WORCESTER, Mass. – The Diocese of Worcester told a local college it could no longer identify itself as a Catholic school because it disobeyed the bishop’s order to remove its Black Lives Matter and Pride flags.
The Boston Globe reports that the Bishop of Worcester, Robert McManus, told Worcester Nativity School in a letter this week that waving these flags in front of a Catholic school “sends a mixed, confusing and outrageous message to the public. on the church’s position on important moral issues. and social issues.
The school displayed the flags for more than a year before the bishop objected. The school is a private tuition-free college for boys in central Massachusetts with approximately 60 students. The students had requested that the flags be flown.
The diocese said it was waiting until the end of the school year to ban the school from identifying itself as a Catholic school, an order that takes effect immediately. Masses and sacraments are no longer permitted on school premises.
Thomas McKenney, president of the school, said in a statement Wednesday that the flags simply indicate that all are welcome at the Nativity and that this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching. McKenney added that flying the flags is not an endorsement of any organization or ideology, “they fly to support marginalized people.”
McManus published a letter in May on flags. He wrote that symbols that embody specific agendas or ideologies contradict Catholic social and moral teaching.
He took issue with the Black Lives Matter flag because he said “a specific movement with a broader agenda has co-opted the expression,” promoting a curriculum for schools with principles that “affirm queer” and “affirm trans “, as well as disrupting the “nuclear family”. He said the pride flags represent support for same-sex marriage.
Flags that say “End Racism” or “We are all children of God” would be far more appropriate for a Catholic school, he wrote.
The Nativity can appeal the bishop’s decision through the Jesuits who oversee the school. The city of Worcester raised the Black Lives Matter and Pride flags in support of the school, which has pledged to continue flying the flags to show solidarity with students, their families and communities, reports the Globe.
June is also Pride Month, known as a celebration of the LGBTQ community that involves parades and events.
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