A bishop issued a decree saying that a school in Worcester, Massachusetts, can no longer bear the name Catholic because of its refusal to take down a Black Lives Matter flag and an LGBTQ pride flag.
The Nativity School of Worcester has been flying the pride flag and the BLM flag underneath the U.S. flag for more than a year.
Bishop Robert J. McManus accused the school of being “inconsistent with Catholic teaching” by flying the flags.
McManus said that the church supports the phrase “black lives matter,” but went on to assert that the BLM organization had “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.”
The bishop might have been referring to a statement published by BLM voicing opposition to the nuclear family and traditional gender roles. It was later scrubbed from the website.
“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,” the bishop added.
Some Catholics agreed with the bishop’s stance.
“If they want to continue to call themselves a Catholic school, then they should follow his guidelines,” said a local member of the Catholic church to WCVB-TV.
The school points out that they do not answer directly to the bishop but to the Jesuits, a separate order of the Catholic church.
School president Thomas McKenney said in a statement Wednesday that the decree from the bishop would not change how the school operates. He added that the school would appeal the decree.
“As a multicultural school, the flags represent the inclusion and respect of all people,” he explained. “These flags simply state that all are welcome at Nativity and this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching.”
The middle school serves about 60 boys.
Here’s a news report about the demand from the Bishop:
Catholic Bishop of Worcester demands middle school remove Pride, Black Lives Matter flags