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Pastor Pulls Parish Out of St. Patrick's Parade

Good for him.

Father Dan Beeman of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, Virginia has pulled his parish out along with six local Catholic schools because the Grand Marshall of the parade is the radical pro-abortion Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The Knights of Columbus, the organizers of the parade, are refusing to change their selection for Grand Marshall.

Father Beeman wrote a public letter in the bulletin explaining the situation rather well:

I was saddened and shocked to learn only two weeks ago that the Knights of Columbus had, again, decided to give the honor of Grand Marshall to a politician. Going against their word to me last year, this year they decided to honor Governor Terry McAuliffe. Governor McAuliffe stands contrary to the Catholic Church in not one but many of the most essential teachings of the Church in the political arena. He himself promised to be a “brick wall” against restrictions on abortion, has taken away commonsense protections for women in abortion facilities and lowered safety standards, and consistently takes money from pro-abortion lobbying groups. Further, he not only favors the re-definition of marriage, he himself performed a gay “marriage” as soon as a court overturned the law of the Commonwealth. Marriage and Life are two of the foundational efforts of the Knights of Columbus as a national organization, so it is dumbfounding how the Knights could then decide to honor the Governor.

The council kept the decision from me until just a few weeks ago, when I was informed via a bulk mailing. At that point, I followed the advice and counsel of the Office of the Bishop. He asked that I refer the matter to the State Council of the Knights of Columbus and to also advise the National Office. I was told immediately by the State Deputy that the Knights would name another Grand Marshall. Ten days later, the State Deputy informed me that the Knights had reversed their decision and have decided to leave Governor McAuliffe as the Grand Marshall of the parade.

Bishop DiLorenzo believes strongly in the Catholic principle of subsidiarity – that decisions in the Church should be made at the lowest level possible. I agree with him that this decision should be handled internally within the Knights of Columbus as an organization. While it is a sad and unfortunate thing that the Knights would decide to allow this to continue against our request, I have to consider that I have done my part as the pastor to teach the Truth of the Church and allow them to operate in freedom. It is the clear teaching of the Bishops of the United States in Catholics in Political Life that, “the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions” (emphasis in original text). There is a difference between respecting the Office of Governor and allowing the Governor to march in the parade and honoring the Governor by naming him the Grand Marshall and official host of the parade. The Knights have chosen to act on their own, against the clear advice and teaching of the Church.

As a result of their decision, the parish will not support or participate in the parade. I will not attend the Emerald Ball or Parade. Sadly, this also unnecessarily severs the relationship between Council #3548 and Holy Trinity parish.

Again, it is unfortunate that the Knights have decided to make something that should be a community event into something that is political. I am aware that some members of the Council disagreed with this decision, and that there are some who had nothing to do with the decision. I am grateful to those men for the support of what is right, and to Knights who are active members of the parish who stand for the truth. In a time where things of so much more importance exist, I am sad that this much energy has been devoted to something of this nature. Please pray for unity in the Church.

HT Courageous Priest


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