomo stated in 1984: “We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might someday force theirs on us.”

“Indeed, the opposite has occurred,” writes Anderson. “Catholics are increasingly facing government ‘force’ to commit actions they see as immoral… Cuomo was wrong. Our rights have not been protected as a result of his political strategy – just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor.”

Full article…


Pro abortion people force their views on preborn babies. They also force us to pay for abortions (murder) with tax money.


Good of him to speak up. But let’s stop being coy. He brings up Cuomo, but what about CURRENT politicians? Call them out. And speak up asking the bishops to call them out and discipline them.

And let’s not forget it was 2 Knights of Columbus NY politicians who were the deciding votes to make gay “marriage” legal in NY state. Has he bothered to discipline or expel those two Knights?


I have always called people on the hypocrisy of claiming they are pro-choice but personally opposed to abortion, because one of the choices is abortion, so pro-choice is pro-abortion.


Even if they don’t force others to pay for abortions, the pro-choice position ignores the positive duty to protect the innocent. This is no minor matter for anyone who claims to be Catholic and blessed with the fullness of truth.

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Matthew 24:45-46


The K of C supports the bishops, as they go through a situation very difficult for the Church. Should the Grand Knight communicate privately to his own bishop, and to the bishop-chaplain of the K of C? Yes, whenever necessary. If he has information they don’t have, sure, he can communicate it. Privately.

But why should the Grand Knight “speak up” (I think this means publicly) to the bishops in general? Why should he tell them how they should do their job as bishops? Maybe at a press conference? In some cases politicians have been privately excommunicated, or privately advised not to receive Holy Communion. You and I and Mr. Anderson would not be aware of that. There are other things the bishop may know, that you and I probably don’t know.

The enemies of the Church in politics and media try to divide and conquer the Catholic Church. The K of C resists that, but working in cooperation with priests and bishops. The media loves it when prominent Catholics - liberal or conservative - publicly “correct” their bishops, pastors, and best of all, the pope.

If there has been any K of C action taken towards those 2 knights you refer to, that would be private, also. If a politician currently flaunts his membership in the K of C, but fails to live up to its standards, and refuses to consider the Church’s position, only then would it possibly be prudent for the K of C to publicly acknowledge he is no longer a member. This is rare.


Exactly. And it wouldn’t sound much better to hear this eternal sentence translated into contemporary “progressive” language either … e,g,

:heaven: ***Personally ***I favor letting you be born again and with me forever in happiness … but being pro-choice per free will, I don’t feel, in your case, that I have the right to deny a “right to choose” to those demons who want to “sift you like wheat.” *

  • :nerd: - it’s a better analogy – than it is theology I know. But we** are ***talking about deception. And like Adam and Eve, if we don’t watch out. we can be deceived right out of paradise. :bigyikes:

:eek: - If you want to be born again and safe … don’t keep others from being born in the first place (and in the worst possible ways).


Enough of the “private” discussions. These are blatant, manifest, ongoing and obstinate rejections of Church teaching by public officials. The response to them MUST be public, strong, clear and proclaim the FULL truth.


I agree. If high-profile Catholics who oppose the teachings of the Church are going to make a public spectacle of their disobedience, then they have lost the right to a purely private discussion. They can still have one, but they must be rebuked publicly and if necessary, disciplined publicly in order to clear up the situation with the rest of the faithful. There are probably many who saw the original article, and nothing else, and now think that the Church and the bishops don’t have a problem with what Biden done. This is far more harmful than however badly Biden’s feelings might be hurt because of a public rebuke.

I am also very skeptical that any private discussions are even taking place, quite frankly. Based on how most of these situations have been handled in the long-term over the past 5-10 years, if these private discussions are indeed being held, they are doing absolutely no good as I have never seen any pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, Catholic politician change their stance after these kinds of stories come out.




My heart sagged.

KC pays for sonogram machines.



“If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”


In the article cited, Mr. Anderson **rejected **the position of “personally opposed but abortion should be legalized”. He has been calling on members of the K of C, and all Catholics, to vote out the proabortion politicians, and vote in prolife ones. Anderson is a layman, and his role is to help effect change with laity.

The politician is not proabortion because his bishop fails to denounce him - some bishops have done just that, and it has not succeeded in changing their minds. It might make you and me feel good, but making us feel good is not the bishop’s job. My bishop denounced a local “Catholic” politician, but that did no good. His mostly Catholic constituency reelects him. No politician gets enough prolife support to defeat him. Now my bishop tries to raise the level of prolife awareness among Catholic voters.

The job of the laity is to press the proabortion bishop to change his stance, or at least modify it, through communications and voting. Prolife laity can mobilize to support prolife candidates at the local level, who can then move up, with prolife support. We have not done that very much. It takes work to do the organizing to get prolifers onto the ballot in the first place, and few of us did that.

The job of the laity is to impact on the media to stop pushing abortion: contact advertisers, station managers, the FCC, write letters to editors “I’m cancelling my subscription” if needed. Write positive letters when the media (rarely) is fair to prolife. Put a yard sign up.
Get a prolife display in your parish. The laity have not done their job - the laity have been silent, with notable exceptions.

The Church works best when bishops do the bishop jobs, and clergy, religious, and laity each do their own respective jobs. The Church works worst when people try to grab the other person’s job. And yes, part of the bishop’s job is confidential. The proabortion media love it when Catholics (left or right) criticize their bishops. Divide and conquer.


Too late to edit my post #13, I meant to use the word “politician” in first sentence, third paragraph, not the word I wrote (gotta stay off internet after I get sleepy)


The article linked in the OP was published in The Hill. Here is another piece from Mr. Anderson, the K of C chief, published in Crux.

Let’s Follow Mother Teresa and Prioritize Abortion in 2016.


I noticed the original but was sure that is what you meant from the context. Your excommunication is hereby lifted.:slight_smile: Let he who types perfectly throw the first stone.


You’re not going to change things overnight. Six decades of failing to teach the faith will take time to repair. And banning from communion or excommunication is intended for two reasons, one is to hopefully wake up the sinner and get them to reconcile to the Church, and TWO, it is to send a clear and definitive message to the other sheep in the flock that this behavior is wildly wrong and will lead you to hell.

If a bishop actually stands up and defends the faith, and excommunicates a heretical politician, he is to be commended. Maybe people will wake up and become more faithful, or maybe they will get “offended” and leave. But at LEAST they have been given a chance to make a decision about whether to follow the real Jesus Christ or not, and not the fake Jesus they’ve created in their head.


I personally don’t understand that point of view either. If we are personally opposed to murder, but are for it being legal then all that would seem to do is make us confused/hypocritical.


I also want to confess my own typo. In my earlier post, I gave Matthew 24:45-46 as a reference when it should have been Matthew 25:45-46. The fact that no one called me on it may prove that Catholics don’t know their bible, or that they are like me and remember content rather than chapter and verse numbers, or that they are just very forgiving and did not wish to embarrass me.:o

Internet search technology is so good that you can type in any scripture verse the way you remember it and you can find the precise location from that. I like that way better than paging through that big book collecting dust on the coffee table.:slight_smile:


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