I felt that the Knights of Columbus, in their conspicuous elaborate costumes, along with the conspicuous wrongdoing on the part of the religious organization they represent, shouldn’t be part of Remembrance Day parades, so the following is the letter I sent to the head of the Legion.
Larry Murray, C.M.M., C.D.,
The Royal Canadian Legion
Dear Grand President Murray,
“Lest we forget”, are the words we hear this time of year. I fear that we are forgetting what the brave men and women of our armed forces fought for though. They struggled and sacrificed for very important freedoms, including freedom of speech. This freedom certainly includes saying truthful things regarding history, though it may offend some.
The Knights of Columbus is a very large Roman Catholic fraternal service organization and one of its activities is defending Catholicism. In last year’s Remembrance Day parade; where I live in Prince George, this Catholic group was very conspicuous, marching along with representative of the Canadian forces that have heroically defended our freedoms. During World War II however, prominent members of the Catholic Church were not among its heroes.
At this time, though it knew what was going on, the Vatican said nothing in the face of the horrible barbarity that devastated European Jewry. As well, when the Nazis took over Yugoslavia, they installed Ante Pavelich, a vicious Fascist who had founded a pro-Catholic terrorist organization called Ustashi. Pavelich was a long-time supporter of an independent Croatia.
Approximately 30 per cent of the state of Croatia’s population was made up of Serbs and they nearly almost all belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Pavelich’s method for dealing with the Serbs was simple. A third was to be expelled, a third converted to Catholicism and the rest exterminated.
The Pavelich-led Ustashi brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, and others, something which sickened even the Nazis, who tried to replace him. Pavelich met with Pope Pius XII during the war and the pontiff most assuredly was aware of what was happening inYugoslavia. If any man would have been willing to listen to the head of the Catholic Church, wouldn’t it have been this person who was trying to make his jurisdiction solely Catholic? One wonders why didn’t Pius XII tell him to stop the killing, forced conversions, etc?
One also thinks about the occasion of Adolf Hitler’s suicide, when the government of “neutral”, Catholic, Ireland disgracefully expressed its condolence to Germany on the death of this mass murderer. In light of the history of Catholicism, I respectfully ask: why are the Knights of Columbus part of these ceremonies? This is coming to you a bit late in the day but in any event, I hope you will consider these things and act in such a way that in the long term, the tremendous sacrifices made by our armed forces, confronting real, identified enemies, will not be spun, massaged, airbrushed by political correctness, and therefore, ultimately be for naught.