Massachusetts school can no longer be called Catholic after flying Black Lives Matter and pride flags, says Bishop

Massachusetts school can no longer be called Catholic after flying Black Lives Matter and pride flags, says Bishop

Massachusetts school can no longer be called Catholic after flying Black Lives Matter and pride flags, says Bishop

A bishop in Worcester, Massachusetts, has said a high school in the area can no longer call itself Catholic because it proudly waved Black Lives Matter flags on campus after he was told to close it. In a decree, Bishop Robert J. McManus said the Nativity School supports movements that are “inconsistent with Catholic teaching.”

McManus wrote that “the ‘Gay Pride’ flag represents support for same-sex marriage and the active adherence to an LGBTQ+ lifestyle.”

As for the Black Lives Matter flag, he said that while the church “unequivocally stands behind the phrase ‘black lives matter’ and strongly affirms that all lives matter,” the BLM movement “has adopted the phrase and is promoting 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 teaching of the Catholic Church.”

“Flapping these flags in front of a Catholic school is a mixed, confusing and outrageous message to the public about the Church’s stance on these important moral and social issues,” the bishop wrote.

Not only can the school no longer identify itself as Catholic, but it can no longer celebrate Mass, sacraments or sacramentals, be listed in the Diocesan Directory, or raise funds from diocesan institutions, McManus said. A bishop who sits on the school’s board of trustees must be removed.

The school started flying the flags in January 2021 and said students were calling for the community to be “more equitable and inclusive”.

In March of this year, McManus and the Diocese of Worcester told the school to remove the flags, CBS Boston reported:† In late May, McManus warned Christmas school leaders that if the flags were not removed, they could no longer qualify as a Catholic school, the school said.

McManus officially signed a decree doing so, and spoke about the matter in the Catholic Free Press on Thursday.

“While we all want all our students, especially our black and brown inner-city students, to feel safe and welcome, we must adhere to the moral axiom that ‘the end justifies the means,’” ​​McManus said. †

The school’s president, Thomas McKenney, said in a statement Wednesday that the diocese’s decision will not change the way the Birth School operates.

However, McKenney said the school will appeal McManus’ decision. He also said the school will continue to fly the flags “to visibly demonstrate the school’s solidarity with our students, families and their communities.”

“As a multicultural school, the flags represent the inclusion and respect of all people,” he said. “These flags simply indicate that everyone is welcome at Nativity and this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching.”

The Christmas School is independently funded and receives no money from the diocese.