The Nativity School, a middle school in Worcester, Massachusetts, has lost its Catholic affiliation due to flying the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Pride flags.
According to WFXT, the religious school has been flying the flags since January 2021. However, when the Catholic Bishop of Worcester was made aware of the flags, the school was ordered to remove them or lose the status of being considered a Catholic school.
Thomas McKenney, president of the school, said the flags were flown “to express support for making our communities more just and inclusive” and they “simply state that all are welcome at Nativity.”
A May statement from Bishop Robert McManus read in part, “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.”
After months of debate, as of June 10, the school is barred from identifying itself as Catholic and is not allowed to fundraise in any institutions affiliated with the Diocese of Worcester.
McManus explained, “It is my sacred duty and inherent responsibility to determine when a school claiming to be ‘Catholic’ is acting in such a way that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
He continued, “Despite my insistence that the school administration remove these flags because of the confusion and the proper theological scandal that they do and can promote, they refuse to do so. This leaves me no other option but to take canonical action.”
The Nativity School is the only tuition-free Catholic school in the Diocese of Worcester. Nor does the all- boys school school receive funding from the Diocese. Its students are predominantly people of color.
The Nativity School is planning to appeal the decision, WFXT reports.