The Knights of Columbus have started a prayer campaign in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s unexpected retirement announcement.
The organization is asking Catholics to pray daily for both the pope and Church during this transitional period. Taking into consideration the power of social media as a means of widespread communication, the campaign encourages the use of Twitter and has its own hashtag.
With more than 1.8 million members, the Knights of Columbus is considered the world’s largest Catholic fraternal order. Founded in 1882, and often referred to as “strong right arm of the Church”, the organization is comprised of roughly 15,000 councils worldwide.
In a statement issued by the Knights of Columbus, Catholics are asked to record their pledge of daily prayer on the campaign’s official website. The order plans to present the names of participants at the Installation Mass for the new pope.
In addition, the campaign is encouraging the use of Twitter as a means of prayer support. Pope Benedict XVI caused a stir when he became the first pope to utilize the social media tool.
The Knights of Columbus statement reads:
“The Knights are also encouraging people to send their prayerful support to Pope Benedict XVI directly by tweeting “I am praying for you” and the hashtag #prayerforthechurch to the pope’s Twitter account @pontifex.”
As previously reported in The Inquisitr, Pope Benedict XVI announced his intent to vacate his position on February 28. He attributed his retirement to advanced age and deteriorating strength.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson expressed the following sentiment about the retirement:
“In these remaining days of his papacy, our thoughts and prayers are with Pope Benedict XVI, who has worked so hard in leading the Church, and has always been such a good friend to the Knights of Columbus. We wish him all the best in his retirement. In addition, we pray for all those cardinals who will take part in the conclave, and for his successor, that God may inspire them as they carry out the mission with which they are entrusted.”