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New Investigative Report Exposes the Truth about the Knights of Columbus

December 18, 2013

This holiday season, as the Knights of Columbus host cookie bake sales for charity, coat drives for the needy and other charitable activities, a new report from Catholics for Choice reveals the conflict between the group’s professed benevolent mission and the reality of its ultraconservative agenda.

The largest Catholic lay organization in the world is well-funded and even better connected, but since 2004 it has funneled some $10 million dollars, in addition to donations from thousands of local fraternity councils and assemblies, to advance its conservative worldview rather than further the common good.

“Most people associate the Knights of Columbus with pancake suppers in their local parish and fundraisers for the needy,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “This report reveals where the Knights use their money and energy—not on charitable causes, but on conservative political campaigns against same-sex marriage and access to abortion. This expenditure flies in the face of the Catholic tradition of social justice and ignores the needs of parishes and parishioners.”

The Knights of Columbus: Crusaders for Discrimination” is the latest installment in an ongoing investigative series, “Opposition Notes,” aimed at exposing organizations that promote a narrow view of Catholicism—one that excludes support for sexual and reproductive rights and denies the primacy of conscience. Previous reports have investigated the Catholic League, Priests for Life, the American Life League and the Cardinal Newman Society, among others.

“Faithful Catholics have abortions and use birth control. There are many Catholics who may support the charitable aims of the Knights, but not their opposition to gay rights. This report sets the record straight for the many Catholics who do not agree with the extreme views held by the Knights of Columbus,” said O’Brien.

The full report can be downloaded here.