Knights of Columbus

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by gortex6, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. gortex6

    gortex6 Guest

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    Other Fraternities

    Anyone notice the organizational simularities between the knights of Columbus and masonry? They have three degrees that are simular to blue lodge and one side degree that resembles York Rite commandery. They even have an organization called Daughters of Isabella that are simular to OES and Order of Alhambra that mirrors the Shrine- fez and parade floats included. I understand that they were created by the catholics to allow their church members to take part in fraternity as most others were banned at the time by papal decree, but what strikes my curiousity even more is their choice of namesake. Some historians believe Christopher Columbus was in fact a proto-templar; his ships resemble as such.

    Or what about the Odd Fellows? Their origins are traced back to the early 18th century and around the same time that speculative masonry came about. They also have three degrees simular to the blue lodge and four side degrees closely mimicking the York Rite, a ladies auxiliary of Rebeccas, an organization called the Order of Samaritans that is mirrored after the Shrine. Notice the simularities in symbolism! I hear there were quite a few masons also had membership with the Odd Fellows; Albert Pike was one of them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2008
  2. Mason296

    Mason296 Registered User

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    Anyone familiar with the Knights of Honor? I saw that on a grave stone north of Kountze. From what I understand there used to be a lot of these fraternal organizations.
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    it takes all kinds to keep the beutiful variety this world has, I wonder though if most of these organization where created by a unified underlying super secrect group with all the similarities they have and all of them teaching the exact same thing at the core of their lessons it seems possiable or could it be the Divine truth manifesting itself in diffrent ways for all the diffrent people of the world and their diffrent needs to keep them on the path of good and righteousness.
     
  4. gortex6

    gortex6 Guest

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  5. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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    While I have no personal inside knowledge of any of these other organizations, Freemasonry being the world's oldest fraternity, it makes sense that other fraternities would model themselves after us. No big surprise imho.
     
  6. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    understand the Knights of Columbus was started by a priest near Boston.. ! he either knew a lot about Masonary or was a mason.. ! when they started it was go give jobs to Italian american .. ! if you owned a business you were suppose to hire another..? they first started with the three degrees .. ! as I understand they are some-what like the masonary degrees but don't know for sure.. ! at a later date they added a fourth degree call the flag degree...? don't know much about their degrees... ! we have a couple of members of our lodge who are also members of the Knights of Columbus... ! but have never ask them about it..? I know they can not meet without a preist present..?
     
  7. VirginiaPM

    VirginiaPM Registered User

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    IOOF, K of C

    Albert Pike was a member if the International Order of Odd Fellows. Their current membership is less than a 1000 members in Texas. Their ritual like many others borrowed from masonic sources. There were a number of exposures and other publications that made the ritual easy to obtain. See below

    The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) was founded either in 1819 or 1843 as a fraternal order in North America. Insurance was added later. The I.O.O.F. publishes the International Odd Fellow, monthly, and boasted 462,780 members in 1994.
    The I.O.O.F. had its roots in Washington Lodge No. 1, organized on April 26, 1819, by an expatriate Englishman named Thomas Wildey and a few fellow Odd Fellows. Other lodges were founded in Boston in 1820 and Philadelphia in 1821. The Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows of the United States was organized in 1825 under the auspices of the Manchester Unity, though other Odd Fellows organizations also supplied members to the new order. This lodge, now the Sovereign Grand Lodge, oversees Canadian as well as American Grand Lodges.
    The reasons for the split from the English parent(s) are by no means clear. It is possible that it was provoked by the 1843 chartering of a black lodge, the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, under the jurisdiction of the old United or Union Order of Odd Fellows in England. Whatever the reason, the split came in 1843, and the I.O.O.F. became the American Branch of Odd Fellowship. As in England, it attracted many of the artisan class; in California’s gold country, for example, I.O.O.F. halls still stand as testimony to their attractions for miners who did not want to spend all their money in the saloons. By the time of Wildey’s death in 1861, there were over 200,000 members of the I.O.O.F. and during the Civil War the seats of secessionist members were kept vacant, and their dues were remitted.
    The peak membership was probably in 1915, when there were 3,400,000 members; the Great Depression halved that number, and by the late 1970s membership had fallen below the quarter-million mark. Astonishingly, this figure had nearly doubled by 1994, though this number may reflect the inclusion of auxiliaries.
    The lodges work four basic degrees (the number of degrees was stabilized in 1880), but there are three additional degrees in the Encampment Lodge, which maintains a pseudo-militarily uniformed marching society called the Patriarchs Militant. There is also one honorary degree.

    Lodge degrees:
    Initiatory
    Friendship
    Love
    Truth
    Patriarchs Militant degrees:
    Patriarchal
    Golden Rule
    Royal Purple
    Honorary degree:
    Grand Decoration of Chivalry

    All degrees are based on the customary rituals. William J. Whalen, in his Handbook of Secret Organizations, mentions skull and crossbones, scythe, scales, hourglass, coffin, and more. Many other Masonic symbols are also used, such as the all-seeing eye, the three links, and so forth. The rituals are rooted in deism, the postulant is required to believe in a Supreme Being who is described as the Creator and Preserver of the Universe, and the Bible is used, but according to a Sovereign Grand Lodge statement of 1963, “Odd Fellowship is not a religious institution.â€
    Masonic influence and terminology are clearly evident. The first-degree ceremony, for example, involves putting the blindfolded candidate in chains and forming a mock funeral procession. When the blindfold is removed, the candidate is brought face to face with a skeleton illuminated by two torches and is invited to mediate upon death. Various instructions in the secrets of the order are given by different lodge worthies, the Chaplain offers prayers, and with his right hand on his left breast the candidate vows:
    I, [Name], in the presence of the members of the Order here assembled, do solemnly promise that I will never communicate to anyone, unless directed to do so by a legal lodge, the signs, tokens or grips, the term, traveling or other passwords belonging to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Nor will I expose or lend any of the books or papers, relating to the records or secret works of the Order, to any person or persons, except one specifically authorized to receive them. That I will never reveal any private business which may be transacted in my presence in this or any other Lodge. I also promise that I will abide by the laws rules and regulations of this Lodge, of the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows, of [the State] or any other Grand or working Lodge to which I may be attached.
    I further promise that I will never wrong a Subordinate or Grand Lodge to the value of anything. Nor will I take part or share, directly or indirectly, in any illegal distribution of the funds or other property of the Lodge; but will, to the best of my ability, endeavor to prevent the same. Nor will I wrong a brother or see him wronged without apprising him of impending danger;. if in my power to do so. Should I be expelled or voluntarily leave the Order, I will consider this promise as binding out of it as in. To the faithful performance of all of which I pledge my sacred honor.
    He then receives the passwords, the signs of distress and recognition, the grip, and so forth from the Noble Grand performing the initiation, and brief homilies from the Chaplain and Past Grand. He is told that the organization “studiously avoids all affinity with systems of faith or sects,†while the “moral precepts which govern us, and according to which we would have all men regulate their conduct, are the laws of God?â€
    The essentially Judeo-Christian nature of the I.O.O.F. is made all the more clear in the next three degrees. The Degree of Fellowship is based on the story of the friendship of Jonathan and David. The Degree of Brotherly Love casts the candidate in the role of a traveler going from Jerusalem to Jericho and recites the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Degree of Truth uses a variety of Christian and Masonic symbols, and confers full membership of the lodge. The I.O.O.F. is not viewed with favor by the Roman Catholic Church, though Catholics may belong under the same sufferance as to the Knights of Pythias. They are traditionally denied the sacraments, but are not excommunicated. The order is similarly discouraged by a number of other churches.

    The Odd Fellows propagate that all human beings, regardless of race, skin-color or position is society are brothers and sisters. In the past this was different. Until the mid-sixties of the 20th century, only white people could join the I.O.O.F. This was common use for societies in the United States, but orders outside the U.S., including the Netherlands adopted this policy. It has to be noted that the Dutch order had a compensation for the admission of members with an East-Indies background, due to the colonial history.
    In the late fifties discussions about this 'full white blood clause' arose in the Netherlands. This case was also investigated by Dutch police and justice department. The Dutch order, together with some European orders brought this clause up for discussion. The Sovereign Grand Lodge abandoned this clause some years later officially, also due to the changed attitude towards racial segragation in the U.S.
    Not just in the I.O.O.F. regulations was a racist tendency, also in one of the rituals. In the ritual of the second Encampment degree, the black race was typed as: "in general they are barbarians and monsters in the practice of the most dire rapine". According to the Dutch Grand Secretary this ritual is no longer in use, but words as 'wilds' and 'heathens', in combination with the black race are still common in the American rituals. These words should be used in a different perspective.

    Contrary to freemasonry, the Odd Fellows have an international coordinating organization, the Sovereign Grand Lodge. Under this SGL there are ten Grandlodges and about 100 jurisdictions. The Netherlands, together with Belgium have one Grand Lodge. Members have joined local lodges. In the Dutch/Belgian jurisdiction there are about 60 lodges for men (late 1998: 2415 members) and 43 Rebekahlodges for women (late 1998: 1623 members). Besides these lodges there is also the Bond voor Jong Odde Fellow Clubs (League of Youth Odd Fellow Clubs), open for youngsters until 30. There are six of these clubs, with nearly 200 members.
    There are seven encampments for men and since 2000 two for women in the Dutch jurisdiction. The Dutch Grand Lodge is since 2002 open for both men and women, which makes it theoretically possible that a women becomes Grandmaster of this Grand Lodge. The Dutch/Belgian jurisdiction is the first, and so far the only, that makes this possible.

    K of C


    I quote from a K of C web site, being a Catholic in good standing is obviously a prequisite.

    The Knights of Columbus is a lay, Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization. Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to all practical Catholic men in communion with the Holy See, age eighteen and above. The term practical Catholic implies that a person accepts and abides by the Commandments of God and the precepts and tenets of the Catholic church.

    On October 2, 1881, Father Michael J. McGivney, 29-year-old assistant pastor at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut, brought together a group of laymen with whom he discussed his dream for a Catholic fraternal benefit society. It not only would assist widows and orphans of deceased members through its life insurance program, but also would boost members' sense of pride in their Catholic religion, then frequently challenged in the anti-Catholic climate of 19th-century America. Father McGivney and his associates met several more times over the next several months to continue planning, and the new organization --the Knights of Columbus -- was formally launched in early February, 1882.

    The officers of the new Catholic organization chose the name Knights of Columbus to honor Christopher Columbus, the Catholic discoverer of America. The word knights is also significant. We are ever mindful of the knightly qualities of spirituality and service to church that is embodied in the Knights of Columbus. The Order has evolved into a service organization with a strong family orientation. By the end of 1897 the Order was thoroughly rooted in New England, along the upper Atlantic seaboard and into Canada. Within the next eight years it branched out from Quebec to California, and from Florida to Washington. The Knights of Columbus remains headquartered in New Haven, but is now present with nearly 12000 Councils in the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, and several other countries. One of the primary missions of the Knights of Columbus is to support local charities. The Knights are a familiar sight around town during the annual Tootsie Roll® drive, which raises funds for charities that support the retarded and handicapped. We also support other fund raising drives to aid local parishes and charities. The Knights of Columbus promotes family values by providing numerous activities throughout the year that the entire family can participate in. Additionally, the organization provides an opportunity to ensure that a knight's family is provided for in the event of his death.


    Here is short list of reasons you may want to join the Knights of Columbus:

    An opportunity to become part of the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization.
    A great way to make a personal contribution to the Church and community through charity and fraternity.
    Active participation in Council activities serves as a "school of leadership" which will enable you to develop qualities that enhance your strengths and abilities.
    A sense of "belonging" in an organization that shares your religious beliefs and brings to together like-minded men joined in a common cause.
    Concerns for your family and your retirement years can be addressed by the Orders optional, low-cost life insurance.
    A sense of pride, knowing that the Knights of Columbus is second to none in support of our Holy Father, our Bishops and Priests, and our fellow man.


    Hierarchical Structure of the Knights of Columbus

    All members of the Knights of Columbus belong to a particular Council, and any group of at least thirty men may apply to found a new Council in their area. The highest elected officer of each Council is the Grand Knight, who, with the other Council Officers , is elected by the membership each year. The Grand Knight appoints various Program Directors and Chairmen to run the Council's activities for the year. All Council activities except Membership activities, fall into one of five Program Areas, each with a Director. The five Directors of Church Activities, Community Activities, Council Activities, Family Activities and Youth Activities report to a General Programs Director, who in turn reports to the Grand Knight.
    Several Councils within the same geographic area are grouped together in a District under the guidance of the District Deputy and his assistant, the District Warden. The District Officers are appointed by the State Deputy, the highest elected officer of the State Council . State Officers and Program Chairmen are analogous to those at the Council level and coordinate the activities of all the Councils throughout the State. Each Spring, the State Deputy hosts a Convention to elect officers and conduct other State business. Every Grand Knight and one elected Delegate represent every Council in the state at this Convention. The highest level within the Knights of Columbus is the Supreme Council , headed by the Supreme Knight. At the Supreme Convention each summer, State Deputies and Representatives from each State, Territory, or Country meet to conduct business concerning the international operation of the Order.


    Ceremonials of the Order

    There are four "Degrees" of Knighthood within the Knights of Columbus. The initiation ceremonies into each of these Degrees (the ceremonies themselves are also called "Degrees") are the only facets of the Order which are not made known to non-members. Each of the Degrees is designed to exemplify one of the four Principals of the Order: Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. The Degrees must be taken in order.

    Every applicant must take the First, or Membership, Degree before he can be considered a Member of the Knights of Columbus. Once he has taken his First Degree, he becomes a member in good standing in the Order. To reach full Knighthood, members must also take the Second and Third Degrees, and all members are strongly encouraged to do so. Members must have taken the Third degree to be elected to Council offices or to enter into the Fourth Degree. Once a man has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for a year and has taken his Third Degree, he is eligible to join a Fourth Degree Assembly. The Fourth Degree has its own structure separate from that of the Council. Fourth Degree Assemblies gain their membership from Third Degree members of several Councils within a larger geographic area. The most visible members of the Order are often the Fourth Degree Color Corps, with their colorful capes, chapeaux and sabers.
     
  8. VirginiaPM

    VirginiaPM Registered User

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  9. Nate C.

    Nate C. Registered User

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    Whoever created the rituals and ceremonies for the BPOE (Elks Lodge) knew a little something about the Blue Lodge as well.
     
  10. Joey

    Joey Co-Founder Staff Member

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    That's correct..... The BPOE was created by several Masons from New York. That's why the initiation and obligations are so similar.
     
  11. gortex6

    gortex6 Guest

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    Anson Jones was also a PGM of IOOF! I might just check these guys out.
     
  12. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    the fact that they have an organization much like our OES just means they have curious women in their lives.

    the pope: we must counter this masonry movement with a similar organization!
    the men's wives: hey, what are ya'll doing in those secret meetings?
    the men: ....
    wives: nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag

    thus, the equivalent of the OES is born.

    sorry, i couldn't resist.
     
  13. cmoreno85tx

    cmoreno85tx Registered User

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    Heh. Nice
     
  14. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I wish I had something to contribute to this but I love hearing about the different organizations. I love to educate myself on these things so I am not ignorant to them.
     
  15. gortex6

    gortex6 Guest

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  16. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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  17. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    He was the first Grand Master.
     
  18. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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    I KNEW his name sounded familiar! :rolleyes:
     
  19. Curtis Wilson

    Curtis Wilson Registered User

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    Before I begin, my Grandfather was a Sons of Herman. I know they were active some time back, but really don't have a clue as to what they were.

    I've been in discussion about Masons and Catholics in another forum http://jesusbewith.us/?p=131 Although not hostile about the subject, they are concerns that you can not be Catholic in good standing and a Mason. In fact, according to them, we are committing mortal sin. And not just Catholics but other religions are included in supporting documentation they provided by links in the forum, including Methodist, Anglican Church of England, and even Southern Baptist. I've only checked the Baptist angle and found that at a Baptist Convention, there was a group that was trying to set strict guidelines AGAINST Freemasons. Estimated 500,000 members that are Masons, or at least a significant portion of represenatives squelched the movement, and a compromise was worked out.

    To all of the Masons out there, I suggest you read up on how different religions work to drive out Masonry. And by declining numbers, who can say it may not be having some effect. I am a Catholic, converted from Baptist around 2000. Those reasons are personal, but I've been a Mason since 1994 and not knowing issues surrounding the Catholics opposition to Masonry may have given me some issues back then, because at that time I wasn't a very active Mason. Since that time I'm a Past Master and Secretary and very active in appendant bodies as well. What I'm getting to is don't take this religion issue lightly or silently, even if it is not your religion that is in opposition. Study the issue, ask questions, and respond with facts and information. As Secretary, we have lost a few good men when it was discovered the Catholic view on Masonry. Don't bash the religion either, especially in a forum, others doing their own private research may find it offensive and not being factual in response may dismiss the response. By learning you can also address any religious topic that may come up from a candidate as well. Remember, they to are men of God and I believe they think they are in the right, as misguided as we may think they are.
     
  20. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    well let me tell you a story about a friend of mine who was a Catholic, member of KC's and also a Mason.. !

    He was installed as master of his lodge and his local priest, after church on sunday, told him he needed to get out and that he didn't see how he could come to church and be a member of that organization.. ! He went to Galveston and talked to the Bishop and told him, between all the businesses he owned that he gave a large sum of money to the church and KC's and if they didn't want him in the church just let him know and he would put that money to use somewhere else... ! The Bishop told him it was a fine organization and the he helped at the burn Hospital and was very proud of him working in a group that helps kids...? The Bishop talk to the Local priest and that was the last time it ever came up... ! and we had meetings at the lodge in this small town for builders awards, etc and ask the priest to give the prayer.. ! he was always there... ! whats the old saying about money talks and ..... ! walks... ?
     

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