Q. I recently heard that the Knights of Columbus spent over $500,000 on anti-gay literature. Where is this hatred of gays coming from? Also, can my local pastor refuse me Communion at Mass if I tell him that I am a member of Call to Action?
A. As a Knight of Columbus and the chaplain of its Council 1683, I receive considerable K of C literature. I would describe none of it as anti-gay. As an organization, they accept the Catholic Church’s teaching that homosexual people are to be respected and not discriminated against. Their public policy link at kofc.org reflects this.
Are you referring to efforts by the Knights of Columbus, through articles and ad campaigns, to keep marriage legally defined as the union of one man and one woman? In fact, that is its current legal definition in 39 states. That definition was reflected in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Last June, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that DOMA was unconstitutional.
Marriage is any society’s most basic institution because it is the foundation of the family. Not every marriage will be blessed with children, but every child benefits from having loving parents of each gender. In certain circumstances, others may substitute for a child’s biological parents, but being raised by a mother and father is clearly ideal. It is neither hatred nor bigotry to point this out.
Regarding your second question, I am not aware of any diocese that indicates membership in Call to Action as disqualifying a person properly disposed from receiving Communion during Mass. There is no directive on this from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. People sometimes make such bans on their own authority. On the other hand, receiving Communion is not the time to make some statement other than one’s belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.