WORCESTER - Bishop Robert McManus issued a second letter on Thursday on the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter flags flying at Nativity School of Worcester.
The Nativity School is an independent Jesuit middle school on Lincoln Street.
Just over a month since his first letter on the flags, Bishop McManus starts this second letter addressing issues of abortion and transgenderism, comparing a hypothetical Catholic institution hanging a sign outside offering "abortion services or family planning" to the Nativity School flying a Gay Pride flag and a Black Lives Matter flag.
"These symbols which embody specific agendas or ideologies contradict Catholic social and moral teaching. Gay pride flags not only represent support for gay marriage, but also promote actively living an LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Others in society may say that is fine. Such people may be doing wonderful humanitarian work. But an institution that calls itself Catholic cannot condone that behavior, even though the Catholic Church will “go to the mat” in teaching we must love those with whom we disagree," the Bishop writes in his letter.
"The same is true for Black Lives Matter as a logo. Because every human life is sacred, the Church is 100% behind the phrase 'Black lives matter.' However, a specific movement with a wider agenda has co-opted the phrase and promotes a 13-principle agenda for schools, which, I daresay, most people do not know about but is easily available on the internet," the Bishop continued. "Similar to the gay pride movement, those principles include, in their own words, to be 'queer affirming' and 'trans affirming.'"
The Nativity School of Worcester released a statement to ThisWeekinWorcester.com in early April, saying the school proudly operates in the Diocese of Worcester, but is not a Diocesan school. The school's sponsorship comes from the USA East Province of Jesuits, and its funding solely from donors.
The school's statement reads: "The Black Lives Matter and Pride flags fly below the American flag at our school to remind our young men, their families and Nativity Worcester staff that all are welcome here and that they are valued and safe in this place. It says to them that they, in fact, do matter and deserve to be respected as our Christian values teach us."
The Bishop addressed the Nativity School board, telling them they need to decide if they want to be a Catholic institution or not.
"Being sponsored by the Jesuits does not alone make a school Catholic. Many non-Catholic institutions perform great humanitarian works, but to be Catholic means espousing, not denying our Catholic identity," the Bishop said.
"Flags bearing the words “End Racism” and “We are all God’s Children” would be far more appropriate for a Catholic school," the Bishop said, concluding his letter.
To read the full letter, click here.