Chicago Parish bows to chancery, but some members Cut Up, Burn Rainbow Flag

Resurrection is the parish, dedicated in 1991 as a new parish coming of a  merger of two others, at 3043 North Francisco, has become a focal point of support for Catholic teaching on same-sex morality.

The pastor, aged 57, himself a survivor of homosexual rape as a boy of 11 and again when he was 19, has no use whatever for gay pride symbolism, especially in the church’s sanctuary.

It was there, “unfortunately,” when Cardinal Joseph Bernardin preached at the dedication mass, as were pride-decorated candles, shown in this picture — “no regular rainbow flag, but a banner merging the Cross with the rainbow. . . .  not innocent” but  “a signal that this parish would become the new ‘gay’ parish,” according to a parishioner.


Cdl. Joseph Bernardin standing beneath the rainbow flag

at 1991 inaugural Mass at Resurrection Parish.

Fr. Paul Kalchuk, now 57, took it down when he arrived as pastor 11 years ago. He announced a ceremonial burning of the recently rediscovered flag for Sept. 29 but was forestalled by the chancery at the urging of gay activists, New Ways Ministry reported.

Chris Pett, who is both a member of Dignity/Chicago and President of DignityUSA, expressed gratitude for the Archdiocese’s intervention that “quickly and firmly rejects the words of this pastor and his intended ‘ritual’ which are inconsistent with Catholic values and beliefs.”

Windy City Times — “Local priest’s planned Rainbow flag burning shut down by Chicago Archdiocese” — checked with the chancery:

In a statement to Windy City Times, Archdiocese of Chicago Communications and Marketing Director Anne Mascelli said on behalf of the Archdiocese, “We can confirm that the pastor has agreed not to move forward with these activities.”

The Times further quoted Chris Pett:

 “It appears that this pastor was hijacking the parish to promote an extreme, ultra-conservative agenda . . . which is not officially recognized by the Church and is rejected by most Catholics. National polling over the past number of years consistently shows that a majority of Catholics support LBGTQ people and our issues. While we continue to challenge the institutional Church to reject its harmful and incorrect teachings about homosexuality, we are glad to see this decisive action on behalf of all LGBTQ Catholics.”

New Ways Ministry’s Robert Shine carried the argument further:

Thankfully, church officials stopped the flag burning, as should every diocese nationwide when it comes to such intolerable acts. As the present reckoning with clergy sexual abuse makes clear, it is vital that church officials supervise and restrain pastoral ministers who cause harm to the faithful through actions and symbols of violence. Moving forward, officials in Chicago would do well to consider not only sexual abuse, but other forms of pastoral harm when determining someone’s fitness for ministry.

One of Fr. Kalchuk’s parisioners voiced a fear about the fitness issue, alleging a threat, apparently from the chancery:

It is a shame that he’s been told his faculties as a priest might be taken away. It’s a shame that we have taken calls from foul-mouthed people who wish him harm. It’s a shame he has to start sentences, “If something happens to me … .”

In any case, a few parishioners went ahead and burned the flag, privately, on their own. And the Sept. 29 ceremony will be held without burning anything but

will be centered on offering our pledges of prayer, fasting and abstinence to the Lord in reparation for the sexual abuse that has gone on and been covered up for so long.

via Church Militant

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