School excommunicated by Catholic Church for flying Pride and Black Lives Matter flags
A middle school has been kicked out of the Catholic fold by a local bishop after it rejected instructions to remove Pride and Black Lives Matter flags
The Nativity School of Worcester, in Massachusetts, was excommunicated by bishop Robert J. McManus, who said the flags don’t align with Catholic values.
The free tuition private school doesn’t receive any funding from the church and has said that it plans on appealing the decision, according to CNN.
Following the excommunication, the school will not be able to hold Catholic mass at school or any church within the Diocese of Worcester. It can no longer describe itself as Catholic or hold fundraisers involving the church after the school year.
In a statement, McManus said: “I publicly stated in an open letter…that ‘these symbols (flags) embody specific agendas or ideologies (that) contradict Catholic social and moral teaching
“It is my contention that the ‘Gay Pride’ flag represents support of gay marriage and actively living a LGBTQ+ lifestyle.”
McManus gave conflicting messages on Black Lives Matter.
“The Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred and the Church certainly stands unequivocally behind the phrase ‘Black lives matter’ and strongly affirms that all lives matter,” he said.
Confusingly, he claimed that the Black Lives Matter movement had “co-opted” the phrase “Black lives matter”, and that it “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 Nativity School of Worcester president, Thomas McKenney, said in response to the bishop’s decision to excommunicate the school: “As a multicultural school, the flags represent the inclusion and respect of all people.
“These flags simply state that all are welcome at Nativity and this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching.”
McKenney added: “Though any symbol or flag can be co-opted by political groups or organisations, flying our flags is not an endorsement of any organisation or ideology. They fly in support of marginalised people.”
Former student Guillermo Creamer Jr, who is gay ,chimed in on the bishops decision and said that he is on the “wrong side” of this debate.
“Revoking the Catholic status of a school simply because it is promoting inclusion is a backward mentality,” he said.
Creamer added that the timing of the bishops decision is “telling”.
“Doing this during Pride Month and days before Juneteenth is very telling for the motives behind such a move,’ he told New York Daily News.
Despite the pushback from McManus, McKenny told students that the flags would not be removed, according to the Daily Mail.
In a letter to the student body, McKenny said: “After meaningful deliberation and discernment by its board, leadership team, faculty, and partners, Nativity will continue to display the flags in question to give visible witness to the school’s solidarity with our students, families, and their communities.’