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During his college days, a friend attended a Halloween party at a Jesuit school. When he arrived in a jacket and tie, people asked what was he going as? He replied, “A Jesuit.” This was a time when Pope John Paul II had asked all professed religious leaders to resume wearing clerical garb. Even though the Jesuits take an extra vow of obedience to the Pope, there was a certain level of disobedience by some on that somewhat minor theological point. But is obedience a minor point?

For Jesuit education in Worcester, Mass., a line was drawn in the sand by Bishop Robert McManus on June 16. That’s when he stripped the Nativity School of Worcester, a Jesuit middle school, of its right to be called a Catholic school. The school was the brainchild of administrators at the College of the Holy Cross. At issue are its Gay Pride and Black Lives Matter flags.

Promulgating his decree, the bishop wrote, “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.” He then forbid the school to celebrate Mass on its premises or anywhere in the Worcester Diocese. “It is my contention that the ‘Gay Pride’ flag represents support of gay marriage and actively living a LGBTQ+ lifestyle.”

He also said, “… 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 and clear opposition to the teachings this of the Catholic Church.”

Related: Pride Is Still a Sin and the Rainbow Still Belongs to God

These flags have been flying over the school since January of last year. However, on April 3, someone tore down the flag bringing the issue into public controversy. Since then, the bishop had been negotiating with the school to normalize its relationship with the Catholic Church.

Why should people care about a new controversy involving Jesuit education? Perhaps because Jesuit schools, like their poison Ivy League rivals, have a specific mission to train leaders. Think Anthony Fauci, Bill Clinton, Antonin Scalia, and, hey, even Fidel Castro, all of whom attended Jesuit schools.

Ironically at nearby Holy Cross, just days before the decree, Dr. Anthony Fauci was in town for a building dedicated in his honor. While there, the national vaccine guru apparently caught Covid. When it rains, it pours.

The response by Nativity school president Thomas McKenney to the bishop was to say ho-hum, we don’t get any money from the diocese, they don’t run the school, and we will continue to educate in the “Jesuit tradition.” Now, if you consider the “Jesuit tradition” to be the same as the Catholic tradition, you may be scratching your head at this point. Shouldn’t they be the same? McKenney vows to appeal this decree, apparently asserting the right of schools in the “Jesuit tradition” to ignore the Church’s teaching on the 10 Commandments and Catholic social teaching on marriage and the family.

How many Jesuits buried in Worcester are rolling in their graves at the idea that the homosexual and BLM advocacy movements are capturing the tradition they devoted their lives to? Didn’t they teach that Pride was one of the seven deadly sins, not to mention other things Catholics should abstain from?

The immediate response may be to wish McKenna good luck, that he is spitting into the wind. Except, he may believe he has an ace in the hole in the hierarchy who will slap down not him but his bishop. It has happened before. In the meantime, let’s give a cheer for this bishop willing to stand up for the truths of his faith.

You may not like Catholic teaching, you may disagree with it, you may even despise it, but if you are logically consistent, you should be happy there is a Catholic Church willing to be, well, Catholic. If a bishop doesn’t have the integrity to profess his own faith, he isn’t worth the ring or episcopal hat he wears. Religious diversity and freedom are built on the right to reject as well as embrace certain religious truths. And shouldn’t schools that reject Catholic teaching not advertise that they teach the Catholic faith? Joining another denomination, or no denomination, or embracing secular humanism are all options—no need for false advertising.