by Steven Ertelt
April 11, 2006
North Providence, RI (LifeNews.com) — A local Knights of Columbus that had arranged to let a pro-abortion candidate use its hall for a campaign event has gone back on the arrangement. The group, which takes a strong pro-life view, says it made a mistake in booking the event because it should never have allowed a candidate who favors abortion to have access.
The Knights said it went back on the arrangement it made with Rhode Island Democratic Senate candidate Sheldon Whitehouse because he favors abortion.
The Catholic group had agreed to rent its facility to Whitehouse’s campaign but discovered the problem several weeks after it signed the lease.
According to the Providence Journal newspaper, a Knights spokesman talked to Whitehouse’s campaign and said it couldn’t use the facility because the Catholic Church has asked its churches and affiliated groups to not give a platform to pro-abrotion candidates and politicians.
Rene Trudel, the Knights of Columbus’ Rhode Island state deputy, told the Journal that the organization agreed to pay $2,000 for the campaign to rent another venue for the event because of breaking the lease.
Trudel told the Providence paper that the Knights had accidentally used an older version of a lease agreement instead of a new one that says anyone leasing the facility must not publicly oppose the teachings of the Catholic Church.
That version requires the renter to "not publicly oppose the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church regarding abortion, infanticide, euthanasia…."
Trudel told the Journal "The lease basically states that we are a pro-life group."
The nation’s Catholic bishops have document that calls on Catholic colleges and universities as well as local churches and church groups to not to give a platform to elected officials who back abortion.
"Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles," the bishops said. "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
The statement, called "Catholics in Political Life," was adopted by a vote of 183-6.
Whitehouse faces Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown in the Democratic primary. In the Republican primary, incumbent Sen. Lincoln Chafee faces Cranston mayor Steve Laffey.