Knights of Columbus Kick Out Gay Member, Defend Against Backlash

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by Alexander Slavsky  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  May 14, 2018   

Andrew Keyes stepped down as Grand Knight of Saint Anselm College Chapter

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A New Hampshire Knights of Columbus chapter is getting slammed for upholding Church teaching that homosexual acts can never be approved.  
 
Andrew Keyes, former Grand Knight of Saint Anselm College Council #4875, recently resigned after Andrew Cilento, a fellow Knight, complained that Keyes brought his boyfriend to a Knights formal on March 16. The complaint was leveled against the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut, and Fr. Benedict Guevin, OSB, the chapter's chaplain.  
 
In a statement to the Hilltopper, an unofficial school newspaperCilento defended his complaint saying, "It was inappropriate for Mr. Keyes to hold a leadership position for a Catholic organization while being in a relationship that is contrary to the teachings of Holy Mother Church." 
 
 

Keyes said Guevin told him in a meeting that he does "not want to fight in the community ... you can either resign peacefully or fight it and choose to go through an impeachment trial." The Supreme Council reaffirmed that criteria for joining the Knights is "that one be a practicing Catholic male age 18 or older." 
 
But the Knights and Guevin claim that they pressured Keyes to step down over a contradiction between his role as Grand Knight and his decision to bring a male date to the formal two months ago. The chaplain cited a scandal it could cause if Keyes didn't resign from his post. 
 
In an email to America Magazine, Guevin insisted scandal is "an action that can lead to confusion and doubt regarding the church's teaching." 
 
But the Supreme Council disputed the claim that it asked for Keyes' resignation, saying, "It is not our practice to make a determination on someone's Catholicity," and "the Supreme Council did not direct the local chapter to take action on this issue."
 
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Andrew Keyes (Center)
Guevin was allowed to either do nothing or ask Keyes to step down from leadership, which he agreed to despite expressing surprise over the incident. The Knight said the college council "started new initiatives this year," including increased fundraising efforts with student organizations and the recruitment of 12 new members. 
 
"If Mr. Keyes were gay and private about it and kept his private life private, there would be no issue, but that's not what Mr. Keyes chose to do," explained the chaplain. 
 
The mission statement for the Catholic fraternal organization states that "The Knights of Columbus is committed to being a Catholic company that upholds Catholic values and supports Catholic causes." 
 
This incident prompted a reaction from Francis DeBernardo, head of the Vatican-condemned New Ways Ministry, who said it "goes against the trend of Catholic higher education." 
 
This comment comes months after the firings of Catholic first-grade teacher Jocelyn Morffi from Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami on February 8, and Mark Guevarra, pastoral associate at St. Albert Catholic Parish in Edmonton, on February 6.
 
It was inappropriate for Mr. Keyes to hold a leadership position for a Catholic organization while being in a relationship that is contrary to the teachings of Holy Mother Church.
Morffi "married" her lesbian partner the Saturday before the termination, posting pictures of the event on Facebook. "This weekend I married the love of my life, and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result," she complained on Instagram the day after the firing. "In their eyes, I'm not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner." 
 
Guevarra said on Facebook he was investigated by his employer for two issues before being fired: the formation of an LGBT Catholic support group, CORE, and his claim that he had a male partner and a daughter. 
 
After talking with the archbishop and meeting with an investigator and priest about his same-sex relationship and refusing to answer direct questions about his relationship, Guevarra was fired.  
 
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that those who have same-sex attraction must "be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity," but same-sex acts are "acts of grave depravity," "intrinsically disordered" and "contrary to the natural law." And "under no circumstances can they be approved." 
 
Church Militant reached out to Guevin for comment but as of press time received no response. 
 
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