The Nativity School of Worcester can no longer call itself Catholic after flying the gay pride and Black Lives Matter flags, according to a bishop’s decree.
The flags were flown directly under the American flag on the same pole.
The symbols are “inconsistent with Catholic teaching,” according to Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Diocese of Worcester.
Explaining his reasoning, McManus said “it is my contention that the ‘Gay Pride’ flag represents support of gay marriage and actively living a LGBTQ+ lifestyle.”
Happy Pride Month from Nativity Worcester! We stand with and support all members of our community who identify as LGBTQIA+ and we invite people of all walks of life to celebrate the diversity in our community!
Posted by Nativity School of Worcester on Monday, June 21, 2021
When writing of the Black Lives Matter flag, he differentiated between the statement “black lives matter” — which he styled in lower case letters — and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
In April, McManus issued a warning about the flags as well, and said of the Black Lives Matter flag that is has “been coopted by some factions which also instill broad-brush distrust of police and those entrusted with enforcing our laws. We do not teach that in our schools.”
After the warning, however, the school continued to fly the flags.
In a statement, the school’s president Thomas McKenney said “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.”
He also said he intends on appealing the decision to strip the school of its Catholic identity.
In issuing his decree, the Nativity School of Worcester is “prohibited” from identifying as “Catholic” and may no longer use the word to describe itself. In addition, “Mass, sacraments and sacramentals are no longer permitted to be celebrated on Nativity School premises or be sponsored by Nativity School in any church building or chapel within the Diocese of Worcester.”
Nativity’s president, Thomas McKenney, released a statement Wednesday announcing the school would appeal the bishop’s decision and “will continue to display the flags in question to give visible witness to the school’s solidarity with our students, families, and their communities.” McKenney said that flying the flags reflects the school’s “Gospel values” and “our Jesuit heritage.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.
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