18 June 2022

Yeah, This is Going to Go Over Great in Rome

It appears that His Excellency Robert Joseph McManus, Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester in Massachusetts, may have just screwed the pooch.

You see, he picked a fight with a Jesuit school over the flags that they are flying.

While there might be some theological justification for his objecting to the Nativity School of Worcester flying a pride flag, given that the Catholic Church and Pope Frank have expressed opposition gay marriage, the fact that demanded that the school take down a Black Lives Matter flag as well, which has jo justification beyond being a bigoted member of the right wing of the Church.

I do not think that this will end well for the Worcester prelate, nor should it end well for him:

Always nice to see the ol’ hometown making the papers again. From the Boston Globe:

Because it flies the Black Lives Matter and Pride flags, Nativity School of Worcester can no longer call itself Catholic. Bishop Robert J. McManus brought the hammer down on the middle school this week, after school officials rejected his demand that the flags — which had flown outside Nativity for more than a year before the bishop objected — be taken down.

“The flying of these flags in front of a Catholic school sends a mixed, confusing and scandalous message to the public about the Church’s stance on these important moral and social issues,” McManus wrote. Effective immediately, he wrote, Nativity is prohibited from identifying itself as a Catholic school. Mass and sacraments are no longer permitted on school premises, or in any building in the Diocese if Nativity sponsors them.

Nativity School is run by the Jesuits, so His Excellency is fcking with The Society, which, as shebeen regulars know, rarely ends well. ………

It should be noted here that Pope Francis is a Jesuit, and the first Jesuit pope, so it is likely that, should this come to the attention of the Vatican, that this will be viewed dimly.

Why does McMmanus object to the BLM flag?  That's changed over time:

Back in April, McManus said he objected to the Black Lives Matter flag because it has at times been co-opted by “factions which also instill broad-brush distrust of police and those entrusted with enforcing our laws.” Gay pride flags, he said then, “are often used to stand in contrast to consistent Catholic teaching that sacramental marriage is between a man and a woman.”

So his first objection to BLM was that they were not nice enough to cops, and so he objects to confronting the police over shooting black people.

I would note that the ethnic makeup of the school is:

  • African/African-American: 46%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 33%
  • Caucasian/White: 2%
  • Other/Multi-Race: 20%

Also note that it was the students who wanted to fly this flag, and this makes the school's position on BLM is understandable.  They don't want their classmates gunned down by racist cops. 

Then he follows up with an updated justification, which is even less defensible:

He has since revised his reasoning on the BLM flag. Instead of basing his position on his concerns for law enforcement, McManus now objects to the Black Lives Matter flag because elements of the movement, “which, I daresay, most people do not know about but is easily available on the internet,” are “queer affirming” and “trans affirming…”

So because some folks in BLM are supportive of the LGBTQ community, any sort of support of the group is beyond the pale. 

It should be noted that this objection could also apply to Major League Baseball.

McManus had better pray that word of this does not make it back to Rome.


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