Worcester Diocese Bishop Robert Jr. McManus will not attend the graduation ceremony of the College of the Holy Cross.

Bishop Robert J. McManus told Vincent de Rugo, president of the College of the Holy Cross, that he would not be attending the school’s opening ceremony in May after Bishop Pride asked the Nativity School of Worcester to stop flying the Black Lives Matter flags. Gazette.

A spokesman for the college confirmed that McManus would not attend the school’s graduation ceremony on May 27, the newspaper reported.

Following Bishop’s statement on April 3 about flying BLM and Pride flags at the Nativity School, students, faculty and alumni created and circulated an online petition asking that McManus not be invited.

McManus asked the Nativity School to remove the flags, which the Boston Globe first reported were signs that “stand in stark contrast to regular Catholic teaching.”

The 70-year-old Catholic bishop said in a statement that the Black Lives Matter flag has at times been “co-ordinated by certain groups, which fosters widespread distrust of the police and those responsible for enforcing our laws.”

Addressing the Pride Flag, McManus said that flags of homosexuality are often used to stand out from the stereotypical Catholic teachings that sacramental marriage is between a man and a woman.

“Is the school self-committed to ideologies that are contrary to Catholic teaching? If so, is this still a Catholic school? McManus wrote. “As the bishop of this diocese, I must teach that a Catholic school must use imagery and symbols that reflect the values ​​and principles of that school, so that it will be clear to the young people who will be formed spiritually and morally in the future.”

In response, McMahon said it was inappropriate to attend the college’s graduation ceremony and asked President Rogo to invite him.

“Unfortunately, Bishop’s statements express feelings of ignorance and bigotry that fail to conform to these long – standing values ​​that guide our community,” the petition said. “As a community that welcomes members of all genders, races, ethnicities and sexual orientations, we consider it inappropriate for Bishop McManus to attend this year’s graduation ceremony for the 2022 class, so we request that he refrain from attending.”

By Saturday, April 9, the application had received hundreds of signatures from students, faculty and alumni.

Nativity School is a tuition-free all-boys school that serves about 60 students from low-income families. The school is part of a Jesuit network, and in a statement shared with school president Thomas McKennie Maslow he said the school was “proudly” operating in the diocese of Worcester, but distinguished it as “not a diocesan school”.

Worcester Nativity School is one of 64 Nativity Miguel Schools serving more than 5,000 middle-aged boys and girls across 27 states in the United States.

According to the school’s website, the senior administration at Holy Cross developed the idea of ​​establishing a Nativity School in Worcester in the late 1990s.

McKenney said in a statement that the school began flying Black Lives Matter and Pride flags in early 2021 to remind our youth, their families and Nativity Worcester staff that they are welcome here and that they are valued and safe in the area. It tells them that they are as important and deserving of respect as our Christian values ​​teach us. ”

“That is the purpose of flying these flags,” he said.

In 2019, College of Holy Cross officials reprimanded McManus for insulting transgender people and calling them “deeply hurtful and criminal.” At a health care conference in May, the bishop likened transgenderism to the amputation of the hand of a man who had been identified as a pirate since childhood and was hooked in its place.

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