Bishop says school flying BLM, LGBTQ flags can no longer call itself Catholic
“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,” Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Diocese of Worcester wrote Thursday in an official decree.
A Massachusetts middle school may no longer describe itself as Catholic after refusing to lower a Black Lives Matter flag and an LGBTQ+ Pride flag, a local bishop has declared.
Bishop Robert J. McManus on Thursday said the Nativity School of Worcester, a tuition-free middle school for boys from low-income families, is prohibited from identifying as a Catholic School over its decision to fly the flags, which he said in April represented ideologies that are inconsistent with Catholic beliefs.
“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,” McManus wrote Thursday in an official decree.
Catholic mass, sacraments and sacramentals are no longer permitted to be celebrated on Nativity School grounds and the school is longer allowed to participate in fundraising involving other institutions in the Diocese of Worcester, McManus wrote in his decree, which is effective immediately.
The name of Bishop Emeritus Daniel P. Reilly must also be removed from a list of the school’s board of trustees.
“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,” McManus wrote. “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.”
In an open letter published by the Diocese of Worcester in May, McManus wrote that the flags flown at the Nativity School “embody specific agendas” that “contradict Catholic social and moral teaching,” warning that the school would be stripped of its Catholic identity if it continued to display the flags.