“The Jesuit school with the rainbow flag is no longer Catholic”

The bishop’s decision has come, as he explains in the official decree published on June 16 on his diocesan website, “after months of discussions in an attempt to find alternatives to waving the flags of” Black Lives Matter “and Gay Pride outside school, incompatible with Catholic doctrine ».

In this regard, the Prelate decreed that “by Maternity school in Worcester it is forbidden to identify oneself as a “Catholic school“And can no longer use the title ‘Catholic’ to describe himself”. Mgr. McManus also forbade the celebration of Masses, Sacraments, and Sacraments “on the premises of the School of Birth, nor that the School of Birth sponsors them in any church or chapel of the Diocese of Worcester.”

“The birth school is not authorized to conduct any fundraising that involves diocesan institutions of the diocese of Worcester and are not authorized to be included or advertised in the diocesan list, ”the decree still reads. Finally, the prelate ordered that “the name of Bishop Emeritus Daniel P. Reilly should be deleted from the list of the Board of Governors for Maternity school “. As determined by the bishop, the president of Maternity schoolTomas McKenney, responded by noting that the Jesuit school will appeal the decision “through the appropriate channels offered by the Church in circumstances such as these.”

McKenney also specified that he will continue to flag Gay Pride and Black Lives Matter because of his “commitment, founded and animated by the values ​​of the gospel, by Catholic doctrine, and by our Jesuit heritage.” Bishop McManus indicated in his decree that the school’s refusal to remove the flags left him “no choice but to take canonical measures.”

Grounds for the decision

In the decree issued today, the Bishop of Worcester also explains that Maternity school was founded in 2003 and serves low-income students ages 11 to 14 who participate. Faced with the Jesuit school’s decision to wave gay and BLM flags, the bishop indicated in an open letter on May 4, 2022, that “these symbols (flags) embody specific programs or ideologies that contradict Catholic social and moral doctrine;“.

In addition, he warned, “the flag of ‘Gay Pride’ represents support for marriage between people of the same sex and actively living an LGBTQ + lifestyle. This also applies to “Black Lives Matter”. “The Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred, and the church unequivocally supports the expression ‘black life means something’ and yet firmly affirms that all life means something.” The BLM movement also contradicts Catholic social teachings about the role of the family. For Catholics, the Holy Family is not just a picturesque image. God the Son chose to enter the world as a child and be raised by a mother and a father. The BLM movement is, in its own words, “committed to breaking the requirement of nuclear family structure prescribed by the West,” which is yet another clear example of an ideological principle that is in conflict with Catholic doctrine.

For all the above, the bishop emphasizes, “Waving these flags in front of a Catholic school sends a contradictory, confused and scandalous message to the public about the Church’s position on these important moral and social issues.”

Vatican teaching on Catholic schools

Recalling that as diocesan bishop it is also his duty to ensure Catholic education in his jurisdiction, the prelate recalled that the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Vatican on May 29 published “The identity of the Catholic school for a culture of dialogue“. The text states, among other things, that”Catholic schools are part of the Church’s mission (section 21) and has the great responsibility of bearing testimony through a teaching project that is clearly inspired by the gospel (section 28) ». The document also indicates that “Catholic schools are ecclesiastical entities. As such, they participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church and represent the privileged environment in which the teaching of the Church takes place.”

In this sense, the prelate emphasizes, “as diocesan bishop, it is my sacred duty and my inherent responsibility to determine when a school that claims to be “Catholic” acts contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and ignores my legitimate authority as guardian and overseer of Catholic education in the diocese of Worcester.

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