The Knights of Columbus responds to Sens. Hirono and Harris

In this post, I reported on the shameful attack by Senators Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris on a judicial nominee — Brian Buescher — for belonging to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic social and charitable organization. The two Senators insist that Buescher drop his membership in that organization and recuse himself from cases in which it has taken a position.

Why? Because according to Hirono, the Knights have taken “a number of extreme positions.” She cites its support for Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that defined marriage in state law as the union of a man and a woman. A majority of California voters agreed with this “extreme position.”

In response to this attack, the Washington, D.C. local chapter of the Knights has sent the following open letter to Hirono and Harris.

Dear Senator Harris, Senator Hirono, and respective staffs:

Greetings from your local, Capitol Hill-area Knights of Columbus Council, Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle Council 11302! We recently read about statements which expressed the fear that the Knights of Columbus held many extreme beliefs. It is our great pleasure to assure you that this fear is not grounded in any truth. The Knights of Columbus in general, and O’Boyle Council in particular are dedicated to the three fundamental principles of charity, unity, and fraternity.

In the past few months O’Boyle Council has worked with local parishes including St Peter’s (House-side Catholic church) and St Joseph’s (Senate-side Catholic church) to raise funds and give away over $4,000 worth of coats to neighborhood children, collect soda and beer can tabs to donate to the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute which helps the developmentally disabled, and collect diapers and other supplies for new mothers in need. Over the course of the past year we donated an ultrasound machine to a clinic, picked up trash around Nationals Park, and donated supplies to a local school.

We do all this as well as social gatherings and spiritual events. We hope this list of activities helps to assure you that we are simply a group aiming to do God’s work while building friendships.

We wish to formally invite you all to join us for any social or charitable event. In fact, this February we are doing the Polar Plunge to raise funds for DC Special Olympics. You and anyone you know are more than welcome to join us either jumping in the cold water or sponsoring our team. Our team’s page can be viewed at https://give.specialolympicsdc.org/kofc. Additionally, if any Catholic men on your staff are interested in joining O’Boyle Council for charitable and social events they can find more information on our website at “https://oboyle.dcknights.org/ and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KofC11302/.

If you have any further questions or concerns please reach out to us at [email protected]

Thank you for this opportunity to write to you. We pray that you have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

-Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle Council 11302 of the Knights of Columbus

Council 11302 of the Knights should be commended not just for its charitable work but also for its good humor.

Or maybe its sense of humor. I don’t know which is less likely — Senators Hirono and Harris jumping into icy water on behalf of charity or any Catholic member of either staff daring to join a chapter of this “extreme organization.” The thought of either occurrence brings a smile to my face.

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