A Massachusetts bishop revoked a middle school's Catholic affiliation on Thursday after they refused to take down their Black Lives Matters and LGBTQ+ pride flags.
As Fox News reports, The Nativity School of Worcester began flying the two flags in January of 2021, with Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus requesting that the school to take them down in March of 2022.
The middle school was defiant and by May, McManus explained that the school would be prohibited from identifying as Catholic if they didn't take the flags.
The bishop explained several times that the flags' messaging is inconsistent and often in contradiction to Catholic teaching.
In June, the Bishop followed through and officially announced that the school was "prohibited from this time forward from identifying itself as a 'Catholic' school and may no longer use the title 'Catholic' to describe itself."
The news was released in an official decree that is posted on the Worcester diocese's website.
On their website, The Nativity School of Worcester describes itself as "an independent, Catholic, Jesuit middle school that provides a quality, tuition-free education to boys from under-resourced communities." In response to the bishop's decree school president Thomas McKenney released a statement.
McKenny said, "Nativity started flying the Pride and Black Lives Matter flags following our students' (the majority of whom are people of color) call to express support for making our communities more just and inclusive." McKenney goes on to assert that "the flags represent the inclusion and respect of all people" which is incorrect.
The bishop pointed out that both flags have very specific meanings. The BLM flag openly "promotes a platform that directly contradicts Catholic social teaching on the importance and role of the nuclear family" and that the Catholic church doesn't support the LGBTQ+ lifestyles that are represented in the rainbow pride flag.
"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 told McKenney.
The consequences for McKenney's school: "Mass, sacraments and sacramentals are no longer permitted to be celebrated on Nativity School premises or be sponsored by Nativity School in any church building or chapel within the Diocese of Worcester."
McKenney continued to stand by the flags but said he'd appeal the bishop's decision.
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