Knights of Columbus change Fourth Degree uniforms

I’m am irritated with the Knights of Columbus for a couple reasons.

The KCs are changing their Fourth Degree uniform.

I am not heavily invested in the KCs’ Fourth Degree uniform, mind you.  But consider the implications.

OLD

OLD

NEW

NEW

Here is another reason via the newspaper of the Diocese of Phoenix:

Knights of Columbus change Fourth Degree uniforms

The Knights of Columbus, long associated with swords, capes and chapeaus, will be going through a significant uniform change.

The traditional regalia worn by the Knights’ Fourth Degree members will be replaced, announced Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson during the Knights of Columbus 135th Supreme Convention being held in St. Louis Aug. 1. The address was available via livestream on EWTN.

Throughout the years, the regalia of the Fourth Degree, known as the patriotic degree, has gone through changes, Anderson said. When the Fourth Degree was first established, the uniform included white ties, top hats and tails.

In place of a tuxedo with a black bow tie, members will be wearing a blue blazer, an official Knights of Columbus tie and a beret, all with the Fourth Degree emblem on them, along with a white shirt and dark gray slacks. There was no mention as to whether the swords would remain a part of the uniform.  [What do you want to bet they won’t now be using AR-15s.]

“The Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Fourth Degree Uniform,” Anderson said. “On a limited basis, Assemblies may choose to continue using the traditional cape and chapeau for Color Corps at public events and Honor Guards in Liturgical Processions. However the preferred dress for the Fourth Degree, including Color Corps and Honor Guards, is the new Uniform of jacket and beret.”

[…]

That will eliminate honor guards, I think.

I think the Councils should ignore this.

Also, did you know that there is a a growing group of traditional Councils?

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101 Responses to Knights of Columbus change Fourth Degree uniforms

  1. Herman Joseph says:

    What they need is a sword with a Rosary engraved on the blade and a Rosary worn prominently on the left side belt…I suggest either the Combat Rosary or WWI Battle Beads. That would convey a message, and the Rosary…if prayed…would mean the 4th degree truly is wielding a sword. What an example and help for the Church that would be! Alas.

  2. mburn16 says:

    Meh. Not impressed. Looks too much like a golf club jacket and I’ve never cared for the idea of berets as part of a dress uniform. Should have at least gone to a military cap. But then thst might look a little too chauffeuresqe

  3. Oh my. That is horrible! As a Knight of Columbus I am not happy with that change. (I entered because they are ‘supposed’ to combat freemasonry.. but that’s another story)

  4. padredana says:

    Maybe someone should found a Traditional version of the K of C. It could offer the same kind of fraternity, member benefits (aka Life Insurance) but with a clear Traditional identity…and maybe challenge coins could play prominently in their customs!

  5. majuscule says:

    What about the swords–yep, one of the first things that came to my mind.

    You have to figure that what with the dress of those in the pews at many Masses these days, the new uniform is going to look pretty “formal” in comparison. Or do they have a version with short pants?

  6. Joseph-Mary says:

    I like the idea of the Rosary. My husband is 4th degree but he never purchased the cape and feathers.
    But the color guard is quite noticeable and outstanding.

  7. Thorfinn says:

    I have had a mixed impression from the things I’ve seen since joining the Knights. The insurance arm seems to think the point of the organization is to grow its customer base, which is a far cry from Father McGivney’s original idea to take up a collection to provide for widows & orphans of deceased members.

  8. SundaySilence says:

    The first thought that popped into my head upon seeing the “new” uniform was Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. I don’t know why.

  9. ASPM Sem says:

    It’s modernism. Updating to fit the times, fixing something where it wasn’t broken. It’s like going from a beautiful, intricate chasuble to a plain one that looks like it was made out of a curtain.

  10. Clinton R. says:

    “The Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Fourth Degree Uniform,…”

    By ‘modernization’, do they actually mean distancing themselves for the purpose in which the Knights were founded? The Knights of Malta shed their traditional uniforms and their good sense with it. I don’t understand the KOC ‘s rationale here. I am heartened to hear of a growing group of Traditional Councils.

    “The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but men of tradition.” – Pope St. Pius X

  11. Jack says:

    If they are changing, I hope they have a couple of people (i.e., former Rangers or SF) that can teach them how to properly wear a beret.

  12. byzantinesteve says:

    All I can think of when I see the new uniform is the Black Panthers.

  13. KatieL56 says:

    I remember my grandfather, in the 1960s, in the ‘traditional’ regalia.
    Is it just me, or does anybody else notice the almost ‘infantilization’ of the new outfit? It looks like something worn by a Catholic middle school student.
    We women have been remade for decades such that the feminine standard for perfection in all spheres is now something on the order of a 12 year old girl.
    Now it’s the men. I had hoped that the latest ‘scruffy 5 o’clock shadow’ on the ‘heroin chic’ male models and actors MIGHT be the start of a move back to the bold days of men who wear whiskers and punch cattle –or at least punch heretics–but oh now now our own men of the KofC are doing their own version of the ‘perfect male’ –the non-threatening but preppily groomed barely pubescent smooth-shaven perky youth. BAH HUMBUG I say.

  14. Potato2 says:

    The knights, much like jesuits, have seemingly gone away from thier original purpose.
    I’ll never be a member. Even with a sweet “smoking jacket” as a costume ( yes costume, that’s not a “uniform”) change.

  15. KT127 says:

    My father and one brother are very involved with the K of C. When my brother was married 12 years ago the priest refused to let the Knights bring their swords into the Church. My family was furious and I know it really bothered my brother. Keep your swords!

  16. APX says:

    My grandpa was quite proud of his traditional 4th degree knight uniform and wore it with pride, same with honour guard duty. I’m glad he got to be buried in his traditional uniform and not this ugly thing. Now no one will know who the “skunk hats” are. :(

  17. michael de cupertino says:

    I think replacing the tux was past due. Tuxedos are, properly speaking, “semi-formal” evening wear (as opposed to “formal” white tie getup.) Most opportunities for wearing KofC uniforms occur morning or midday, so the tuxedo isn’t technically appropriate. The dark blazer and gray trousers seems like an improvement. However, they really ought to have kept the hats and capes, or demote them to “optional” for local councils to keep or abandon. I agree the berets are silly. Perhaps a campaign hat would have been a more American choice?

  18. DeGaulle says:

    It’s clear by now that proposals of ‘modernisation’ are usually not good.

  19. JustaSinner says:

    It’s so debonair, so cosmopolitan, so progressive…so FRENCH! I’m sure they’re wrapping the swords in white flags and auctioning them on eBay.

  20. Elizabeth D says:

    Let me be honest, the image of the Knights who are usually not young in their ceremonial garb actually does NOT necessarily suggest men of action who are ready to roll up their sleeves and rebuild a Christian town in Iraq (which is the reality of the Knights), it may actually suggest something like a turn of the century parade of Civil War veterans. Modern militaries seem to wear a lot of berets. They never wear swords anymore. [Oh yes they do! Look around at officers dress. I’d hazard that countries have swords.] The living significance of military rank that a dress sword had for people who remembered the Civil War or even WWI may be lost on people today. It just seems like a costume. I would not want young men to think “I just can’t see myself as a Knight of Columbus…” If they see men in the coat and beret outfit they will easily be able to see themselves among those brothers.

    [I am minded of the story of then-Brigadier Gen. Mattis, who took some time on duty as officer of the day, with his sword, on a Christmas to allow a young officer with kids to go home. Marine officers can use swords for pretty much all their uniforms except evening dress and utilities. I’m guessing he wore Service A, rather than the Class A Blues.]

  21. LarryW2LJ says:

    I purchased my tux, cape and chapeau. I inherited my sword from my Dad. I doubt that I will be shelling out $$$$ for this blazer, tie and beret, which I am going to assume will be over priced. I will miss the colors – gold, green, purple, white and red. I was always honored and thrilled as a Past Faithful Navigator to be able to keep and wear my white cape at Color Corp and Honor Guard call outs. It made me feel like all the time and effort that I invested while in that office meant something. Now Supreme seems to be taking its “we all look alike” policy to the max. Personally, I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot. It may not happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Color Corp attendance and enrollment plummet. Anytime tradition is totally abandoned – bad things happen. Seems we’re seeing that happen all too often.

  22. FranzJosf says:

    “Limited basis.” Reminds me of a certain indult. The next Grand Light will have to issue Sumorum Uniformorum.

    [Summorum ornatuum militarium]

  23. Elizabeth D says:

    I want to underscore I am saying this because I value the Knights, I am not trying to be negative!

  24. Lusp says:

    So rather than form two columns and then raising their swords to form an arch, now they will form a column and raise their arms to form a… never mind, that wouldn’t look good.

  25. Benedict Joseph says:

    Given their current hearty financial support for the “other fishwrap” I suggest the Knights be suppressed, right after the Society of Jesus.

  26. gretta says:

    I’m with Elizabeth D. Around here they refer to the Knights as the guys with the Captain Crunch hats. When you see them in full regalia at ordinations or other functions, it is usually a group of elderly gentlemen that, while very dignified, look like they may have a hard time making it to the parking lot. It is hard to see that visual (the photo you used is exactly the typical visual here) as a net-plus for the young men they are looking to recruit. That having been said, I don’t know that the beret is going to be much better. I feel sorry for the Grand Knight – this is one of those decisions that is simply unwinnable. I say this as someone who has a deep respect for the Knights. If there is a project at the parish that needs doing or funding, they are usually the first to step up and are consistently there when you need them.

  27. Liam says:

    As a 4th Degree Knight I confess that I have never really been keen on the current regalia. As someone noted above, the tuxedo is semi-formal evening wear and replaced truly formal wear long ago in the 4th degree. However, this seems to me a surrender to the cult of informality that has dominated American society since the latter half of the last century. Another peculiarity here…how is one to distinguish national identities with the absence of the service baldric? All national colours seem gone yet the 4th degree is the patriotic degree.

    If 4th degree regalia must change, I would much prefer to see the tail coat restored for evening wear yet retaining the current chapeau, baldric, and sword. For morning wear, introduce a grey morning coat with waistcoast (coloured according to nation), high winged collar shirt with necktie, and top hat.

    Oh wait…the Board is seeking to modernise. Perhaps the new outfit can be called Bugnini Wear!

  28. Matt Robare says:

    Eh, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta have a similar blazer, tie and beret affair as a service uniform, as well as a fancier uniform with red tunic and gold epaulettes, plus their choir habit.

    A far bigger problem for the KofC is that, at least in my neck of the woods, the councils are completely uninterested in having any members who are ineligible for AARP membership. Some of the councils are completely invisible — they don’t show up for Mass and they don’t seem to have any sorts of events, much less events of the rebuilding a Christian town in Iraq variety.

  29. acardnal says:

    Elizabeth D. Said “they never wear swords anymore.” Not true.

    The USMC still use swords as part of their dress blue uniforms. HERE

    And the U.S. Navy full dress whites have a sword. HERE

  30. un-ionized says:

    Elizabeth D, It is a costume in the sense that it isn’t everyday clothing. Freemasons wear a pretty fringed apron that wouldn’t be suitable for real masonry working. And that little bitty scapular I wear isn’t a work apron (though that would be in another class anyway). Every uniform is a costume in a sense, that it is intended to represent something in its design or cut or accessories. I’m a lumper, not a splitter I guess.

  31. MikeyinPHX says:

    There were six knights in full dress with swords at the 7 AM Mass at St. Daniel’s in Scottsdale Arizona last Sunday.

    Nice…no special occasion…they were just there!!

  32. Geoffrey says:

    While I ordinarily decry the downgrading of external solemnity of any kind, I find myself conflicted regarding this change.

    I am always annoyed that the Knights of Columbus are often equated with the ecclesiastical (and “real”) knighthoods of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The Knights of Columbus are a “civil” organization, and not a proper order of Christian knighthood. So, this change makes them look less like real knights and dames.

    However, given that the recent papal audience with the Order of Malta had the hierarchy of the Order dressed in business attire instead of their traditional red and black uniforms… I don’t know what to think any more! I guess we need all the “pomp” we can get, whether real Christian knights or not!

  33. Philmont237 says:

    This is my letter to Supreme Knight Anderson:

    Worthy Supreme Knight,
    I am writing you to express my extreme displeasure with the new Fourth Degree uniform. This new uniform, unlike the previous change from white-tie to tuxedo is not a mere evolution of the uniform but a complete break with what came before. It lacks the pomp, tradition, essence, and symbolism that made the Fourth Degree Regalia what it is. The cape, chapeau, baldric, and swords were all distinctive, traditional, historic, and most importantly: knightly.
    I have watched and participated in many parades and Eucharistic processions. From a half a mile off I would hear women and children say excitedly, “Here come the Knights!” whenever they caught a glimpse of the chapeau and amazing capes. I was recently stationed in Europe and participated in a Corpus Christi procession in Wiesbaden, Germany and our regalia was a highlight that lent an air even great importance to the procession. We were marching with real chivalric orders, wearing their various capes, yet we were the ones who stood out! Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, Malta, and others came up to us excitedly talking about how amazing we looked and how we added gravitas to the worship of our Eucharistic Lord. Little kids excitedly asked us for pictures, and we were excitedly pointed out by the locals who loved seeing the Knights.
    The new uniform, however, looks like the uniforms of the British equivalents of the VFW. Which, quite frankly, is very unpatriotic since we are Americans. I work with the Army, and I constantly hear about how much everyone hates the black berets. The army even recently outlawed the wearing of the black beret with combat uniforms due it its unpopularity with the soldiers, and now it is only worn with dress uniforms. There is even talk about only letting junior enlisted wear it since it is that unpopular. They are slowly rolling it back; why can´t we learn from them?
    Finally, you did this to appeal to younger people. As someone who is barely 30, I can tell you that the new uniform does not appeal to me or people my age. We don´t want to look like retired British soldiers, we want to look like Knights! We want our swords held high and our capes shining bright while the feathers from our chapeau rustle in the wind. We want tradition, we want pomp, we want beauty, we want pride in who we are! The new uniform does nothing for us, and it literally breaks my heart to see our tradition thrown out in the name of modernism and a misguided attempt to appeal to millennials.
    Please, Worthy Supreme Knight, listen to this millennial. Do not make us wear the new uniform. Please allow us to be the Knights that we signed up to be.
    Vivat Jesus!
    SK Scott Vaughn

  34. ghp95134 says:

    @ acardnal: … and the US Army’s “Old Guard”
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/nSrzPmdBw08/hqdefault.jpg

    We had them in Officer Candidate School, too … but that was in the last century! Dunno if they still use them today in OCS. I remember going through the sabre manual of arms … “Eyes….. RIGHT” looked cool as you marched past the reviewing stand …. being careful not to stick your sword tip in the ground as you marched by.

    –Guy

  35. John_by_any_other_name says:

    I’m not a fan. I recently was exemplified to the 4th degree and part of the intent was to become part of a Color/Honor Guard. I will definitely be raising my voice for what it’s worth in my council to use the older uniform as much as possible if not exclusively.

    I will also be trying to get a sword as soon as possible before they disappear…

  36. Count me against the change. FWIW, I’m a 4th Degree Knight.

  37. Thorfinn says:

    Elizabeth D: “Modern militaries seem to wear a lot of berets. They never wear swords anymore.”

    The U.S. military does use ceremonial swords for the same or roughly analogous events to those where you may see 4th degree Knights in full regalia (e.g. funerals).

  38. jeffc says:

    As a 46 year old, 3rd generation KofC, 4th Degree member, and Knight for 29 years I must say that I do no like this change. There are a lot of other changes that have been made in the KofC under Supreme Knight Anderson that are “restricted to the membership” that I don’t think have been good either. Like I read in another comment, I perceive a shift in focus towards selling insurance (this is really evident in the KofC Magazine: Columbia), an increase in involvement in partisan politics, and a de-emphasis (albeit slight) of the importance of doing good in your parish and community. It saddens me that the KofC is eschewing so much of what once made them special.

  39. NickD says:

    This is a terrible change. The new “ceremonial” uniform looks more suited for an afternoon at the country club. That’s all it is–a sport coat, a special tie, and a couple of patches. Oh, but you get a chintzy beret, too! Blech.

    People will say that the tuxedo is meant for eveningwear, to which I say, how does that apply here? The tuxedo in this application is just one part of a distinct, uniform that is meant for wear at any point in the day, rather than just a tuxedo unto itself. And the Grand Poobah says that the cost of the current regalia is too high…to which I respond, how much will a beret (a hat in low supply due to low demand), custom patches, a custom tie, and a custom sport coat cost? A pretty penny, I’m willing to bet!

    Another argument for this dreadful get-up is that it’s more in line with current martial dress trends. A couple of things. First, I doubt many military men would want to dress like this. Second, this uniform is the most drab and inelegant outfit you could imagine for ceremonial usage, unlike the regalia that stands out and grants almost an air of nobility to whichever occasion at which it is used. Third–I must say as an aside that I’m a young person–I doubt any young person will see this as a unique or inspiring outfit, particularly in a world full of flashing lights and colorful screens. It’s just–as I said above–an adaptation of a country club dress code.

    In sum, dreadful. Dreadful and ham-fisted. Dreadful, ham-fisted, and drab. Dreadful, ham-fisted, drab, and uninspired.

  40. Kerry says:

    Except that the beret is not red, it looks like Max Fischer in the movie Rushmore.

  41. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I’ve been a member of KofC since 2013 and took the 4th degree in 2014. I’ve served as a council officer, helped in revision of council bylaws and participate in various service projects. In short I’m one of the more involved knights. I hadn’t gotten around to getting the full regalia, and now I’m rather glad of that. I doubt I’ll be getting this new costume either. As someone mentioned above, it looks like a child’s school uniform.

    There is huge variation among councils – even in the same council from decade to decade. Our council is pretty active in a variety of good works and has some highly active members – including the current GK – who are under age 40. From what I’ve heard though, our council was a real mess not too long ago. In this dark age, it’s important to maintain hope.

  42. Jenson71 says:

    I agree with Elizabeth D. While the new look isn’t great, it’s an improvement.

  43. NickD says:

    Apt comparison, Gregg. Almost exactly what a prep school dress code would be

  44. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Liam – I like your suggestion, although I’d sooner just have the top hat and ditch the chapeau. There are old photos showing 4th degree with top hats.

  45. acardnal says:

    ghp95134
    Thanks for including the “ground pounders.” I wasn’t positive since they keep changing their uniforms, e.g., no more green Class A since 2010 as I recall.

  46. acardnal says:

    ghp95134 . . . and by the way, how were you able to paste a photo into this blog? I thought only Fr. Z could do that!

  47. Adaquano says:

    Let’s see what it looks like in a breathing person, a mannequin would make a cape and plume look silly also. Quite frankly, I think too many knights get caught up in the pomp of wearing their regalia at special Masses, that it takes away from the Mass.

  48. donato2 says:

    When it comes to liturgy and doctrinal matters I’m pretty close to as traditionalist as you can get, but I guess not when it comes uniforms. I like the new one better. I’ve always thought that the Knights look a little ridiculous with the feathered hat and cape. Although I must say the new uniform, unlike the traditional one that it is replacing, is not very “knight” like.

  49. Uxixu says:

    I always thought the Napoleonic hats and skinny swords looked a bit silly, especially on the honored elders who usually wear them, but the beret is NOT an improvement.

    If they must tinker, would prefer a Crusader great helm & surcoat over a chain hauberk with a good longsword.

  50. moon1234 says:

    I am a 39 year old man and father of 11. I have not been interested in the KoC for a few reasons:

    – They are mostly old, retired and grumpy men.
    – They are not welcoming to “younger” men like myself
    – They show up at Mass and act almost as if they are clergy.
    – I routinely hear about mishaps where the KoC are supporting questionable people or ideas.

    I was, and still am, very attracted to the ideals of the US Marines. God, Honor, Integrity, Country. They are not ashamed of their traditions and proudly keep them when they are not being tinkered with by political, social experimentalists.

    I would be more attracted to a traditional order of men who support a local parish or the Bishop. I would much rather stand behind the Bishop or my parish priest than a fraternal order with a civil leader. Just me though.

    I have relatives who are in the KoC and they way they act does NOT encourage me to ever want to join.

  51. Grant M says:

    Isn’t that always the way these days- to replace the poetic with the prosaic? For example, I’m not a Shriners fan, but I was dismayed to read on Wikipedia that they replaced their splendidly barmy title “Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine” with the boring corporate-speak “Shriners International.” From poetry to dullness.

  52. Grant M says:

    I notice that super heroes are still wearing capes: eg, Thor and Dr Strange…

  53. Adaquano says:

    Fr. Heilman has a photo posted of a knight in uniform with a combat rosary, and it looks better.

  54. jsing says:

    I am a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. We also have berets. Most of the knights do not know how to put their berets on. A lot of them look like their heads exploded under the beret. The Knights of Columbus have always looked great but no more. How sad, modernation.

  55. Sonshine135 says:

    As a member of the 4th degree, a Color Corps Commander, a Past Faithful Navigator, and a former Assistant District Marshal, I disapprove of the new regalia and will not be a member of the Color Corps again if we are mandated to go to this new dress.

    I have been doing research on Color Corps procedures within the Knights for some time. Over the years, I have noticed that the procedures for the Color Corps have been completely eroded and eviscerated. Originally, and in the TLM today, we honored the Lord at the altar rail with a sword maneuver known as “Sword at Rail”. If you are unfamiliar with this, you can look at the KofC Traditional Latin Mass Association website. The Knights sat in front of the church. Disruption was minimal, and it was a beautiful way of honoring the Lord.

    When the newer form of the Mass became regularized, the procedures were altered to perform “Arch Sword” during the consecration. This was then discontinued because it “blocked the view” of the parishioners. The Knights changed the manual to place the Knights in the back pew. Since drawing a sword in the back per could be potentially dangerous, the Knights stopped drawing them during Mass altogether except in entering and leaving, and the Knights would tip their chapeau during the elevations. After a few years, this was stopped, and the Knights were advised they were not to perform any maneuvers at all as it detracted from the Mass. We were finally starting to regain some of the lost tradition with the older form of the Mass.

    My point is that this is just a small example of how the Knights of Columbus have been gutted by the Modernists in the Church. The Board of Directors are fine to go along with it, because Carl Anderson wants to sell his books, sell his insurance, and get his audiences. He bows to the masses of uneducated Catholics. It is a symptom of this very great heresy that has been allowed to fester in the Church.

  56. Former Altar Boy says:

    Time to modernize? What’s next? “Modern” uniforms for the Papal Guards? This whole thing smacks of the liberal, anti-war, weenie bishops who forbade the Knights from wearing their swords. I always thought the Knights saluted their, or any, bishop with their drawn swords was a public display of honor that never failed to impress.
    And what are the KofC going to do when the beret goes out of style? “Modernize” again.

  57. I think the current leadership of the Knights of Columbus have lost their way. As a knight, I am sad to say that if somebody else doesn’t take the reins and revitalize this organization, it will deserve to be replaced by another.

  58. TimG says:

    The KCs take another step to the left. Modernization :(

  59. Perhaps I missed it. But was the membership ever consulted on this? Or have the Knights joined the (Jesuit) spirit of the current Church so that their leaders can impose their will without consulting anyone? And, I suppose, their leadership, instead of speaking with those who have questions, will now just ridicule them and verbally abuse them?

  60. Rommel Lopez says:

    I am a 4th degree Knight, current Faithful Navigator, a former District Deputy and Past Grand Knight.

    I became a Knight in 2008 at the invitation of my brother who is a priest and also a Knight.

    Firstly, I am sorry for those who had a bad experience with some Knights. But please do remember, that a Catholic like Nancy Pelosi doesn’t reflect what a faithful Catholic is.

    Secondly, the 4th degree regalia is optional. You can be a 4th degree Knight and not wear the regalia. The Color Corps is a voluntary organization.

    Thirdly, what we wear has a particular meaning. So I beg the readers to read and UNDERSTAND before saying that what we wear looks funny. This is from the Regalia Presentation Ceremony that we conduct for our Brother Sir Knights called home…

    “The members of the Honor Guard of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus, have gathered here to honor our Sir Knight, our Brother in faith who has gone to his eternal reward.
    We stand in silent vigil out of respect for his commitment to the principles of Columbianism, his family and our beloved Church.

    In a moment we will place beside him the regalia of the Fourth Degree, the highest and most prestigious degree within the Knights of Columbus which are symbols of his service since he became a Sir Knight.

    (A member of the Honor Guard silently marches in and places assigned Regalia item on the presentation chair/table, salute the Regalia, then return to from where they came, via a predetermined route.)

    The cape and chapeau were inspired by the naval officer’s uniform of the 19th century when our Order was founded. The cape is called a boat cape. They represent the honor and integrity which all true patriots display as they serve one Nation under God.

    The baldric, used to carry the sword goes back to medieval times when it was worn by Knights and reflects the purity, valor, and justice represented in the colors of our Nation’s flag.

    At the end of the baldric is the metal clip which receives the sword, in the shape of the crusaders cross, and emblazoned on it are the letters of the first motto of our order which our Brother Sir Knight learned when he first became a Knight of Columbus, T. F. M. M. Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori… Time Flies, Remember Death.

    The sword is worn to signify Christian Knighthood, to symbolize defense of the Church, our Country and our Freedom, to show reverence for the Eucharist and respect for the Clergy. The departed Brother Sir Knight did his part to keep bright the sword for liberty’s sake, with his tireless and selfless work within his community, his family, our order, and most importantly our beloved Church.”

    And lastly, membership in the Knights here in the Philippines is growing! And from my own diocese, new Knights join because of THIS regalia. Men want to wear this and serve as honor guards at important liturgical functions in our church and cathedral.

    Imagine what would happen now that this ugly thing is here.

    We really are caught in a wave of modernism.

  61. amenamen says:

    The Knights consulted the “incredible” fashion designer, Edna Mode:

    “No capes!”

    http://popkey.co/m/46byX-no+capes-edna-mode-incredibles

  62. TJV3 says:

    I admit I am in the minority, but I think the change is a good one. While the K of C does good work as a fraternal organization, their presence in processions at ecclesial events detracts from the honor to be accorded to pontifical and equestrian knights and dames. The 4th degree K of C are unwittingly playing dress up and are often included and confused with the men and women who have been honored with an authentic knightly order.

  63. ghp95134 says:

    acardnal sez: ghp95134 . . . and by the way, how were you able to paste a photo into this blog? I thought only Fr. Z could do that!

    Fr. Z. must have uploaded the image — I provided only an image link. Looks cool, dun’it?

    –Guy

  64. KarenN says:

    One Sunday I was standing in the vestibule of my parish church. It was an exciting day; our second grade students were going to be receiving their First Holy Communion! The Knights of Columbus were there dressed in full regalia, with plumed hats, capes, and swords. Assembled in the vestibule, they were getting ready to move forward into the main body of the church. A very young parishioner caught sight of them and rushed up to his mom. He was squirming with excitement and his face was all aglow with wonder. “Look mom!” he said “Pirates!!”

  65. Rommel Lopez says:

    @TVJ3 I would love to know how the Honor Guards are distracting? We get invited by the bishops and priests to these events. We don’t play “dress up”.

    Maybe you haven’t seen this in the Eucharistic Procession during the International Eucharistic Congress held in Cebu. 2M people attended. They weren’t at all “distracted”.

    Yeah, the organizers invited the Knights.

    http://www.fathermcgivney.ph/?p=733

  66. VexillaRegis says:

    Dear john cupertino, I agree, tuxedos are semi-formal evening wear and aren’t fitting for daytime use. I also think that the nice hat doesn’t go with the black tie – it’s like putting an A-Ford car door into a Mazda, not the same style level. Sadly the new uniform is extremely boring.

  67. This drastic change is terrible and I hope that all assemblies push back mightily against this ill-advised unilateral decision (4th degree membership was not consulted). The new uniform is embarrassing and looks ridiculous. I’ll never wear it and will not participate in any honor guard where it is used at all. This was not an issue and represented a traditional strength of the knights. The change represents modernity over tradition. Very sad this was done and the way it was done.

    This is akin to modernizing the Swiss Guard. Perhaps the Roman collar is looking a bit dated. The bishop mitre is definitely looking behind the times too. So much to modernize, so little time.

  68. Kerry says:

    Modernize: baseball hats on backwards, t-shirts (da KNIGHTS!), high top running shoes, (unlaced), slouchy posture, before the not the swords are raised the chant, “know whut em sayin” muttered thrice, a variety of gestures ‘n finger postures, and, perhaps for especial occasions, blue jean pants with holes or bleach stains. Tatoos maybe…

  69. iPadre says:

    I’m 4th degree, and chaplain at my local council and was chaplain in my previous council. I hope they ignore it also. The new uniform doesn’t make them look like the military, nor should it. They look like Mormons at best.

  70. LarryW2LJ says:

    As a member of the K of C 4th Degree and a member of the Color Corp and Honor Guard, I want to address the issue that some people think that somehow the matter of wearing Regalia was all a matter of “playing dress up” and that wearing 4th Degree Regalia is somehow “all about us”.

    Wearing the Regalia can be uncomfortable and trying at times. Wearing a full tuxedo, cape and chapeau at a cemetery, or while marching in a parade in the blazing summer sun; or standing or sitting in a church lacking air conditioning can be a sacrifice. It certainly makes one aware of the discomfort that Father has to endure by wearing his alb and chasuble! But we did it and do it willingly. No one requires us to do it; or twists our arms.

    This was never done with the thought in mind of “Hey, look at me! I’m special, I’m a member of the 4th Degree! This is all about us!”

    It WAS and IS done with the intention to stand out. Not for ourselves; but for Christ. The thought and intention was to always bring honor to Him. It’s our way of saying to the world that “I stand up for Christ. I am a Catholic man who practices his faith, who loves his Church and its precepts and our Pope, Bishops and Priests, I love my family and my community and I’m not afraid to show it and I’m not going to hide it. And if need be, I am willing to give my life to defend them.”

    That’s what wearing the Regalia is all about. If we wanted to “play soldier” we could just well go play paintball.

  71. hilltop says:

    The new getup is more dress code than uniform. It’s Thurston Howell III wears a beret. If the 4th order Knights were to meet at a Country Club they’d blend in.
    But the fact that the new duds are ho-hum does not change the fact that the older uniform was anacronistic. When the Italians need a new look they turn to their gifted designers and the result is the uniform of the carabinieri. (I don’t know how to insert photos here so see this link if you want):
    http://cdn.cronachemaceratesi.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Festa-dellarma-dei-carabinieri-2016_Foto-LB-4.jpg
    In the US we have an extremely talented Catholic designer name of Carolina Herrera.
    The Knights should confer with experts.

  72. Moro says:

    It kind of looks like something a dictator, like Hugo Chavez, would wear to a rally. Or even the black panther party. It’s just odd, but it does maintain a certain sort of military character. Why did they come up with this idea? To sell new uniforms to all existing fourth degree knights?

  73. Seamus says:

    “I think the Councils should ignore this.”

    Actually, it’s the Assemblies that need to ignore it, since Fourth Degree Knights belong to Fourth Degree Assemblies (as well as their Councils), and the Assemblies that organize all the Fourth Degree activities (including Color Corps activities).

  74. albinus1 says:

    And here I’ve been saving up to buy the cape and chapeau. (I already have my father’s sword.) Maybe I should act fast while they’re still available!

    My father wore the dress suit/top hat style. You still see a few old-timers wearing it.

    When I was in the Boy Scouts in the 70s they were trying to push a beret as official Scout headgear. When I attended the 1977 National Scout Jamboree we all had to wear the beret as part of the uniform. But it disappeared after a few years, because the boys hated it and didn’t want to wear it. The adult Scout leaders weren’t too crazy about it, either.

    ***

    While the K of C does good work as a fraternal organization, their presence in processions at ecclesial events detracts from the honor to be accorded to pontifical and equestrian knights and dames.

    Good grief; what sort of “ecclesial events” do you think the average Catholic is likely to attend where the K of C is present? “Pontifical and equestrian knights and dames”?? Most Catholics see K of C honor guards at funerals, special parish events, holy day processions, or visits to the parish by the local bishop — events where “pontifical and equestrian knights and dames” are, shall we say, unlikely to be in attendance.

  75. CSp says:

    Regarding the new uniforms, I am Color Corps Commander for my Assembly. Perhaps a year or two ago, our District Master asked our thoughts on changing the regalia. Our Assembly gave him an unequivocal NO. Obviously, we were heard.

    I can’t ask my guys, some of whom just purchased their regalia, to go out and get new. I’m going to lose my color corps. Our absence will be noted at our monthly corporate masses, funerals, confirmations, and first communions. If the Supreme Knight wants to destroy the Fourth Degree, this is a good way to start. I for one, may hold that the “limited basis” will continue until WE see fit to change.

  76. TJV3 says:

    Let me clarify my comment. The distraction I reference is that to observers, the 4th degree honor guard appear as another order of knighthood on par with papal, equestrian and dynastic knights, which they are not. i think it better for the K of C to have a uniform that accurately reflects their status and reality as a fraternal organization rather to dress in such a way to suggest that the members are authentic knights, which is what I meant when I said they were playing dress up.

  77. albinus1 says:

    Good to see that the ever-reliable Eye of the Tiber is on the case:

    http://www.eyeofthetiber.com/2017/08/04/swiss-guard-to-modernize-uniforms-to-hipster-jeans-and-beanies/

    ***

    My grandfather was a member of the Knights of St. John, who wore similar regalia. Are they still around?

  78. albinus1 says:

    A couple more comments about the K of C:

    When I joined about 12 years ago, I immediately applied for life insurance — and was turned down based on my medical exam. I understand why insurance companies need to avoid unnecessary risks if they are to protect their assets. But given the nature of the K of C, I think they should make a basic life insurance policy available to all Knights in good standing, no medical questions asked. Yes, it would probably cut into their profit margin. But somehow I don’t think profit margin was one of Fr. McGivney’s concerns.

    Is the K of C a Catholic fraternal organization, or a business? Yes, I realize that it’s both. But if the business side is going to be emphasized more, I’m going to lost interest.

    ***

    One thing I’ve noticed over the past decade or so is that the K of C has been emphasizing college councils. In fact, I belong to a college council, at the university where I teach. The K of C wants to interest men in the organization while they’re young in the hopes that they will continue to remain members after they graduate. I’m not sure how well this strategy is going to work; I think it’s probably too early to tell. But it’s clear they they want to change the image of the K of C from middle-aged paunchy family men to young, vigorous men. I suspect that this change in the 4th degree regalia is part of that. I think its resemblance to modern military dress is no accident: trim men in their 20s would look great in it; paunchy men in their 50s would look silly. (As to whether the current regalia looks silly, well, at least everyone looks *equally* silly.)

  79. KarenN says:

    LarryW2LJ commented:

    It WAS and IS done with the intention to stand out. Not for ourselves; but for Christ. The thought and intention was to always bring honor to Him. It’s our way of saying to the world that “I stand up for Christ. I am a Catholic man who practices his faith, who loves his Church and its precepts and our Pope, Bishops and Priests, I love my family and my community and I’m not afraid to show it and I’m not going to hide it. And if need be, I am willing to give my life to defend them.”

    Beautifully said! The Knights of Columbus are very active in our parish. They exemplify all the qualities you expressed. When they come, dressed in full regalia, to our special parish celebrations I am proud of their public witness of faith and service. In my opinion there is a particularly ennobling quality about their appearance that the proposed ‘uniform’ diminishes.

  80. Amerikaner says:

    BREAKING NEWS: The Knights of Columbus Board of Directors have decreed that in keeping with the new 4th Degree regalia change, the Supreme Knight from this point onward will be referenced as “El Generalissimo.” In order to identify him more easily, he will now sport a gold-colored coat and will also wear not one but two gold-colored berets, one atop the other. While the new regalia change has created quite a stir in social media, local KofC councils have grudgingly agreed that the change is a good move. “We’ve had a high rate of guys almost poking their eyes out with the swords and the feathers made us sneeze,” one member said. “Now with the new regalia we can roll up our sleeves to the elbows and look like Miami Vice characters if we don’t shave for a few days. It should help us reach out into the peripheries.” The Board has also hinted that other upcoming changes may include changing their organization’s name to “Fish Fry Guys.” “Admit it,” an unnamed source within the Board said, “F.F.G.” is way cooler to say than “KofC” or “KC.”

  81. KAS says:

    Honestly, I think the new uniform is ugly and even lacking in masculinity.

    Men look fabulous in tuxedoes. They do not look like anything special in a sport coat that reminds me of one I wore in the 70’s and 80’s– WOMEN wear jackets like that, same as men, and I always think of the Knights as male, masculine, and unlike women.

    I could see losing the feathers off the hat. But there is a gravitas to the uniform as it was that made it special and every guy looked good in it!

  82. retiredtobedlam says:

    I seriously think I saw a similar uniform worn by a Drum & Bugle Corps of Afro-American teenagers (minus any swords). They were very good.

  83. PTK_70 says:

    @KatieL56….the model wearing the new uniform is a mannequin, and a pale, white one at that.

    @albinus1….I think the leadership of the KofC would be exceedingly glad to have a swell in the number of middle-aged family men. Of course they would also be happy to have more 20-something men join as well. Because, right now, at least as far as local council involvement is concerned, the balance definitely tilts towards men in the late afternoon and evening years of life – retired from their jobs, no kids in the home – or so it seems from my limited perspective.

    @Augustine Thompson O.P…..I do admire the Dominican way of seeking broad consensus.

    —————————
    Everyone knows that the regalia of the Fourth Degree (chapeau, cape, etc.) has a ceremonial purpose. You don’t just put it on to go hob-nob with your fellow parishioners at a parish picnic. It’s unclear whether the new outfit is intended solely for ceremonies….I suspect that it’s not. For one thing you don’t need help putting it on (however, some training in the wear of the beret may be necessary, as Jack helpfully mentioned above.) Ergo, Fourth Degree Knights might now be more visible at a broader cross-section of events, both secular and parish-based.

    Disclaimer: While I am a Fourth Degree Knight, the above are my thoughts only and should not be construed as representing my Council or my Assembly.

  84. Lookslike a schoolboy uniform. But at least they may be lighter on their feet!

  85. un-ionized says:

    From the comments here, my parishes must be outta step. The Knights I know range from 30-ish to 70-ish but all are very active and the 70-ish ones are hardly tottering around, they are taking charge with booming voices. The middle aged family men are the lifeblood of these councils. When I needed help with some things at my apartment there were so many volunteers we had several “supervising.” They are truly at their best when they are helping people with those things they can’t do themselves (like move furniture out of an apartment after someone goes to a nursing home).

  86. wised says:

    A bit too common for me. The traditional attire was more, how do you say,”Traditional”. Who complained about the current 4th Degree attire? I will be discussing attaining the 4th Degree with my Council but will refrain from the school boy uniform with a beret no less. How current! Do they think that the younger members will embrace a beret? How about a Swiss Army Knife to replace the so out of fashion sword.

    Maybe the Vatican Guard are also due for an upgrade?

  87. The Mad Sicilian Geek says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I believe that our leaders at Supreme have, quite frankly, lost their fraternal minds!

    Do you want to destroy an organization? If so, do something stupid like this…

    By all means, let’s change the uniform – for the sake of changing the uniform. (Yawn)

    By all means, let’s get rid of the pomp, circumstance, and ceremony involved in the 4th Degree

    By all means, let’s rid ourselves of yet another easily recognizable Catholic symbol.

    By all means, let’s just eviscerate the 4th Degree of any pagentry.

    By all means, let’s make the Sir Knights look like… (pick your choice)
    – a brigand of Monica Lewinskys
    – a bunch of Black Panthers (all we need are the black leather gloves…)
    – Che Guevera wannabes (Everybody needs to let their hair grow longer…)
    – UN/French soldiers

    The manner in which this “decision” was delivered is just asinine. Given the magnitude of this decision, one would HOPE they would solicit a significant amount of input before issuing such a fiat.

    Secondly, this decision completely disrespects the financial outlay of the many Sir Knights – some of whom had incurred financial hardships in order to participate. They saw value in being a Sir Knight and decided to make the investment. Now what? Are they to incur another financial hardship?

    Thirdly, change is not always a good thing. This is a solid break with the past and does nothing to maintain the dignity of the 4th Degree in any way, shape, or form.

    Fourth, many Sir Knights with whom I’ve spoken are seriously considering withdrawing from 4th Degree.

    Finally, the Supreme leadership council MUST explain themselves. They do not operate in a vacuum and owe us a clear, concise statement of their logic…

    Then we’ll proceed with ripping it to shreds (it’s not like we need very much help with this).

  88. albinus1 says:

    Let me clarify my comment. The distraction I reference is that to observers, the 4th degree honor guard appear as another order of knighthood on par with papal, equestrian and dynastic knights, which they are not.

    And again I ask, what observers are you referring to? What kind of event do you think they are observing? K of C honor guards are mostly found at parish and diocesan functions — where the observers are, to a great extent, their fellow parishioners, families, and friends. Not occasions where “papal, equestrian, and dynastic knights” are likely to be present. The observers, to a great extent, already know who these men are.

  89. euphemos says:

    Perhaps the 4th degree should be made a “real” knighthood. Are the other orders, with their $10,000 buy-in, etc, really more appropriately honored than those who give perhaps even more generously of both time (our own) and treasure (begged from those with greater means) to support the work of God, the Church, and the Holy Father?

    The important points here are my aesthetic, or about confusion between “real” orders and a fraternal organization, but, rather:

    1. Many of us wear regalia handed down to us by grandfathers, fathers, sponsors, or godfathers. We honor their name and memory in serving our church and our Bishop as they did. This change reduces the visible opportunity for unity with the church suffering and triumphant.

    2. Yes there were complaints about the regalia… the COST of regalia. The new regalia is no less expensive, and therefore no more accessible to new Knights, and exposes many of my brother Knights to the probability of exclusion from continuing the service they’ve offered for decades, because they cannot afford new regalia. The change hurts the poor, and benefits no one other than those selling new gear.

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  91. Elizabeth D says:

    From http://www.ncregister.com/blog/mbunson/new-uniforms-for-the-knights
    “As for the ceremonial sword, Andrew Walther, Vice President of Communications and Strategic Planning for the Knights of Columbus, stresses that “this uniform is not intended to eliminate the use of the ceremonial sword. In fact ceremonial swords will continue to be part of the Fourth Degree.” More details, he added, will be forthcoming from the Supreme Master. ”

    My comment about swords above is not because I do not like swords. Actually I always have very much, though I do not like guns whatsoever. So to me it is good if they have the new uniform but keep the swords. To me the swords rather than the ostrich-feathered chapeau are the attractive and striking part of the K of C honor guard. Since when did “knights” ever wear old fashioned admirals’ hats?

    The article also points out that the Knights of Malta have both a ceremonial uniform involving a cape, and a service uniform used while caring for the sick at Lourdes that has a black jacket with black epaulets and a black beret with a patch on it, and the Knights of Columbus new uniform resembles the Knights of Malta service uniform, deemed fitting because they are a service organization.

  92. TonyO says:

    Awwww, c’mon. Has Carl Anderson no sense at all? The military hated the change to the beret. They thought it was stupid and the reasons for it were all hokum except the ones that were out and out lies.

    If he really wanted to change the uniform, he should have gone back to knightly attire: shields, breastplate (if not full cuirass), helmet, sword. OK, skip the greaves if you must. They are, after all, the Knights of Columbus. Why would you want to let that drop? The current uniform, but for the sword, fails to evoke any thought of protection or of chivalry. Put in the breastplate, shield and helmet, and you are shouting out before the entire world “we will protect” and even “we are the Church Militant”.

    We need to stop putting old women in places of male leadership.

  93. Semper Gumby says:

    The thin KofC swords, noted by several commenters, might be similar to Army swords (which I think are based on the cavalry saber), and the Marine Corps Mameluke sword (based on a sword presented to Lt. Presley O’Bannon by a local prince after O’Bannon’s victory during the 19th century North African Barbary Wars).

    Regalia such as swords, together with tradition and ceremony, are essential to the professionalism and morale of institutions such as the KofC and the Marine Corps. Attention to detail, self-discipline, and devotion- three vital traits- flourish during the meticulous training, cleaning, donning, and ceremonial use of regalia. Simply donning a blazer and a beret for formal ceremonies will likely reduce rather than strengthen professionalism and esprit de corps.

    The currents of Modernism are powerful forces, because the “new” and the “more comfortable” usually appear attractive at first glance. A “preacher” roaming a stage wearing a headset-mike and T-shirt while firing up an audience is of dubious value, to say the very least, compared to a traditional Catholic priest delivering a thoughtful sermon to his parishioners in order to prepare them for ad orientem worship.

    Modernists pursue and enforce the “new and comfortable” things while unaware of (or maybe even deliberately disregarding) the long-term damage that they will do to the morale, discipline, fortitude, and even the souls of those in the ranks.

  94. acardnal says:

    Well said Semper!

  95. jflare says:

    I haven’t read Fr Z’s page in a few days, so I first learned about this change after Mass yesterday; a fellow Knight showed me a picture. In all seriousness, I took the newer uniform initially to be a picture of an Army officer, not a 4th Degree Knight. Honestly, …this uniform will be a distinct deterrent from considering 4th Degree.
    After having to dash to Mass from military duties many years ago, I recall a youngster having mistaken me for a soldier; because he had no cause to know about Air Force vs Army, I didn’t give him a hard time about it, but I WAS irritated. I did not take kindly to being mistaken for a soldier when I have always been an Airman.
    When I was 19, I might have agreed that looking like a military unit would be truly cool. I have learned differently the hard way. I have been a 3rd degree Knight for a few decades; I would very much like to see the Church worry far less about “fitting in” with everyone else. We have the One, True, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic faith having been given to us by Our Father in Heaven. We should not be arrogant about this, neither should we be bashful. Especially when everyone else is being pestered to be as secular as possible, we should celebrate being stubbornly Catholic. We should celebrate a willingness to be Knights.

  96. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks acardnal.

  97. PTK_70 says:

    Count me among those not crying over the “suppression” of the regalia of the 4th Degree.

    First of all, Supreme says it can still be used in “limited” circumstances. Fact is, the regalia was always meant for limited ceremonial use. At the time of the announcement, Eucharistic processions and the funerals of fellow Knights were the best occasions for use of the regalia. Today, a week or so after the announcement, Eucharistic processions and the funerals of fellow Knights remain the best occasions for the use of the regalia.

    I’ve worn the regalia for Holy Mass at least once, maybe twice. Speaking plainly, we were non-essential adornments. Relegated to the back pews. At least with this new outfit I can sit somewhere more towards the front of the church.

    To my way of thinking this new outfit means that Knights will be more visible at a broader cross-section of events. What’s to keep a Sir Knight from putting the outfit in his stable of “Sunday best” and wearing it to Sunday Mass once or twice a month? He can also don it for parish picnics and finance council meetings. It can be the outfit he wears as 4th grade CCD teacher. He can wear it to his son’s high school football game. The point is: it’s an outfit a Sir Knight can wear around. Of course, as a gentleman, he will doff his beret indoors.

    Speaking of the beret, I could take it or leave it but I know how to wear one properly and it won’t look silly on me, thank you very much.

    Disclaimer: While I am a Fourth Degree Knight, the thoughts expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the outlook of my Council or Assembly.

  98. jflare says:

    “Speaking plainly, we were non-essential adornments. Relegated to the back pews. At least with this new outfit I can sit somewhere more towards the front of the church.”

    In my experience, PTK, the attitudes of those who wear a given sort of uniform will have a significant influence on the perceptions of anyone around. If you could plausibly argue that capes, hats, and whatnot are non-essentials, I could just as easily argue that t-shirts and jeans will work fine for Mass because they cover the human body, allowing for modesty, which could be argued to be the only real NEED. Notably, parishes where a sense of decorum has begun to crop up again have begun realizing that t-shirts and jeans are not very suitable, as they do not encourage a person to seek to look (or act) his best in God’s house. So too should Knights understand the role they play.

  99. PTK_70 says:

    @jflare…..I can assure you that it was not my attitude or facial expression which got me (together with the rest of the honor guard) relegated to the back pews. In fact, the pastor was leaning on me to work some magic with my brother Knights so as to put on a full-fledged sabre salute at the consecration right in front of the congregation. But the long-timers in the Assembly had no appetite for such a thing. Plus I don’t think it was kosher with the liturgical planners-that-be.

    Based on my experience and discussions with other Sir Knights, I am not convinced that anyone really knows what role a K of C honor guard should play at Holy Mass. No such problem with Eucharistic processions and the funerals of fellow Knights…..an honor guard with regalia seems quite fitting for these occasions. I am also in favor of the new uniform as a means of making the Knights more visible at a broader cross-section of events. To compare the new outfit with the ceremonial regalia is to compare apples and oranges.

  100. jflare says:

    If I may be so bold, PTK, …your comments mostly endorse my thought earlier. I’ve heard about having to “go back to THAT again” more times than I could wish. These attitudes come from folks over 50 more than any other in the Church at large. Originally, the intent was good, to “reach out” to those who feel alienated from the Church. I have learned by long trial that such “outreach” has particular limits. Many–most?–of those subjects of outreach have little interest in morals or Catholic pride. If anything, they wish to “unify” by means changing the Church’s teaching, usually to suit “modern” ideas (which usually are anything except modern).
    Maybe the new regalia will make the Knights more typically visible. Maybe. I think though, it’s merely a matter of time before some younger man sees a picture of an Honor Guard in former regalia, then wonders what inspired the downgrade. Then again, I’m not sure the 4th Degree would have a liturgical role in typical Holy Mass. …but I’m not 4th degree, so I have no cause to know. I would think that being an Honor guard for weddings, processions, and the like would be quite acceptable though.
    Even there, because the newer uniform looks like that of the Army, I wonder how long it’ll be before someone mistakes a 4th Degree Knight for an active duty military officer. I also wonder how it’ll be before some parish must fend off a threatened ACLU lawsuit because Church/State separation is alleged to be violated.

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