A Catholic Bishop has demanded that a Jesuit-run school in Massachusetts stop flying the LGBTQI Pride and Black Lives Matter flags. 

Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, who was arrested in 2013 for drunken driving, said the Nativity School of Worcester could risk losing its Catholic identity if it chose to continue to fly the flags. The school on its part has stood by its decision. 

The Nativity School of Worcester is an accredited tuition-free, all-boys school, that caters to mainly students of color from low-income communities. The school started flying the Pride and BLM flags below the American flag in 2021. 

Pride & BLM Flags Contrary To Catholic Teachings, Says Bishop

Bishop McManus, found out about the flags recently and issued a statement on April 3 criticising the school. 

“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. Is the school committing itself to ideologies which are contrary to Catholic teaching? If so, is it still a Catholic school?” Mcmanus said. 

The Bishop also characterised the BLM flags as divisive. “While the Catholic Church joins with our nation in teaching that all lives are equal before God and the law and that all lives demand our respect regardless of race, gender or ethnicity, 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,” the Bishop added. 

Bishop Was Arrested In 2013

“As the 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,” Mcmanus added. 

In a statement to the media after the controversy erupted, Tom McKenney, the school’s president, said that the institution decided to fly the flags “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.”\

Bishop McManus was arrested in May 2013  in Narragansett, Rhode Island and charged with drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The Bishop pleaded not guilty before a court and claimed that he had made a “terrible error of judgment by driving after having consumed alcohol with dinner.” A local court dropped the charges after McManus apologised.


© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.