The Nativity School of Worcester has caught the attention of Bishop Robert McManus. The school is privately run and not part of the diocesan system. It’s students, predominantly African American and Latino, attend tuition-free.
Bishop McManus said the flags could confuse people about the Church’s teaching on civil authority and same-sex civil marriage.“Symbols can mean different things to different people,” Bishop McManus said. “As Bishop of this diocese, I must teach that it is imperative that a Catholic School use imagery and symbols which are reflective of that school’s values and principles so as to be clear with young people who are being spiritually and morally formed for the future.”
That’s getting at the heart of the matter.
“Our role in a school is not to convert those who are not Catholic, nor is it our role to deny our Catholic identity,” he added.
“While the Catholic Church joins with our nation in teaching that all lives are equal before God and all lives demand our respect regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. [But] the flag with the emblem Black Lives Matter has at times been co-opted by some factions which also instill broad-brush distrust of police and those entrusted with enforcing our laws.”
“We do not teach that in our schools,” he said.
“And while we teach that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God, gay pride flags are often used to stand in contrast to consistent Catholic teaching that sacramental marriage is between a man and a woman,” the bishop continued.
These Jesuits not so sure about that? Apparently.
“Is the school committing itself to ideologies which are contrary to Catholic teaching? If so, is it still a Catholic school?” he asked.
The school’s president, Tom McKenney, said the flags “remind our young men, their families and [school] staff that all [the students,
apparently?] are welcome here and that they are valued and safe in this place.”
What has the school done to make them think otherwise?
“It [?] says to them that they, in fact, do matter and deserve to be respected as our Christian values teach us.”
They’ve been accepted in the school, free of charge, and he’s concerned about them being held in disrespect? That’s hard to buy.
“That is the purpose of flying these flags,” he added.
To buck them up?