POST CONFERENCE STATEMENT
29th Biennial Meeting of the International Council, Rome
Under the Chairmanship of the IACK President Brother Charlie McCluskey of the Knights of St Columba the 29th Meeting of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights was held between the 10th and the 15th of September 2023 in Rome.
There were 10 out of the 11 Orders present.
All delegates reported in depth on their Orders, both their challenges and their successes.
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was decided that;
- We are committed to the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life with a focus on evangelization.
- We actively support the hierarchy of the Church including Bishops, Priests and religious as the shepherds of our faith.
- We commit to working toward building a civilisation of love rooted in the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life.
- We advocate for the “totality of the Gospel of Life” as this advocacy encompasses the work of justice, peace, and human development for all peoples, regardless of national origin, race, religion, or gender.
- We promote the Michael Bell Award which encompasses all pro-life ministry, including the eradication of abortion, human trafficking, suicide, and euthanasia.
- We commit to continue expressing compassion and support to those in need, particularly the marginalized and those on the peripheries.
- We commit to forming men to be better disciples of Christ and to be true fathers in families, modelled after Saint Joseph and Blessed Michael McGivney.
- We commit to display the joy of the Gospel and rejoicing as Christian Knights by walking together as brothers in Christ in achieving our mission.
For lack of regular attendance and communication from the Knights of St Thomas the Apostle, Pakistan the leadership of IACK has been mandated to make a follow up with the Bishops Conference to re-establish contact with the Order and ascertain the activities of the Order in Pakistan to confirm their continued membership of the Alliance.
The meeting endorsed the reactivation of the IACK International Essay Competition to encourage the education of our youth by imparting information and opening their minds in areas of relevance. However, the Competition should commence from the Orders and the best compete at the level of IACK for the Awards.
Since by the constitution of the Alliance elected officers are to be confirmed at the International Council meeting but the Deputy President – Elect Bro Bertie Grogan expressed his inability to attend the current International Council meeting members raised fear in confirming him in his absence since it shall create precedence undesirable for the constitution.
The house agreed to insert a paragraph in the “INITIATIVES FOR LIFE” statement for the Michael Bell Awards to widen the concept of life and a 3-Man Committee was put together to make the draft for the approval and use of the house.
Reports of the various member Orders presented highlighted progress and challenges of the period. The COVID19 pandemic affected us negatively but left with us the use of technology and new ways of doing things. Charity was major across these reports and the Orders raised millions of USDs in this regard, including rising to the needs of the war-ravaged people of Ukraine and responding to the Holy Father’s call of Laudato Si.
The statement was signed on behalf of the Orders represented at the conclusion of the meeting by:
Harry Welsh, Supreme Knight, Knights of St. Columba, Great Britain
Ron Schwarz, representing the Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus, USA
Brendan McCann, Supreme Knight, Knights of St. Columbanus, Ireland.
Vincent Granahan, Supreme Knight of the Knights of the Southern Cross, Australia.
Robert van der Walt, Supreme Knight, Knights of da Gama, South Africa.
Ian Fleetwood, representing the Supreme Knight, Knights of the Southern Cross, NZ.
Chris Pichon, Supreme Knight, Knights of Peter Claver, USA
Charles Cobb, representing the Supreme Knight, Knights of Marshall, Ghana.
Charles Mbelede, Supreme Knight, Knights of St. Mulumba, Nigeria
Gerard Payne, Knights of St. Thomas More Belgium