By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) has learned that former D.C. mayor Anthony Williams recently withdrew his application to become a member of the prestigious Catholic order, the Knights of Malta. LSN broke the story earlier this month that Williams was pursuing enrollment in the ancient and elite Catholic charitable order despite a record of clear opposition to legal protection for the unborn and for true marriage.
In a recent letter to constituents posted by the Washington Times, the order’s president Noreen Falcone said that Williams “has advised the Board of Directors of the Federal Association that he has withdrawn his application.”
The letter said that “unfortunately not always enlightened” discussion had swirled around the former mayor’s candidacy, and complained, “Rather than bring their concerns to the attention of the Board of Directors or the applicant’s sponsors, certain members of our Association chose to air their concerns about this candidate through the Internet and by sending anonymous letters to two Washington newspapers.”
Falcone called for concerned members, “in fairness to the privacy concerns and reputations of candidates,” to “bring those attentions to the President and the Board rather than first airing them anonymously in public” to avoid “needless embarrassment.”
However, members of the order had begun directing concern over Williams’ application to the Knights’ headquarters several months ago. A letter dated September 2008 and supplied to LSN from a source within the Knights requested “that [Williams’] candidacy for membership in our Order be terminated.”
“The overwhelming evidence suggests that Mayor Williams is in direct violation of the letter and the spirit of the requirements for membership,” said the letter, signed by 24 members of the Order. “If tuitio fidei [protection of the faith] is in fact our responsibility as Knights and Dames of Malta, it is dissenting Catholics such as Anthony A. Williams who make our defense and evangelization of the faith difficult.”
Williams was clear on his support for unlimited abortion access and same-sex “marriage” in questionnaires he answered during his 1998 mayoral election campaign.
“We will not go back to the days of women dying from back-alley abortions,” Williams told a Planned Parenthood questionnaire. “I do not support limiting access to safe and medically necessary methods of abortion.”
In a separate questionnaire, Williams promised to support same-sex “marriage,” opposed federal protection for true marriage, and voiced support for equal access to adoption by homosexual couples.
Williams is the second pro-abortion politician to lose a bid for membership in the nearly millennium-old knighthood, one of the most revered orders of the Catholic Church, after LSN reported the affair.
LSN reported in early 2007 that Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chairman who openly opposed the Church’s teaching on abortion, had announced his candidacy for knighthood. Within days of the report, the Rome office of the Knights told LSN in the strongest terms that McCauliffe would not be admitted to the order, and LSN learned that McCauliffe’s application had been withdrawn.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Catholic Knights of Malta Likely to Reject Pro-Abort Former D.C. Mayor
Catholic Knights of Malta to Honor Radical Anti-Life, Anti-Family Former DC Mayor Williams
Knights of Malta in Rome Reject Pro-Abortion Terry McAuliffe
“Must Be Another Order” Say Disbelieving Malta Knights Over Pro-Abort Terry McAuliffe’s Revelation
Terry McAuliffe: A Pro-Abortion US Knight of Malta