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Traditional Catholics outraged that Knights of Columbus to march in “pro-gay” Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To fill gap after faithful groups drop out.
Parade is Sunday. Take action right now , say Catholic activists!
POSTED: March 12, 2015
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It’s happening across America. But in Boston they’re fighting back . . .
Catholics in Boston and across the country are livid that the Massachusetts State Knights of Columbus (K of C), the prominent Catholic men’s organization, has announced that it will and have a float and also march in the newly “gay inclusive” Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Sunday, March 15.
C.J. Doyle, head of the Boston-based Catholic Action League has called it a “betrayal” and a “dishonor to St. Patrick” and is urging Catholics around the country to contact the K of C and demand they rescind their decision. (See below.)
The announcement by the K of C came after the parade’s 25-year landmark float and accompanying marchers from a religious Catholic school dropped out because of the addition of a homosexual group to the parade. Several other participant groups have also dropped out.
Boston parade had history of standing firm to Catholic values
Up until now, Boston had been the only St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country not to cave in to pressure and allow homosexual groups to march. In 1995, after a huge legal battle with the Massachusetts liberal political establishment, the Allied War Veterans Council, which runs the Boston annual parade, won a 9-0 US Supreme Court decision giving them the right to exclude homosexual-themed groups – or anyone – from their parade.
And they’d held their ground. Last year, as MassResistance reported, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh put enormous pressure on the Council to relent on their own, but they refused to give in. As expected, the Mayor and his political allies boycotted the parade.
But the Mayor, a former union organizer, knows a thing or two about pressure tactics. This year the Mayor’s increased pressure on the Council leadership was successful. But even then, the Council Commander only had a minority of the members supporting this. As we reported, they had to use dishonest and deceitful tactics to exclude the majority of members when they voted to allow the homosexual group OutVets to march in December. And they used the same tactics again in January when the majority tried ro orchestrate a re-vote.
Thus, the Mayor has now announced that he would be marching in the parade, has invited his political allies to march, and has become a big supporter of the event.
Major float and band from Catholic school pulls out of parade
For 25 years, the giant float of St. Patrick from the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Still River, MA, along with the school’s band, has been the hallmark of the annual parade. Almost immediately after the December vote to allow the “gay” contingent, the school's principal, Br. Thomas Dalton, made it clear that the school would pull out of the parade if that happened.
Br. Dalton later sent out a press release clearly stating his reasoning on the matter:
Catholics are forbidden to sponsor or even participate in an event which openly promotes unnatural and immoral behavior. The Church will never accept nor condone same sex marriage and the homosexual life style.
For 25 years the school has participated in the parade dedicated to Saint Patrick and believes that to have a float with his representation leading a group openly promoting and proud of its homosexual identity would draw down the ire of this great patron of the Boston Archdiocese. Saint Patrick stands with Saint Paul in condemning the sin of sodomy. The name of Saint Patrick should be dropped from the parade as he would have nothing to do with the likes of it today.
According to news reports, several other scheduled participants of the parade have also dropped out, further dwindling the marchers. But the loss of the iconic St. Patrick float was unquestionably a loss to the Catholic character of the parade.
Knights of Columbus suddenly joins the parade
On Feb. 26, three weeks before the parade date, the State Deputy of the Knights, Russell Steinback, sent the following email to the K of C members:
From: "Mass K of C State office"
The State Board will have a float and will march in the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 15th. This will be a way for the Knights of Columbus to be recognized.
Anyone wishing to march with the Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus and the State Board is more than welcome to march but we need to know exactly how many will be marching to plan on logistics. Please let the State Office know ASAP if you or your council (please specify the number) will be able to march with us.
To many, this sudden appearance seemed much too convenient to be a coincidence. Going back decades, no one could remember the Knights being in the parade at all. It seemed to have the fingerprints of the political establishment all over it, particularly the Mayor of Boston.
Catholics across the state immediately began to call the State Office – and even Steinback’s home – to complain bitterly. But Steinback steadfastly refused to relent. And he fired back that no one was bothering to get his side of the story.
So on Monday, MassResistance phoned Russell Steinback and asked him about it.
The K of C talks to MassResistance
Steinback was adamant. He told us that it was all a coincidence. “The only reason that we’re marching is that it’s a great showcase for all the great works we do,” he said. He listed the charitable causes that the Knights are involved with, and that being in the parade was a way to attract more members. “I want people in Boston to know what we do. We want to raise membership. There’s no secret agenda,” he told us.
We asked him why he made the announcement just three weeks before the event. He said he had been thinking about it since July.
We asked him if he understood why so many Catholics are angry at him. “I don’t know,” he told us.
We read him Br. Dalton’s quote, “Catholics are forbidden to sponsor or even participate in an event which openly promotes unnatural and immoral behavior.” We asked him if he agrees with it.
“They have their Catholic beliefs and I have my beliefs,” Steinback answered. He wouldn’t elaborate beyond that. And he reiterated that he wasn’t changing his mind about the Knights of Columbus being in the parade.
Sure enough, on Wednesday evening we were notified that Steinbeck had sent out another email to his statewide members, again inviting them to come and march in the parade on Sunday – and to be sure and bring their families to this “family friendly” event!
The Catholic Action League fires back
C. J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League sent us the following statement, which summarizes the feelings and outrage of many, many religious Catholics who have become aware of this:
Whatever their motivations or pretentions, the State Council of the K of C is objectively rendering assistance, and providing aid and comfort to Mayor Walsh, the parade organizers, and most of all, the homosexual activist group OUTVETS, by perpetuating the illusion that the parade is still a Catholic friendly and family friendly event.
More treacherously, the K of C is undermining the admirable Catholic witness demonstrated by the faithful Catholics of Immaculate Heart of Mary School, who withdrew rather than march with homosexual militants.
The overt message of OUTVETS is that homosexual relations---including so-called same gender marriage---is not only morally acceptable, but something to be proud of. Their implicit message therefore is that Catholic moral teaching is nothing more than bigotry and prejudice.
The Knights are helping OUTVETS to spread their message by pretending nothing is wrong, and pretending there is nothing morally objectionable to a homosexual group exploiting a parade in honor of a Catholic saint to promote their anti-Christian agenda. Silence implies consent.
There's no question that something unusual is going on. Normally, the K of C are pretty well known for wanting to shy away from any controversy. Hopefully, your pressure will make a difference!