Crux tweets horrid image of Pope Francis, Pres. Trump… funded by @KofC

CRUX is funded by the Knights of Columbus.

CRUX posted this image on Twitter concerning the meeting of Pope Francis and Pres. Trump.  Link to Tweet HERE


Knights of Columbus… is it time to cancel your insurance?

Moderation queue is ON.


John Allen of Crux apologizes.

17_05_24_Crux_screenshot_02 17_05_24_Crux_screenshot_03

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Absit invidia says:

    The Knights only exist to recruit guys to waste their Tuesday nights on meaningless shenanigans and for their due money.

  2. APX says:

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!!

  3. OdeM says:

    Unless there is something wrong with my two browsers, it appears that the post has been deleted. I will have to check on the mobile units a little later.

  4. DavidJ says:

    @Absit I don’t know about your local councils, but the ones I’ve been a member of are very focused on outreach and volunteer work, and the fundraising we do helps fund a lot of charitable outreach from the parish and for worthy local charities like crisis pregnancy centers. That’s a very broad brush you’re painting with.

  5. mysticalrose says:

    Repulsive and vulgar. The Knights should be ashamed.

  6. dahveed says:

    I’m a Knight. And I’m horrified by that image. Crux needs to go. Away. I don’t have any insurance with KoC, so I cannot threaten to remove it. But other related thoughts do come to mind…

    The person who made and tweeted that (I’m assuming they’re one and the same) needs to lose their job. Today.

  7. QuietContemplative says:

    I couldn’t find it on twitter. Could be the account was hacked. Or it is a spoofed image. Or they realized how bad an idea it was an deleted it already. Either way, it’s gone now.

  8. JohnE says:

    Seems that what was tweeted has since been deleted.

  9. majuscule says:

    The KofC must find out who has access to the Crux Twitter account. Time for heads to roll…

    Okay, that was uncharitable. Time to make that person’s name known, have them issue a public apology and sever any official tie they (the tweeter) has with Crux.

    Better yet, KofC needs to sever their ties with Crux.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    Crux reveals at heart we all think this is a gross and disgusting image, and on a visceral level, it repels us, as it should. Kind of contradicts Fr. Martin, essjay, et al. and all the rah rah.

  11. traditionalcatholicman says:

    As a member and officer in a very orthodox Council and Assembly that both do lots of good work I would say no. However, seeing the decisions of some in leadership, I can’t help but wonder if the KofC will eventually split into two organizations. For all of the good the organization does, there are questionable things that occur here an there and these frustrate the orthodox members who feel like they are in a minority. However, the fraternal benefits are amazing and those of us who are more orthodox can use the overall organization to accomplish amazing things either by ourselves or through contributing (e.g., the JPII national shrine in DC).

  12. karlparker says:

    As a former Freemason turned Catholic I have never been able to bring myself to join the K of C. The Knights have always appeared to be a poorly formed wannabe Masonic group. No thanks.

  13. Joseph-Mary says:

    My husband is a 4th degree Knight and I am impressed with the faithfulness of his Council and all the good work they do.

  14. Roman Catholic Guerrilla says:

    On twitter I tweeted about it and it caught fire fast. John Allen has tweeted an apology.

  15. Adaquano says:

    The Knights really do vary from council to council, mostly related to the parish they originate from. I know of very faithful councils with strong men that do much good, I also know of councils that are more like wannabe Masons. Regardless that is a horrific image, and both President Trump and Pope Francis deserve more respect than that.

  16. Benedict Joseph says:

    Would I expect anything else of Crux?
    I actually have more respect for “Fishwrap.” They are boldly proud of that for which they should have shame. They don’t camouflage their nature at all. John Allen’s “Crux” attempts to sport a vestige of reasonableness and in so doing only magnifies its abhorrent nature. Carl Anderson’s “Knights” have chosen to keep company with poor company. It speaks loudly of them.

  17. G-Veg says:

    It is my experience that the Knights are as useful and important as they want to be. Some Councils are integral, providing pastors with tremendous tools for outreach and community service and unlooked-for income. Even very small Councils can be of great benefit.

    Some are nearly useless, a dried up twig, severed from the vine.

    Particularly troubling is the national organization which seems at once afraid to attempt great things and critical of Councils which do not meet goals. The benefits are good, very good even but much more impressive is the good that can be done by a group of Catholic men who place their linked arms at the service of the Church.

  18. Link says page doesn’t exist. Maybe someone hacked the page? All the rest of the photos are good.

  19. VexillaRegis says:

    Well, that picture of course is a reference to Soviet leader Breznevs fraternal kisses with various kommunist leaders of yesterday:

  20. JMGcork says:

    Notice the gold pectoral cross and chain on Pope Francis. Pope Francis would never wear such a thing!

  21. Boniface says:

    Let’s all hold our horses here.

    Terrible, unacceptable image and tweet by *Crux*. I’m sure there will be consequences there, and the Knights, to which I belong, will no doubt have a talking-to with Crux about their financial support of them. But it was posted by Crux, not the Knights! Let’s keep that clear. The Knights do great things, are quite orthodox, and are one of the very last organizations we should be going after right now.

  22. ThePapalCount says:

    This is vulgar.
    The Knights who support CRUX need to fire someone fast and issue an apology and an explanation.
    This is not consistent with what the KofC is about and we all know this.
    And to those who knock the KofC please be careful. It is one of the most generous Catholic organisations within the Church. They spend millions of dollars each year on helpful projects and charities. And it provides Catholic men with a place to socialise and to perform both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. If some KofC Councils don’t live up to what is expected they are wrong and need to improve and I suggest are in the minority.
    Now, as to the image:
    Even for those who hold Pope Francis in low esteem would surely be offended by this image. Its anti Catholic, hateful, vulgar and repugnant.

  23. donato2 says:

    Aside from its vulgarity, the image conveys a moronic message. Does anyone really think Pope Francis is supportive of Donald Trump? An actual photo of their meeting in fact almost comically conveys the opposite message. In it, Donald Trump has a big smile and Pope Francis, who is next to him but not too close, has a very dour look:

    [He looks that way with everyone.]

  24. SpesUnica says:

    What’s with this collusion between Fr. Z and the National Catholic Reporter ganging up on the KofC?

    I smell a conspiracy!

    But seriously, if the KofC was it’s own denomination, it would be the 12th largest church body in the US. It’s a big group. Large bureaucracies make stupid bureaucratic mistakes, sort of like..the Church. The Knights do enormous good, and when you read the N(c)R’s recent witch-hunt pieces on them, it makes me proud to be a Knight.

  25. John Allen tweets: “I’m sorry to all who may have been offended….

    “The ubiquitous ‘I’m sorry you were offended’ or ‘I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt’ are not really sincere apologies! In fact, they fall into what might be termed as the passive-aggressive category – you know the person is hurt, you know you did something to contribute to it, but you don’t really feel compelled to own it.

    What does it feel like to the person on the other side when the apology implies that they have a problem – they were the one who chose to be offended, they were the one with the weak feelings that got easily hurt, they were the one who misinterpreted your actions and interpreted them as hurtful? So, who is the problem?”


  26. SundaySilence says:

    All I know is that in his speech in Saudi Arabia, President Trump made clear that we are in a battle of good vs. evil. Impressive that he chose those words, this being the Centennial of Fatima.

  27. boxerpaws63 says:

    “And to those who knock the KofC please be careful. It is one of the most generous Catholic organisations within the Church. They spend millions of dollars each year on helpful projects and charities. And it provides Catholic men with a place to socialise and to perform both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. If some KofC Councils don’t live up to what is expected they are wrong and need to improve and I suggest are in the minority.” Amen to that.

  28. iamlucky13 says:

    “The person who made and tweeted that (I’m assuming they’re one and the same) needs to lose their job.”

    They’re not the same. Crux copied it from elsewhere.

    In the course of trying to figure out what the image was even supposed to convey (the meaning of the older Breznev-style portrayal of Trump and Putin kissing is more obvious), I found out it’s a mural somebody who goes by the pseudonym “TVboy” painted on a wall in Rome, and was reported as a news curiosity a couple weeks ago. I found his website, but he provides no commentary on its meaning or whether he was commissioned by anybody to produce it.

    I guess I’ll provide a news link rather than raise the search rankings of the artist:

  29. vox borealis says:

    John Allen apologized: good, even if it was a somewhat weaselly “I’m sorry for those who were offended” apology. But how such a poor editorial decision (to include the image) even made in the first place? The mask is slipping a little for Mr. Allen?

  30. hwriggles4 says:

    Active 3rd degree Knight here. Belong to a vibrant council of good men (average age of council members – about 40, many married with 3 or more kids, quite a few of us with military backgrounds) who are true to the magesterium.

    That said, I can vouch that the council’s that are dying are the ones where the average age is 60+, guys just want to have casino nights, drink beer, and do very little pro life and spiritual growth. These council’s are dying because the JPII generation (i.e. my council, I was born late 1960s) is looking for a mission, not a club, so if young people don’t see a mission, there is not much of an incentive to join.

    By the way, the Knights do have an interview process – one has to be a practical Catholic in good standing. I didn’t embrace the pro life movement until around 2000, and didn’t join the Knights until a few years later. A good friend of mine didn’t join the Knights until his annulment was granted.

    However, there have been some Knights that swept through the cracks. I was really embarrassed that during the fall of 2008 there was a group of Knights on the east coast (either in NJ, NY, or MA) that were caught on camera campaigning for Obama, and I think they were reprimanded.

  31. SKAY says:

    “Our aim is to be a “one-stop-shopping” destination for the best in Catholic news, analysis and commentary.”

    I cannot imagine that any Catholic working for a Catholic website connected with the K of C would think this picture represents in any way the standards they
    are claiming to have. It is much more than just a dumb decision and it is disgusting.
    The person responsible is the person who sent it and should be fired.

  32. the little brother says:

    mistake, no.
    in your face evil, yes.
    call it what it is.

  33. SpesUnica says:

    Mr. Allen really has been quite self-effacing. Let’s all think about how rare that is in this day and age; someone apologized and took the image down!

    And NO, he didn’t merely say, ‘sorry if you were offended.’ He said “This was really dumb and we shuold have known better.”

    You win! Let it go!

  34. frjim4321 says:

    I’ve pretty much ignored Crux since K’s-o’C started funding it.

    I think John Allen needs to run back down to the crossroads and ask for a refund.

  35. Lulu42 says:

    I saw it yesterday, and I was one of the people questioning if Carl Anderson has access to the internet–because it seems Crux is a completely different entity from the KofC. I see John C Allen apologized, but perhaps a lapse in judgement that large reveals an inability to be a good steward of catholic media? Not advocating he lose his job and become unemployed, people make mistakes. But rather, why not reassign him to something where his judgement isn’t necessary to do quality work. His reporting and editing does not seem to be doing any good, for anyone, including himself.

  36. Benedict Joseph says:

    Boniface: The Knights are not quite orthodox as long as they lend financial support to a website that is hostile to the perennial Magisterium of the Church.
    Denial does not cut it.
    Let Carl Anderson know that this engagement with NCReporter “lite” leaves a stench behind it.

  37. mlmc says:

    A”poor editorial decision”? That is like saying cannibalism is a poor culinary choice! If that is a “poor” choice what would a horrendous or sacrilegious choice look like?

  38. DeGaulle says:

    Did Allen actually say it was wrong?

    All I read from him are weasel words, implying he regards this as little more than a tactical mistake or an error in timing.

  39. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    The Knights may fund and perhaps own Crux, but I doubt they’re involved in the day-to-day running of the site.

    I remember in 2000, a newspaper in Spokane, Washington published article that referred to the Rev. Robert Spitzer, S.J., then-the president of Gonzaga University, as a “Nazi priest” in a headline. This was put in as a joke in the page proof by some intern at the paper, a Gonzaga graduate who didn’t like Spitzer’s defense of unfashionable Church teachings, but was never intended to be actually published. But it was. The paper apologized and fired the intern. My point is the newspaper’s publisher and TV critic, etc. were not involved in this.

    John Allen apologized, and this should be the end of it.

    We should forgive people, liberal, conservative, or moderate, who are truly sorry for their mistakes.

  40. Emilio says:

    Echoing some of the sentiments above, it takes a gentleman to apologize without making any excuses as John Allen has done. Many on Catholic social media and the blogosphere have delved into the inappropriate and unfortunate…and many of them do everything BUT apologize. Crux has some liberal writers and journalists which cause concern and disappointment, but John Allen is someone who I thoroughly respect. Maybe this episode will cause some needed introspection at Crux.

  41. Peg Demetris says:

    And yet, as I just checked, its still there. Total lack of prudence. Pathetic.

  42. Peg Demetris says:

    Link to the tweet STILL there, and I couldn’t find the apology tweets.

  43. Absit invidia says:

    Glad to hear theyre not a complete waste.

  44. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Compare this with the spectacle of Don Imus who once made a racist comment about a women’s college basketball team who were mostly black.

    Hillary Clinton got involved (which led comedian Jim Norton to mock her stated purpose of “to help with the healing”). On his way to meet the athletes, NJ Gov. Jon Corzine got into a serious car accident.

  45. Filipino Catholic says:

    I have more of an issue with whoever painted the original mural in the first place. According to the Reuters article the culprit is a certain “TVBoy, who is believed to be Italian street artist Salvatore Benintende”, which i find irritatingly ironic due to the fact that I read that name to mean “savior, good intentions” or perhaps “well-meaning savior”.

  46. Grumpy Beggar says:

    You guys help make Fr Z’s combox one of the best , and keep it helpful reading for me personally.

    Thanks to VexillaRegis and iamlucky13 for providing some context. I would tend to concur with The Motley Monk and DeGaule , but at the same time see the merit in Spes Unica’s post . Still, the culprit is able to hide himself/herself handily among those implicated by use of the terms “we” and “us” , as opposed to “I.”

    From its inception, I have always encountered trouble pronouncing the name “Crux” . . . could never get it to roll off my tongue . . . it always came out sounding like “Crooks.”

    Although, on the internet pictorial slurs abound , whoever posted the picture (it may not not have been Mr Allen himself) cannot be much of a praying person. We Catholics have to be people of prayer – not people of slander and detraction .

    To whichever , whomever, and however many of the , um, geniuses that were behind the posting of that picture : You need to read more deeply into Scripture. When Jesus said we need to become like little children to enter the kingdom, He meant we have to become more childlike . . . not more childish. . . get a prayer life.

  47. jazzclass says:

    The comments have become a K of C bashing session. Look, a fund raiser and the actual leadership for the website are different entities. Remember that this is a group certain sovereignties between councils. I attended a tlm in the Diocese of Charlotte where The K of C actually did ceremonials for the Solemn High Mass. Vide —->

  48. Sonshine135 says:

    I would like to ask for my fellow Catholics on this blog to show a little bit more charity, prudence, and wisdom when commenting please. It is always very disconcerting to see the Knight Bashers come out of the woodworks when something of this nature occurs. Let’s consider the facts please:

    1. This was a very stupid and heretical picture posted by Crux, but Crux admitted as much.
    2. The Knights of Columbus likely had no control over one individual with the reigns to the Twitter account.

    Now, I know no one here ever does anything stupid that they regret, but in charity, maybe you should take this for what it is. I believe chances are very high that Carl Anderson is reconsidering KofC support for Crux, because he meets with the Pope rather frequently. Imagine trying to explain that one.

    If you wish to express your displeasure to him, the mailing address to Supreme Knight is as follows:

    Knights of Columbus
    PO Box 1670
    New Haven, CT 06507-0901
    Attn: Mr. Carl Anderson

    Father Z, I am very surprised that you would pose the question of even cancelling life insurance. I believe this was intended to be provocative. I think you succeeded. It would be an immense overreaction to do this. My family has whole life policies, annuities, and LTC with the Knights. I have seen many Brothers over the last few years die, and the KofC is always there within days to personally deliver the check to the widow.

    I have been a part of many of the good things that the Knights have done- including faithful Brothers in the 4th degree who have supported and celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass. We’ve built numerous ramps for disabled people. We support people with disabilities with manpower and money. If your impression of the Knights is other than this, your Council/ Assembly is doing it wrong.

    I respectfully ask for the Knight bashing to stop, or better yet, comments closed. [This isn’t your blog. And the KofCs don’t get a pass for funding an organization that would post something that would so completely violate the ideals of the KofCs. And there hasn’t even been an explicit apology from Crux yet. Admission that it was a bad idea, maybe. Not an apology… that I have seen.]

  49. un-ionized says:

    DavidJ, I agree with what you say about the Knights. The Knights at my parish have been very helpful to me, being alone and all. When my mom died they helped me empty her apartment and figure out what to do when I have had other somewhat less traumatic events. A very nice outfit. I made sure I gave them a nice donation for all their trouble.

  50. TimG says:

    My $0.02
    1) I am a 3rd Degree Knight of the “younger generation” (joined in 2009.)
    2) Fr Z does a great service. Positive and negative news are commented on as he sees fit. This is a public forum and we need to share information good and bad!
    3) I have NO issues with him posting about this or that we bring pressure to bear on KC leadership. There are good and bad issues to be discussed within KC, like any Catholic organization including the Church itself and it needs attention.
    4) Why the KC decided to support Crux in the first place makes no sense to me….it’s a lukewarm site marginally better than Fishwrap.

    Vivat Jesu!

  51. Titus says:

    There was an interview about the Knights’ funding of Crux in the last edition of Columbia. The Knights don’t exercise any editorial control over it. That was apparently John Allen’s deal: he’d operate a site that attempted to distribute Catholic news to a wide audience, and he would take the Knights’ money to do it, but he wouldn’t give them a voice over how he did it.

    Now, maybe that was a poor decision by the Order. And maybe a snafu like this shows it to be a mistake going forward even if it wasn’t obviously a mistake at the outset. But the suggestion that the Knights are responsible for Crux’s tweets—especially in a way that would necessitate members withdrawing from the Order—is off base.

    It would be nice to have a general-audience news outlet that had the capability to write about the Church in an intelligent manner. It would be good for everyone. The Knights agreed to provide funding to Crux on the chance that it could fill that role. Again, maybe it’s not doing a good job of it, but it’s not a facially irrational concept.

  52. The Mad Sicilian Geek says:

    Here is the email that I sent to

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am both angered and severely disappointed in Crux’s recent decision to an article – with the full approval of John Allen – containing a picture of Pope Francis and President Trump embracing in a homosexual kiss (mouth-on-mouth). He and Crux then tweeted out the article – with the disgusting featured image – on both Twitter accounts.

    Once they started to get backlash, they removed the article, but left the tweet up for 24 hours with the offensive image until that, too, received backlash and was then removed.

    First and foremost, their decisions violate our four virtues of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism and must not be tolerated in any way shape or form.

    The very fact that John Allen would even approve such a featured image in Crux in the first place, and then tweet it out approvingly, shows a serious failure in judgement. It is beyond outrageous! Has he lost his mind???

    At least one person must have stared at that image repeatedly before publishing it. There was ample time to recognize how disgusting and offensive it is and say “Hey, this should never see the light of day!” Instead they published it.

    You don’t get to say “Ooops… Sorry…” with no consequences.

    There must be consequences for such a wrong-headed decision. It cannot be viewed as a mere “editorial mistake”. The people at Crux were trying to be edgy until the outcry.

    Therefore I strongly recommend that the Knights of Columbus pull ALL funding from Crux.
    Furthermore, I ask that John Allen step down from all editorial decisions related to Crux.

    Vivat Jesus!

Comments are closed.