Knights of Columbus praise pope as ‘brilliant flare of hope and strength’

GREENVILLE — The state deputy of the Knights of Columbus in South Carolina said that his fraternal organization of Catholic men mourns the death of Pope John Paul II, and called the late pope’s life a miracle.

“To think that this man became a Catholic priest after surviving Hitler and then communism reminds us of the awesome power of God to work such miracles,” Ray Hock said. “Karol Wojtyla was a favorite of the Knights of Columbus and a staunch defender of the faith that is so important to Knights the world over.

“We are going to miss his advocacy and the inimitable way he represented Catholicism in an increasingly secular world,” Hock said. “He was a brilliant flare of hope and strength to oppressed peoples everywhere and a source of pride for the Knights of Columbus. John Paul made us proud to be Catholic and to work for disenfranchised people as he did.”

The head of the state’s 7,600 Knights said that the pope was a teacher until the end of his life, promoting the dignity and worth of each human being. His 26-year papacy was “a momentous world experience,” Hock said.

The state chaplain for the K of C, Rev. James Parker of Holy Spirit Parish on John’s Island, said that the Knights are grieved at the pope’s passing because they were very loyal to him.

“He was a wonderful pope,” said Father Parker, who once celebrated Mass with John Paul in his private chapel in the Vatican. “He has done so much for the Church. His great gift may be that he shared in the downfall of the Soviet Union, which was predicted by Our Lady at Fatima.”

He predicted that history will know the pope as John Paul the Great because of the impact he had on Christian civilization, ecumenism and peace.