From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
New Haven, CT––The Knights of Columbus, which are made up of wealthy white men and organized into Jurisdictions, Districts, and Councils boasting of over 14,000 local units in America alone, were founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney, who was totally a real person and whose real name was, no joke, “McGivney,” with the mission, “to prevent Catholic men from entering secret societies whose membership was antithetical to Church teaching.” Upon entrance, a new Knight is given the title “First Degree” during a ceremony to which no one who is not a member is invited. After serving in the Knights for a certain un-specified amount of time and attending their meetings (which are not closed off except to those who have not gained membership in the Knights), the member enters the “Second Degree” by partaking in a ritual service which is entirely open to all who are members of the Knights of Columbus. Similar events happen during the “Third” and “Fourth” degree ceremonies. “Joining the Knights of Columbus is quite simple,” said Second Degree Knight Robert Burkens. “One simply must be a male, over 18, and Catholic, and current Knights will seek him out and badger him to join, treating him as somehow not truly Catholic until he does. The Insurance policy is completely optional, but recommended, since soon-to-be St. John Paul II was once quoted as saying ‘The Knights of Columbus Insurance Policy is the right hand of the Catholic Church.’”
When asked to comment Pope Francis said, If I comment will they make me wash potatoes for the fish fry again?