In major change, Knights of Columbus drop secret initiation ceremony

New Haven, Conn., Jan 31, 2020 / 07:11 pm (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus has announced a major revision to its longtime initiation ceremonies and for the first time will open them to the public, saying the changes are needed to become more appealing to prospective members and to respond to a “crisis” in church membership.

“Today, we need an exemplification of our principles that presents, in a clear and convincing way, how charity, unity and fraternity can come together to form a Catholic way of life for today’s man and his family,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said in the January 2020 issue of Columbia magazine.

The rituals of the Knights, sometimes called ceremonies or exemplifications, have for decades been separated into first, second and third degrees focused respectively on the principles of Charity, Unity and Fraternity, the first three principles of the Catholic men’s fraternity founded in Connecticut in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney.

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Pope Francis gives El Paso bishop rosaries for victims of Walmart shooting

Vatican City, Jan 31, 2020 / 06:49 pm (CNA).- During a recent trip to Rome with other bishops from his region, Bishop Mark Seitz asked Pope Francis to continue praying for the victims and families of those affected by the Aug. 3, 2019 shooting at an El Paso Walmart, which killed 22 people and injured 24 others.

After the meeting, Pope Francis gave Seitz 50 rosaries he had blessed, to be given to the survivors and families of the victims of the shooting.

According to the El Paso Post-Herald, the diocese is requesting that families and survivors interested in receiving one of the papal rosaries contact the office of the bishop.

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EWTN Radio launches new weekly show

Washington D.C., Jan 31, 2020 / 05:17 pm (CNA).- The EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network has announced the launch of a new weekly radio show, called “Conversations with Consequences,” which will premiere Feb. 1.

The show will be produced by EWTN and Guadalupe Radio Network, and will be hosted by Dr. Grazie Christie of The Catholic Association, with other staff from the association featured as well.

“Our idea is to have a conversation, most of the time with guests but sometimes with each other, that is intellectual enough to spark consequences of thought – different ways of looking at difficult subjects – in our listeners,” Christie said in a Jan. 31 press release announcing the new show.

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Connecticut bishops say vaccines are moral, religious liberty should be respected

Hartford, Conn., Jan 31, 2020 / 04:28 pm (CNA).- The Catholic bishops of Connecticut issued a statement Tuesday clarifying Church teaching on vaccines, as legislators in the state consider a proposal that would eliminate the option for religious exemptions from vaccines.

The bishops said that while the Church considers vaccines to be moral and encourages their use, religious freedom is also an important right to protect.

“The Catholic Church encourages the use of vaccines, and our Connecticut Catholic schools require mandatory vaccinations,” the bishops said Jan. 28.

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