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 CNS Story:

POPE-KNIGHTS Aug-9-2013 (320 words) xxxi

Pope to Knights of Columbus: promote Catholic teaching on family, life

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis asked members of the Knights of Columbus to promote Catholic moral teaching on marriage, sexuality and the protection of human life for the good of society at large.

The pope's message came in a letter from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. Released by the Vatican Aug. 9, the letter marked the 131st annual supreme convention of the fraternal order of Catholic men, which took place in San Antonio Aug. 6-8.

Cardinal Bertone wrote that Pope Francis "invites each knight, and every council, to bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life and the beauty and truth of human sexuality.

"In this time of rapid social and cultural changes, the protection of God's gifts cannot fail to include the affirmation and defense of the great patrimony of moral truths taught by the Gospel and confirmed by right reason, which serve as the bedrock of a just and well-ordered society," the cardinal wrote.

"For this reason, His Holiness once more expresses his appreciation of the clear public witness offered by the Knights of Columbus in protecting the right and duty of believers to participate responsibly, on the basis of their deepest convictions, in the life of society," Cardinal Bertone wrote.Noting that the theme of the 2013 convention -- "Be Protectors of God's Gifts" -- referred to Pope Francis' homily at his own inaugural Mass, the cardinal quoted from the homily in commending the knights for "helping Catholic men to respond to their vocation to be 'protectors of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.'"

Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus is the largest lay Catholic organization in the world, with more than 1.8 million members in 14,000 councils, sponsoring a wide range of educational, charitable and religious activities.


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