Bishop Strips School Of ‘Catholic’ Credentials Over Their Public Political Stances

Written by Wes Walker on June 17, 2022

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It’s a clash that goes all the way back to biblical times when Peter and the other apostles told their accusers, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’

That same moral tension between God’s law and cultural pressure has been picked up elsewhere in scripture in places like James 4:4: ‘Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.’

Bishop McManus of Worcester Diocese in Massachusetts has tired of one Catholic school in his diocese trying to wear the title of ‘Catholic’ while embracing political messaging openly hostile to core Catholic values.

Since local school administrators have shown where their true allegiance lies, the bishop has acted accordingly.

From his official statement on the issue.

He begins by explaining the issue:

After discussions over the past few months in an attempt to find alternatives to flying the Black Lives Matter and gay pride flags outside the school which are inconsistent with Catholic teaching, Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Diocese of Worcester has issued the following official decree regarding the Nativity School in Worcester. The decree is being published online today in The Catholic Free Press, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester.

…The school claims to be a “Catholic” school affiliated with the Roman Catholic/Jesuit tradition. The administration of the school has permitted the flying of “Black Lives Matter” and “Gay Pride” flags in front of the school for a period of time.

I publicly stated in an open letter dated, May 4, 2022, that “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.

This is also true of “Black Lives Matter.” The Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred and the Church certainly stands unequivocally behind the phrase “black lives matter” and strongly affirms that all lives matter.

However, the “Black Lives Matter” movement has co-opted the phrase and promotes a platform that directly contradicts Catholic social teaching on the importance and role of the nuclear family and seeks to disrupt the family structure in clear opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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.

According to canon 803, §§ 1-3, of the Code of Canon Law, the Diocesan Bishop must maintain vigilance over Catholic Schools within his Diocese, even those operated by lay groups who seek the use of the title “Catholic” for their schools. Such usage requires ecclesiastical approbation (canon 803, §3).

Since they scoffed at the Bishop’s corrections, the Bishop has moved his sanction to the next step. If you want to call yourself Roman Catholic, submission to lawful religious leadership is part of the package. If your institution blows off the moral authority of those who exercise legitimate and established religious oversight, you might be many things, but ‘faithful Catholic’ isn’t one of them.

The school is being formally stripped of their status as ‘Catholic’. The implications go much further than just the name on the letterhead.

After prayerful consideration of this matter, I, the Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, holding before me my pastoral responsibilities to this particular Church, in view of canon 381, §1, hereby declare and decree the following:

• The Nativity School of Worcester is prohibited from this time forward from identifying itself as a “Catholic” school and may no longer use the title “Catholic” to describe itself;
• Mass, sacraments and sacramentals are no longer permitted to be celebrated on Nativity School premises or be sponsored by Nativity School in any church building or chapel within the Diocese of Worcester;
• The Nativity School is not allowed to undertake any fundraising involving diocesan institutions in the Diocese of Worcester and is not permitted to be listed or advertise in the Diocesan Directory;
• The name of Bishop Emeritus Daniel P. Reilly must be removed from the list of the Board of Trustees of Nativity School.
This decree is effective immediately.
I order that this decree be published.
Given at Worcester, Massachusetts, this the tenth day of June, in the Year of Our Lord, two thousand twenty-two.

Here’s where we pivot from news to analysis for the benefit of any readers asking the ‘so what’ question.

Not everyone would understand why a bishop might take such a stand. It’s not really that complicated. It’s a Biblical form of discipline drawn directly from Jesus’ own teaching in Matthew 18.

“And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

That doesn’t mean rejecting them and treating them like dirt. It means knowing and understanding they don’t (yet) have a living faith in God.

What did Jesus say we should do with heathens and tax collectors? Well, they may not be numbered among the group of believers, but they are still part of another group that Jesus had in mind, ‘all nations’:

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

This bishop’s decree is unusual and controversial because it creates a bright line of distinction between what Christians must believe and what those who take their moral cues from culture must believe.

But before you denounce it as ‘unloving’ remember the warning of Ezekiel (chapter 33).

If the watcher on the wall (a metaphor for the preacher) does not warn the city of impending danger (a metaphor for divine judgment of sin), preacher will be held accountable for his failure to warn the people, whether they would have heeded his warning or not.

BLM and Pride aren’t the only place this tension between divine authority and human authority pops up. We saw another flavor of it during the pandemic.

Dear Christian: Your Fear Is Full of Crap

by Doug Giles

Beginning in March 2020, many Christians went into lockdown-freak-out mode.

They “socially distanced” themselves from corporate worship and from pretty much everyone and everything else, except, of course, liquor, and grocery stores.

Uncut, irrational, unbiblical, and not to mention, unconstitutional, fear gripped many churches and church leaders.

Should pastors publicly repent if they obeyed Fauci in regard to how they conducted their ministry instead of adhering to the clear commands of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

That’s a legit question, eh?

Get your copy of Dear Christian: Your Fear Is Full of Crap now. Better yet, grab an extra copy for any petrified pastor who dutifully put obedience to the unconstitutional edicts of Mayor McCheese ahead of obedience to the explicit commandments of the LORD God Almighty.