It seems the time many Catholics have waited for is on the horizon. Slowly, Catholic bishops and priests have started defending the faith and pushing back against the LGBTQ heresy running rampant in the Church. However, has one bishop gone too far in pushing back against groups that are often associated with politics?
Following Archbishop Salvadore Cordileone’s public banning of Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving the Eucharist due to her continued support for abortion, several other leaders have taken a stand against issues against the faith. It’s a spark of hope many Catholics have been waiting for and support. The most recent resistance has come from Massachusetts, where Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester has stripped a school of its “Catholic” title and privilege following its refusal to obey the requests and orders of the bishop and remove the LGBTQ flag and Black Lives Matter flag.
The Nativity School of Worcester, a Jesuit operated middle school, continued to fly the LGBTQ and BLM flags despite the order from the bishop to remove them from the flagpole and grounds. According to National Catholic Register, the bishop and school had been working for months to settle the dispute with no resolution. As a result, the bishop stripped the school of its Catholic status.
The removal of the Catholic status also removes the school’s ability to hold Mass or any of the sacraments at the school. Under Canon Law, the bishop can indeed remove the Catholic status from a school, even if it is Catholic in its teaching, if he chooses to do so or believes it is teaching something against Scripture or Church teaching. Bishop Manus told the National Catholic Register it was his “sacred duty and inherent responsibility” to make the decision because the school ignored his Church authority by ignoring his order to remove the flags.
The bishop said the LGBTQ flag was in direct opposition to Church teaching because it symbolized, in his opinion, gay marriage and an active LGBTQ lifestyle which the Church has deemed “disordered” and must not be accepted. Although one could disagree with his stance on the LGBTQ flag, it is certainly in line with Church teaching and Sacred Scripture.
However, what is wrong with the Black Lives Matter flag? He said the BLM flag represents an organization that promotes a platform of social teaching and the “role of the nuclear family and seeks to disrupt the family structure”, which is opposing the Church teaching of the role of family and family structure.
Bishop McManus did not go into detail regarding why he believes the BLM flag undermines the nuclear family or what about the family structure he disagrees with regarding BLM. It is clear and evident the teachings of LGBTQ are against Sacred Scripture and Church teaching. It is not, however, clear as to what about the Black Lives Matter movement directly contradicts Church teaching and the bishop did not explain.
Father Anthony Bozeman, pastor of the Church of Transfiguration in Los Angeles, would disagree with the bishop’s decision and view of BLM. In an article he wrote for the USCCB on Black Lives Matter, he writes, “We are called not to vilify Black Lives Matter, but to assist it so that we can truly demonstrate by our witness that ‘All Lives Matter’. Remember, if one of us is hurting then all of us are hurting. Many will try to distract from the issue that causes the formation of groups like Black Lives Matter, the sometimes insidious, but always prevalent factors that affect the sin of racism. Innocent people were not ultimately murdered by those who took an oath to ‘protect and serve’, but all too often ‘harass and harm’ in the black, brown, and Native American communities.” He continues in his article by saying, “instead of denigrating, deriding, and denouncing the Black Lives Matter movement, we ‘good’ Catholics must realize that supporters of Black Lives Matter are a part of us. Some members of the movement share our religious affiliation. Also, Black Lives Matter attempts to help powerless and marginalized citizens. Those that the Gospel says are special to Christ. Ultimately, Black Lives Matter and all humanity are created by the same God. Our Triune God calls us to be one in Him and each another.”
Bozeman was installed as the first African American pastor of the church in Los Angeles in 2021. He was formerly a diocesan priest in Philadelphia and now serves as a member of the Josephites. The Josephites are the only priestly society dedicated to serving African Americans.
It is clear there remains racism in this country and racism is a sin. It’s a sin against the dignity and value of the person God has instilled in every life He creates. The Black Lives Matter movement has certainly had its share of controversy, like any other group, but it is unclear what nuclear family teaching the bishop deems is against Church teaching from BLM.
The bishop was correct in removing the LGBTQ flag, which promotes sin and a lifestyle against the Lord.. However, he may have just taken it to an extreme in the removal of the BLM flag. Did he go too far without any justification? I would argue, he did, in fact, go too far.