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School banned from holding Catholic Mass after displaying BLM and LGBTQ Pride flags

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A Worcester bishop has banned a school from identifying as Catholic and holding mass or the sacraments on campus after refusing to remove the Pride and Black Lives Matter flags at his request.

Driving the news: Bishop Robert McManus issued the decree Thursday, saying the decision to fly the flags at the School of the Nativity in Worcester, Massachusetts, was “inconsistent with Catholic teaching.”

  • McManus said the Pride flag is incompatible with Catholic teaching because it “represents support for same-sex marriage and an LGBTQ+ way of life,” while the BLM movement “contradicts Catholic social teaching on the importance and role of the nuclear family”.
  • “It is my sacred duty and inherent responsibility to determine when a school claiming to be ‘Catholic’ is acting in a manner contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” McManus said.
  • The school also cannot sponsor Mass or sacraments at churches in the Diocese of Worcester and is barred from organizing any fundraising related to other institutions in the diocese, McManus’ executive order said.

Background: The Nativity School began flying the Pride and BLM flags in January 2021 after students called on the school to “express support for making our communities more just and inclusive,” Nativity School President Thomas McKenney said. , in a statement.

  • “These flags simply indicate that all are welcome at the Nativity and this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching,” McKenney added.
  • McManus originally asked the school to remove the flags in March 2022.
  • Following the bishop’s decision to revoke the school’s Catholic status on Thursday, McKenney said the Nativity will continue to display the flags “to visibly show the school’s solidarity with our students, our families and their communities”.
  • He added, “The commitment to our mission, founded and animated by Gospel values, Catholic social teaching and our Jesuit heritage compels us to do so.”
  • McKenney’s statement also highlighted that Pope Francis praises “the awareness and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people” in the Catholic faith.
  • Pope Francis is widely considered a progressive, largely due to his support for same-sex civil unions. In June 2020, following the death of George Floyd, the Pope urged Catholics not to tolerate “the sin of racismamid global protests for the Black Lives Matter movement.

And after: The Nativity School plans to appeal the decision, McKenney said.