Special News Release


Knights of Columbus Joins Legal Defense of 10th Mountain Division War Memorial May 30. 2012
Montana memorial on Forest Service land includes statue of Jesus.

It’s a war memorial that has commemorated the valor and sacrifice of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division for more than 50 years. The Knights of Columbus — represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty — has asked to intervene in a pending lawsuit to defend the memorial’s right to exist on public land in Montana

The war memorial near Whitefish, Mont., includes a large statue of Jesus. It was erected by Montana members of the Knights of Columbus who were asked by veterans of the 10th Mountain Division to create a memorial reminiscent of hilltop shrines they encountered in Europe while fighting in World War II. The memorial has been maintained by local Knights of Columbus in Whitefish since it was erected in 1954.

The Knights of Columbus asked the U.S. District Court in Missoula, Mont. to allow it to intervene as a defendant in the case Freedom from Religion Foundation vs. Weber, in order to protect its First Amendment rights — and those of its members in Montana — as it seeks to continue honoring the memory of the soldiers who gave their lives for our country.

“The idea that a war memorial containing a religious symbol on a remote piece of public land somehow establishes religion in this country is at odds with the historical record, the vision of our Founding Fathers enshrined in the First Amendment and the extensive jurisprudence in this area,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “It is sad that some in America have become so intolerant of religion that they are willing to remove longstanding memorials to America’s war heroes to enforce their narrow view on the rest of us.”

Nearly 60 years ago, Kalispell Council 1328 of the Knights of Columbus leased the 25-foot by 25-foot plot of land on Big Mountain, which lies within a commercial ski resort, from the U.S. Forest Service, to erect a memorial honoring fallen soldiers from World War II.

The permit had been renewed every 10 years without incident until 2010, when the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based organization, threatened the Forest Service claiming the memorial violated the U.S. Constitution. The Forest Service initially denied the permit, but then renewed it after nationwide media attention and a public outcry. In February, the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed suit to have the memorial permanently removed.

A Knights of Columbus-Marist national poll conducted in 2010 found that 76 percent of Americans believe the first Amendment should protect the free exercise of religion, not keep government land free of religious symbolism. Similarly, a 2009 Rasmussen poll indicated 76 percent of Americans favor the display of religious symbols on public property.

Knights of Columbus to pay $22.7M for Washington papal center in deal with Detroit archdiocese
By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 7:37 AM
DETROIT — The Knights of Columbus plans to buy the financially troubled Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., in a $22.7 million deal involving the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press and The Washington Post reported details of the agreement, which was announced Tuesday in Denver at a Knights of Columbus convention.

The Archdiocese of Detroit says it expects to get about $20 million from the Cultural Center’s foundation from the sale, and the Catholic University of America will get the rest. The sale will allow the Archdiocese of Detroit to recoup some of the $54 million it invested in the center and stabilize its finances.

The deal is expected to be finalized within 60 days with the New Haven, Conn.-based Knights of Columbus.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


June 14, 2011 Flag Day

Supreme Court rejects challenge to "under God" in Pledge of Allegiance

Knights of Columbus waged successful defense on East and West Coast cases

(NEW HAVEN, CONN.) - The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance, thus ending a seven year battle involving two separate cases, one originating in California and the other in New Hampshire. The Knights of Columbus, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, played a key role in defending the Pledge as a "defendant intervenor" in both cases.

"The Knights of Columbus is proud to have played a major role in successfully defending the constitutionality of the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance," Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. "We were instrumental in persuading Congress to add those words to the Pledge in 1954, and they express a fundamental belief that we have held as a nation since our founding, that we 'are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights.' The notion that this somehow violates the First Amendment has now been soundly rejected by both the First and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court has now allowed both decisions to stand. It is a victory for common sense."

The Ninth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Pledge in March 2010 and the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the California case in March 2011. The First Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Pledge in November 2011 and the Supreme Court denied certiorari in that case yesterday, June 13, 2011.

March 14, 2011

Knights Reach Out to Japan

In response to the horrific recent destruction from the major earthquake and the resulting tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, the Supreme Council is working with the Knights of Columbus military councils in that country to determine key projects on which the Order can offer financial assistance. There are four active councils in Japan: Yokosuka Council 12488 on the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka; Twenty-Six Martyrs Council 12970 at Naval Air Facility Atsugi; Father Charles Ermin Bantle Council 13945 in Okinawa; and St. Francis Xavier Council 14821 at the U.S. Army base in Zama. Those councils count more than 390 Knights as members. After identifying key needs, the Knights of Columbus will distribute all funds collected in a way designed to maximize the effectiveness of those funds for humanitarian purposes.

Novena for Pope Benedict XVI
April 11-19, 2010

To: All Knights of Columbus and their families

From: Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight

The Supreme Council is organizing an international effort to pray for Pope Benedict XVI and his pastoral mission leading the Church, that the Holy Father may be strengthened and uplifted at this time of considerable challenge. All Knights are encouraged to participate in this special novena for Pope Benedict XVI, beginning on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11th, and concluding on Monday, April 19th, the fifth anniversary of the Holy Father's election to the papacy.

Additional details and resources are available at, including .pdf files of a special prayer card that will enable you to print copies locally.

Throughout the Church's history, whenever challenges have come, faithful Catholics have gathered in prayer, offering their supplications and sacrifices to God for specific intentions. Now we are called to unite our prayers for our Holy Father.

Thank you in advance for helping to spread the word about this novena, and for taking part in it yourself.

Please pass along this message to other Knights and Catholics in your area.

May God bless and sustain our pope! Vivat Jesus!

Lord, source of eternal life and truth,
give to your shepherd, Benedict, a spirit
of courage and right judgment, a spirit
of knowledge and love. By governing
with fidelity those entrusted to his care,
may he, as successor to the Apostle
Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your
Church into a sacrament of unity, love
and peace for all the world. Amen.
V/ Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.
R/ May the Lord preserve him,
give him a long life,
make him blessed upon the earth,
and not hand him over
to the power of his enemies.
V/ May your hand
be upon your holy servant.
R/ And upon your son,
whom you have anointed.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…
In Solidarity With Our Holy Father

March 11, 2010

Knights of Columbus wins Pledge of Allegiance case in Federal Appeals Court

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds constitutionality of "under God" in Pledge
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) -- The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that he words "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance "do not violate the Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The Knights of Columbus led the campaign to add the words "under God" to the Pledge in the early 1950s, and the trial court agreed to allow the Knights of Columbus to join the present case as defendants when it was originally filed in 2005.

"This decision is a victory for common sense," Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. "It is also a welcome reversal of the Ninth Circuit's 2002 decision in a similar case that was ultimately thrown out by the Supreme Court on technical grounds. Today, the Court got it absolutely right: recitation of the Pledge is a patriotic exercise, not a religious prayer. Best of all, the Court said that the words 'under God' add a 'note of importance which a Pledge to our Nation ought to have and which in our culture ceremonial references to God arouse.' Every reasonable person knows that, and today's decision is a breath of fresh air from a court system that has too often seemed to be almost allergic to public references to God. This is a very good day for America," Anderson concluded.

In today's ruling, the Court noted that, "Among the 'self-evident truths' the Framers believed was the concept that all people are entitled to certain inalienable rights given to them by the 'Laws of Nature and Nature's God' and that the purpose of government should be to "secure those rights.'" Such beliefs provide the context in which the words of the Pledge must be understood, the Court said.

The Knights of Columbus and several individual Knights and their families were defendant-intervenors in the case, and the court's 2-1 decision incorporates many of the arguments presented to the Court by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm that represented the Knights in the case. Oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit panel had been heard in December 2007. Other defendants in the case included the United States government and a Sacramento-area school district.

January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Relief

In an effort to come to the aid of the people of Haiti, who are suffering a humanitarian catastrophe of huge proportions in the wake of Tuesday evening's 7.0 earthquake, the Knights of Columbus has today sent an immediate contribution of $50,000 to Catholic Relief Services, and we invite Knights to make contributions through the Supreme Council so that we can maximize the impact of the funds raised, and document the amount donated in this tragedy by members of the Order.

Donations by individual Knights can be made on line, and this feature should be available on the Supreme Council website ( by later this evening. Checks should be made out to Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. and mailed to 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510. Please write "Haiti Earthquake Relief" on the memo line of the check.

Contributions will be used to provide assistance wherever it can have the most immediate impact, and where the need is greatest.

We ask all Knights and their families to also offer their prayers for the victims of this terrible disaster.

October 1, 2009

Pledge victory in federal court

(MANCHESTER, NH) - The Knights of Columbus scored an important victory in federal court in New Hampshire on Wednesday, September 30, when U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe upheld the constitutionality of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Atheist Michael Newdow had filed the lawsuit against the school system in Hanover, New Hampshire on behalf of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in a case that mirrored his earlier lawsuit against schools in and near Sacramento, California.

As with the California case, the Knights of Columbus sought and received permission from the court to become a "defendant intervenor," allowing attorneys representing the Order (from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) to participate directly in the court proceedings.

The California case, argued before a panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2007, has still not been decided. Read the New Hampshire court decision.

Read the Knights of Columbus Fact Sheet about the Pledge of Allegiance and recent litigation


September 28, 2009

Tropical Storm Ketsana causes worst Philippines flooding in 40 years
The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council has moved quickly to provide aid to the Philippines in the wake of the worst flooding in more than 40 years. Tropical Storm Ketsana (known locally as Typhoon Ondoy) dropped 16 inches of rain in just 9 hours, leaving some areas of Manila under 20 feet of water. It was as much rain as the city normally gets all month.

There are more than 250,000 members of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines, and fully half - 126,000 - live on the island Luzon, which was hardest hit.

The Supreme Council immediately sent US $50,000 in aid to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which is coordinating Catholic relief efforts.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson encouraged all state jurisdictions to provide contributions as well. They should be sent to the Supreme Council, where they will be forwarded to the CBCP.

Individual Knights can make contributions using an online link to United in Charity. All donations received from now until October 31, 2009 will be sent to Philippine flood relief.

News about the disaster and efforts to help those affected by it will be updated periodically on a special page on the Supreme Council web site.

Read a very personal account written by the coordinator of the Order's Fathers for Good initiative, Brian Caulfield, whose wife's family was forced to the roof of their house to escape the flood waters.

Urgent Pro-Life Alert
July 22, 2009

Abortion mandate in health bill
The healthcare reform legislation currently before Congress contains an abortion mandate that is a grave threat to human life. The bill's language will result in federally mandated abortion coverage by nearly all health plans, recruitment of abortion doctors into local health networks, and the nullification of many state laws that place reasonable limits on abortion.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has called this legislation the "largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade."

We urge you to write to your senators and congressman today. Click here where you can learn more about the health legislation and send a message to your two senators and congressman.

To read a letter from 19 House Democrats who insist they will not support a health bill unless it explicitly excludes abortion, click here.

Time is of the essence as congressional leaders want to pass the bill in the Senate and House by the end of July.

A coalition of prominent pro-life leaders have arranged a Stop The Abortion Mandate live webcast for the public this Thursday, July 23rd, 2009, at 9 PM Eastern (8PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific).

Please go to to register.