A private Massachusetts Catholic middle school has been excommunicated by a local bishop over its refusal to refrain from flying the Black Lives Matter and rainbow LGBTQ pride flag, contending that the ideology behind them is not consistent with the church’s social and moral teachings.
Worcester Bishop Robert McManus issued a formal decree that the Nativity School of Worcester can no longer call itself Catholic while continuing to fly the flags after he ordered that they be removed, a demand that was ignored by school officials who clearly believed that the left’s false religion of diversity is the highest power of all.
“I publicly stated in an open letter dated, May 4, 2022, that “these symbols (flags) embody specific agendas or ideologies (that) contradict Catholic social and moral teaching.” It is my contention that the ‘Gay Pride’ flag represents support of gay marriage and actively living a LGBTQ+ lifestyle,” McManus wrote. “This is also true of ‘Black Lives Matter.’ The Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred and the Church certainly stands unequivocally behind the phrase ‘black lives matter’ and strongly affirms that all lives matter.”
“However, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement has co-opted the phrase and promotes a platform that directly contradicts Catholic social teaching on the importance and role of the nuclear family and seeks to disrupt the family structure in clear opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” he added. “The flying of these flags in front of a Catholic school sends a mixed, confusing and scandalous message to the public about the Church’s stance on these important moral and social issues.”
“As Diocesan Bishop, it is my sacred duty and inherent responsibility to determine when a school claiming to be ‘Catholic’ is acting in such a way that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and disregards my legitimate authority as the guardian and overseer of Catholic education in the Diocese of Worcester,” he said in the decree.
“Despite my insistence that the school administration remove these flags because of the confusion and the properly theological scandal that they do and can promote, they refuse to do so. This leaves me no other option but to take canonical action,” Bishop McManus wrote.
(Video: YouTube/CBS Boston)
The school which is the region’s only tuition-free private facility began flying the two controversial flags beneath the United States flag in 2021.
“As a multicultural school, the flags represent the inclusion and respect of all people. These flags simply state that all are welcome at Nativity and this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching,” the school’s president Tom McKenney said in a statement to the community.
“Pope Francis has praised the outreach and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops supports the spirit and movement of ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Both flags are now widely understood to celebrate the human dignity of our relatives, friends and neighbors who have faced, and continue to face hate and discrimination,” he added. “Though any symbol or flag can be co-opted by political groups or organizations, flying our flags is not an endorsement of any organization or ideology, they fly in support of marginalized people.”
Worcester Human Rights Commission chair Guillermo Creamer Jr., who is an openly gay alumni of the Nativity School of Worcester, disagreed with the decision.
“The Bishop’s outdated rhetoric has no place in Worcester. It’s time to continue promoting inclusion and acceptance in the church,” he wrote on Twitter.
I’m a proud, openly gay alumnus of the Nativity School of Worcester.
I am proud of the leadership the school has taken to promote inclusivity.
The Bishop's outdated rhetoric has no place in Worcester. It’s time to continue promoting inclusion and acceptance in the church. pic.twitter.com/Ec4Il3hCNz
— Guillermo Creamer Jr (@GuillermoCJr) June 16, 2022
“Nativity will seek to appeal the decision of the Diocese to remove our Catholic identity through the appropriate channels provided by the Church in circumstances like this,” the school’s president said in his statement to the community.
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