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Supreme Knight Carl Anderson Calls for Hemispheric Unity Among Catholics

Embargoed Until Delivery at 7:00 P.M. PDT, 10:00 P.M. EDT, on Saturday, May 19, 2007


Contact:  Andrew T. Walther, Director of Media Relations, Knights of Columbus, 203-752-4253, 818-522-2005 cell


LOS ANGELES, May 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- Catholics throughout the Americas must embrace each other as their brothers and sisters in faith regardless of their ethnic background, the leader of the Knights of Columbus - the world's largest lay Catholic organization - told tens of the thousands of people at the Pasadena Rose Bowl on May 19. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson made the remarks while addressing participants at the Rosary Bowl, an event held in honor of the Virgin Mary to whom the month of May is dedicated by Catholics.


With Europe in religious decline, Anderson remarked to the crowd that the Americas are the Catholic hemisphere because of their high population of Catholics and rich Catholic heritage: "It is here that the Church faces a bright future," he said. 


Anderson took no position on the current immigration legislation before congress, but with the number of Hispanic Catholics increasing dramatically in the United Sates, Anderson noted: "Hispanics in the [Catholic] Church are not an abstraction, they are our fellow parishioners." He added: "Our Lady of Guadalupe points us to her son, but she also points us to unity in her son and for Catholics this unity must transcend borders," Anderson said.  Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, Anderson concluded: "To say we love God becomes a lie if we are closed to our neighbor or hate him." 


The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest lay Catholic organization with more than 1.7 million members worldwide. The Knights were founded in New Haven, Conn. 125 years ago, and have a long history in Latin America dating back to 1905, when the Order first established a council was in Mexico. Councils were subsequently established in Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, Dominica Republic and Puerto Rico.