A mutiny in the Catholic Church is no trifling matter. The issues of women in ministry and Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics will pale in comparison to the uprising that now confronts our Holy Church. The Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus, heretofore a religious organization, has decided, ordained and decreed that the uniform of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus will now change. You would normally expect middle aged to older Catholic men to be flexible, not set in their ways and open to new ideas, yet this new commandment has driven the rank and file to the brink of open warfare.
The Supreme Council, blessed be their million dollar donations to the Church, have ordered that the old uniform not be grandfathered in, and you must purchase the new outfit sometime in 2018, at a cost of over $500. The old uniforms will be useless and worthless. As one friend of mine, a 4th Degree stated, “They can take my chapeau from my cold, dead hand!” Yes, the venerable chapeau is to be replaced by a beret. This is the equivalent of replacing a Stetson with a seed corn hat, only with French names. The tuxedo will also be eliminated in favor of a blazer and dress pants. The cool looking cape that the kids and grandkids used to borrow to dress up like Dracula—gone. What’s a Catholic gentleman to do?
Many have written the powers that be objecting and declaring they will continue to wear the old regalia no matter the consequence, interdiction or excommunication from the chivalric order. Due to this, it is rumored the Supreme Council has arranged to have certain “informants” placed in various Assemblies (the FISA courts were backlogged or they would have gone that way). The KC website has frequently asked questions regarding the change; one is a question of the order making money on this haberdashery scheme. The answer, according to the site, is they are not making money on this, and in fact losing money. If you believe the Supreme Council would attach itself to a lucre losing endeavor, you also believe that Angela Merkel came in second in the Miss Universe contest (Sorry to throw you under the bus Ms. Merkel).
Has the Supreme Council “turned aside from the way,” as the prophet Malachy puts it in this Sunday’s first reading? Are they tying “up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not a lift a finger to move them,” as the Gospel of Matthew says? Are they simply widening their phylacteries and lengthening their tassels? (were their tassels phylactery installed?) For myself as a pastor, it is imperative that I examine my thoughts and actions everyday to see if I’ve lost the way or not aiding in other’s burdens. Am I here for myself and the Sacraments, or are the Sacraments for all the people, of which I am only one? Now it’s time to sharpen the old 4th Degree sword; rebellion is at hand!