A Massachusetts bishop decreed that a Jesuit school can no longer call itself 'Catholic' because it refuses to remove flags supporting Pride and Black Lives Matter. My story at @americamag: https://t.co/VtaIxRbzS6
— Michael J. O'Loughlin (@MikeOLoughlin) June 16, 2022
Bishop McManus, and his fellow ‘traditionalists’, made their way to the leadership in an era when men were men, parishioners were ‘the flock’, and ‘lesser vessels’ — women, people of color, ‘deviants’ — were supposed to know their place. They don’t want to adjust to this new and changing world, but there’s only so much power they have to hold back time and the modern world:
… Thomas McKenney, president of the Nativity School of Worcester, wrote in a letter to the school’s community that the school would continue to fly the flags as it appeals the bishop’s decision though church channels.
“As a multicultural school, the flags represent the inclusion and respect of all people,” Mr. McKenney wrote. “These flags simply state that all are welcome at Nativity and this value of inclusion is rooted in Catholic teaching.”
The Nativity School of Worcester, founded in 2003, offers tuition-free education for boys from economically disadvantaged communities. Affiliated with the Jesuits, the school receives no financial support from the Diocese of Worcester and instead relies on donations and grants. According to the school’s website, the student body is comprised of 61 boys, in grades five through eight, most of whom are people of color.
In January 2021, students requested that the school fly a rainbow flag to show support for the L.G.B.T. community and another to support Black Lives Matter. According to the school, the flags remained up for more than a year before the bishop requested they be removed. Shortly after that request, the flags were torn down in an act of vandalism, but the school replaced them…
This is not the first time Bishop McManus has clashed with a Catholic school in his diocese over L.G.B.T. issues.
In 2019, he delivered remarks at a Catholic health care conference in which he said church teaching is at odds with the movement to support the rights of transgender people.
Administrators at the Jesuit-run College of the Holy Cross, which is located in Worcester and has connections to the Nativity School, responded by calling his remarks “deeply hurtful and offensive.” That prompted a reply from the bishop, who repeated his call that all people, including those who are transgender, be treated with compassion and respect. But he stood by his remarks…
"Yeah? Bring it, pendejo." https://t.co/kIpccFL94w pic.twitter.com/GvoDFiesxI
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) June 16, 2022
Speaking of consecrated followers of Ignatius of Loyola, here’s the Pope in Rome:
Lmfao even the freaking Pope hates the trads. https://t.co/kwrqadN7ap
— The Substack of Boba Fett (@agraybee) June 15, 2022
If a full schism develops between the Mother Church under Pope Francis, and the ‘traditionalists’ looking to reinstitute the church they remember from the 1950s (or the one they envision from the 1600s), a major chunk of the rebels’ support in America and western Europe will be people less interested in theology than in revanchism, frankly:
How do you say “Worcester”? Is it “wooster” as in the name of the sauce?
Also, if the diocese doesn’t fund the school, does the bishop really have the power to make it change its name?
@Amir Khalid: yep, like Bertie Wooster!
@Amir Khalid: Theoretically, it’s pronounced like the sauce (they’re both named after the English city), but to my incomer ears it’s more like ‘WIS-tah’, usually.
As for the school, Bishop McManus has forbidden it to hold Mass on school premises, or to fund-raise together with ‘official’ Catholic charities. I’m pretty sure the Jesuits will find a site to hold Mass somewhere in that very working-class Catholic city, and any potential donations from ‘official’ sources can probably be made up by contributions from the spiritual members of the (unofficial) Peoples’ Progressive Commonwealth.
I’m being told the correct pronunciation is ” Wuh-sta”
Only the effete elites pronounce it “Wis-tah“
I often drive by the Nativity School and I never knew much about it.
I’m going to send them a donation next week
Also, really, its Wuhster. Lots of us who live here now are not from here, and we are from places that actually say the “r” at the end of words. We moved here because it is a badass town and Boston is too friggin expensive.
@emmyelle: Since we live in WOOHbn (named after another British city) but work in Cambridge (Spousal Unit) and Boston (till I retired), I’m not gonna disagree that the Hub proper is too wicked expensive!
Afaict, the isoglosses in MA are beyond the ken of mere mortals. Yeah, at least it’s on the Bertie side. As someone whose surrounding Midwestern ‘Muricans would say War-cester.
edited to fix FYWP’s autocorrect, which no one will believe but it turned “Muricans into Mercians… Well, linguistics I guess. I should have taken a screen shot.
It’s spelled Raymond Luxury Yacht but it’s pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove!
(By the way, we have a Woburn St here in Bellingham.)
Just recalled that Worcester is one of many cities where I have family. It’s not that either side is that big, just that we seem to want to avoid one another;<). This group isn’t Catholic, but Pilgrims (UCC) like myself.
That was my question, under what authority does the diocese have the power to demand the flags be taken down? And if the school does not comply, then what?
I see Anne Laurie answered my question.
They don’t really care about life.
@lgerard: I have a friend who grew up in Medford, or “Mehfud.” Her dad was Irish, her mom Sicilian. From hearing Debbie talk, I sometimes think that the Medford town motto is, “Blow it out you ass, buddy!”
The Thin Black Duke
These pious hypocrites are driving more Catholics away from the church than Satan, God help us.
The Thin Black Duke
@JPL: But they have power because so many people are afraid of death.
I have no answer, but enjoy this song.
J R in WV
Some fellow-jackal once told us about how, in the Army, newly hatched officers were taught to never issue an order they know in advance will not be obeyed.
A shame the Bishops of the Holey Mother Church aren’t taught that before they are frocked up and sent into battle with their flocks. And the preceding sentence is deliberately ambiguous, yes, it is.
Judge Luttig wrote a twitter thread explaining why he felt it necessary to be clear and precise. He’s healthy and did not suffer a stroke. link
@JPL: Thank you for that link.
I was checking out Ragnarok Lobster on twitter and was interested to see Mr. Lobster retweeting John Cole, on violence against watermelons.
And in totally unrelated news, this week Israel’s parliamentary opposition plans to put forward a resolution to dissolve the government. The PM’s Yamina Party has had another defection and the resolution may well pass. The likely result: an election this November, which would be the fifth since 2019.
The Jesuits have a long history of not worrying too much what the local bishop says and they have structured things so what the local bishop says has very little effect on them. In the 60s when birth control was a big Catholic controversy the bishop in our area went on a rampage suspending priests who even mildly questioned things. The Jesuit priests at high school I went to went beyond mildly questioning things and the bishop couldn’t do a thing except rage.
Referred to locally as a ‘Boston mixed marriage’.
@PAM Dirac: I read that it was a Jesuit priest who introduced the Ailanthus tree to America. I’m not saying it was the Jesuits, but it was a Jesuit.
Poor Bishop McManus. He could have been Pope, but the fekkin Jesuits have it all tied up.
@The Thin Black Duke: Not my fight because I am not Catholic, but my husband is. His sisters all still say the rosary. Very few of the younger generation go to church at all. Nor does husband, nor does my brother in law whose uncle was a priest and a missionary. All because of the pedophile priest issue.
Unspoken in all of this is how little American Catholics pay any attention to the pronouncements from the bishops, unless it’s a directive they would have gone along with anyway. The “trads” don’t, that started with rejecting the Second Vatican Council and ended up with some subsects even electing their own “popes”. Mainstream Catholics have ignored the bishops for generations by now, starting with using birth control.
A quick look at Wikipedia says that a Jesuit sent the first seeds to Europe in the 1740s. Vineyard owners in the US East curse the tree because it is the favorite tree of the spotted lanternfly which is wreaking havoc in vineyards in Pennsylvania and still spreading.
@Geminid: I wish you had kept that to yourself.
Kind of interested to see which way the next Pope will turn. Hopefully a while off. Francis is probably as good as it gets.
@PAM Dirac: I just mentioned that accursed tree as one I need to cut down on the garden thread post. Cut down and kill with root killer, or more will come back from the stump. UGH!
@PAM Dirac: Was that Gonzaga in DC? I was a student there at that time when such an incident occurred.
@PAM Dirac: One of many reasons to cuss that irrepressible tree.
Some early growers thought the Ailanthus might be a good source of tannin for tanning leather, but I think the only really good use that tree ever had was as an urban shade tree. It could thrive where other trees were blighted by air pollution. The tree in the title of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was an Ailanthus. The novel’s protagonist likened herself to that tree, surviving in a tough environment.
@divF: Yes, I think we have determined that we were both taught by Fr Woodward. I think you graduated right before I arrived (Class of ’73)
@Geminid: Yes it seemed that some thought it would be an interesting ornamental, but as you say, its only value now is that it can survive where others can’t. It’s lucky for my little vineyard that there aren’t any close to me. First thing all the extension people say for growers worried about spotted lanternfly is kill all the Ailanthus you can find, although as satby says that’s easier said than done.
That’s right, I had forgotten. I was class of 69.
@divF: I’m sure Fr Woodward would have had a witty remark about your nym.
Which, IIRC, even Pope Francis has been appallingly mild in his criticism of.
@lowtechcyclist: Some good bicycling weather today! I’ve got a sweater on. A nice break after a sweltering week.
Very happy workers photo.
I’m worried this will cause Apple to start overpricing their products.
Guffaw. There’s not a lot of risk for the employees. They tried to organize a store in Atlanta, Apple countered by giving all of them a two dollar an hour raise. The union effort fizzled but they’re still up two dollars an hour.
About as good as it gets! I’ve got some stuff going on this morning, but once I drop the kid off to get ready for this afternoon’s performance of a play he’s in, my afternoon’s free, and the back roads of southern Anne Arundel are calling.
@Kay: It’s interesting to see yet another union helping organize Amazon workers. I read last year that the Teamsters were also throwing their weight into unionizing Amazon, both delivery drivers and warehouse workers. I think their strategy was to get representation in Canadian facilities first and then move south.
People hate when I say this, because the independent newer unions are smaller and scrappier and David v Goliath is a good story, but I think they should join a larger union once they’re in. They just need the resources.
IAM has 300k members. 100 employees are not big enough and not sophisticated enough to deal with Apple. They’re working at the store. They can’t also run a union.
@Kay: Ah, now I see that you were talking about an Apple Store, not an Amazon warehouse, that the IAM helped unionize. But your point about the role of larger, established unions is well taken. When I read about the Teamsters’ intent to organize Amazon, I thought: this may be David versus Goliath, but like in the old story, this David is a good slingshot.
Heh. I see what you did.
We used to have an ailanthus tree in our yard that the squirrels planted. Not knowing any better, we encouraged it, because it grew where we had lost a different tree. Big mistake. We used to call it the tree from when dinosaurs walked the earth. Weird primitive tree. And it sure did spread its offspring. We finally have them gone from the yard, but it took years.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
I blame a lot of the ills in this country on Reagan. A lot of things started going downhill in the early 1980s. I see the rise of unions as good news and a sign that Reaganism may finally be reversing.
We have quite a few Teamsters here because they got into food production plants years ago. So commercial bakeries, companies that make canned soup and candy makers. They’re aggressive. I’m not surprised they would be courting the Amazon warehouse workers. When our county social services workers organized the Teamsters bid to represent them. They didn’t win- the social workers went with a government employee union, but you have to admire trying – it’s only like 40 employees.
O. Felix Culpa
Yep. My elder son went to St. Ignatius, which had a lot of people from your original stomping grounds. It was fascinating listening to them talk about their parishes and traditions. Felt rather like an anthropological foray into an foreign (to me) culture. ;)
Plus, it’s never wise to mess with the Jesuits. The trads should have learned that by now.
Yet another day I am happy to work at Holy Cross. When it comes to the two most important catholic institutions in Worcester, Holy Cross and the diocese, it is very hard to find any issue of disagreement where Holy Cross isn’t on the right side of history.
Reaffirms my decision to leave the Catholic Church years ago. At this point it’s just a brand like Nike or Apple or Jeep. “You can’t call yourself Catholic…” what utter BS.
Can someone point me to the Bible passage that forbids supporting civil rights? I don’t remember seeing it.
Mike in NC
I grew up in Boston and didn’t have much need to ever visit Worcester, which I thought qualified as a shithole city back in the day.
An old joke among Catholics:
A Benedictine, a Franciscan, and a Jesuit die in a plane crash and are standing in front of God, the Father Almighty.
God looks at the Benedictine and asks, “Tell me, follower of Benedict, how did you spend your life?”
The Benedictine says, “I Lord, I spent my life in solitude to meditate on Your Word.”
“Ahh, wonderful’, God says, “You may enter. And you, follower of Francis, how did you spend your life?”
The Franciscan says “I emptied myself to be a servant to the least ones.”
“Bless you, child, you may enter. Now you, follower of Ignatius, tell me-”
The Jesuit says “OK, first off, you’re in my seat…”
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Agreed that Reagan was a marker for when things starting going downhill. But just like Trump is today, Reagan was a symptom.
The hell of it is, the whole ‘turn the other cheek’ thing IS a story about civil rights.@debbie:
It’s Massachusetts, so it’s properly pronounced “Woostah”.
RW Trad Caths are CINOS.
Christians/Catholics In Name Only.
@Anne Laurie: The Thin Black Duke and I expect to be moving… well, some time before the end of the summer… and will likely end up in Worcester. Which means he has finally learned not to say “Wor-chester.”
(New Bedford is the other leading candidate but will probably be ruled out eventually. I work in Newton, when not telecommuting.)
The crazy thing to me is that I was raised Catholic and I legitimately never knew they had a position on homosexuality until I was in my 20s. And there’s certainly no justification for his objection to BLM flags.
Compassion and helping the downtrodden was literally all I was taught about. Clothing the poor, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, not to mention turning the other cheek to end the cycle of violence. The Samaritan of the famous parable was remarkable not only because he rendered aid when others walked by, but because Samaritans were considered pariahs by the people at that time.
I simply don’t recognize the religion in men like Bishop McManus. They are the key reason I left the church.
Christ on a crutch:
White supremacy, “traditionalist”-style.
@Chief Oshkosh: It’s funny but I just don’t hear much about Reagan anymore from the Right. I remember Rush Limbaugh calling him Ronaldus Magnus. There was a push to rename something in his honor in all 50 states, an initiative which gave us Reagan National Airport in DC. Republicans pushed both Bush presidents down the memory hole, but I always thought they revered Reagan. Well, the fantasy Reagan in their heads who crushed the Soviets bare-handed and cut taxes to spawn Morning in America. Not the guy who traded arms with Iran and may have had Alzheimer’s in office. But now – nothing.
@robmassing: The ‘all lives matter’ response is such an obvious taunt. Particularly in an era when many of those same people can watch children gunned down in school and then recoil at the idea of doing anything to prevent that from happening in the future.
Sure, it’s those bits in Genesis that talk about the Sons of Ishmael and how they should know their f#*#*#g place.
Not sure what that is in traditionalist Latin, but it sure had a major effect on the likes of Bishop McWhitebread.
@Jinchi: There are still ~2500 Samaritans now, living in northeastern Israel and the northern West Bank. They have a somewhat different Torah than Jewish people.
Someone recently published a Samaritan cookbook that was featured in the Times of Israel. It seemed like very healthy food.
You mean to tell me His Holiness the Right and Good Bishop is just another shitposter, not a Highly Serious and Righteous Representative of the Lord?
@Chip Daniels: A Dominican and a Jesuit and a Franciscan are arguing about which order is most favored. A card flutters down from heaven: “You must stop this quarrelling! I love all my orders equally!
(Signed) God, S.J.”
Ella in New Mexico
I really don’t understand why the Pope can’t punish this kind of behavior with a reassignment or demotion.
Or a kick in the ass or something.
I suspect that the Jesuits will eventually fly a banner with a small banner at the bottom, in Latin, that translates to Go f yourself.
You say that like its a bad thing. And yes, half my family is Catholic.
Do you also hand-wring about right-wing MAGA Republicans driving people away from the Republican party?
Because this kind of petty shit happens everywhere in the church and in every country. You ought to see what sort of things the Opus Dei types and conservative Bishops in Chile say.
@Kent: I am all in favor of the radicals driving people away from the Republican party. They’ve been doing it Virginia for twenty yers, and we’ve gone from a red state to a blue/purple state in that time. There are several different causes, but one is that an alliance between bible thumpers and tea party cranks has alienated moderate Republican and Independent voters, and energized Democrats as well.
It was almost 50 years ago that Archbishop Cardinal McIntire of LA drove the nuns of Immaculate Heart – the teaching order who ran their own high school and college and had some of their members in the parochial schools of the diocese – to laicize. They didn’t have any strong social agenda, they just wanted to update their habits to something more compatible with modern life and 100 degree heat for months of the year. At that time the habit was the full length long sleeved black (probably wool) with a wimple that covered all of their hair. Think nuns running across campus in those outfits in September when the rest of us were in sundresses or shorts. There was some back and forth over whether or not the archbishop had the authority to dictate their dress code, and finally the nuns voted overwhelmingly to become a lay order. It caused a bit of disruption to the parochial schools at the time. They had to pay any of the former nuns who were still employed as teachers – the religious institution members exemption no longer applied.
Overall, the general consensus was that the archbishop did not win that fight.
So now I’m going to have to travel across the country to go to an Apple store?
@Liminal Owl: Welcome to the Woo! Grab a Polar seltzer and Works and a Garden at George’s Coney Island! See a B-list show at the Hannover. Take a nice walk in Green Hill Park. And be sure to catch the Woo Sox for an evening game, after an early dinner at Lock 50.
How in the hell did a Jesuit school like Holy Cross turn out a lump of bitter corruption like Clarence Thomas? /rhetorical question
I went to a Catholic all boys technical HS for freshman year. I am not a Catholic, as were a very few other kids and maybe 3 or 4 of the teachers. One day we had to gather in the middle yard for the arrival of the Cardinal of the area. He arrived in a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce limousine in silk robes and with enough diamond and precious stone rings on his fingers to pay the debt of third world country. This is in the very early 60s. It was the most disgusting display of pompous arrogance I’ve ever seen. And I’ve had another 60+ yrs of observation.
@emmyelle: I know someone with a very special T-shirt. From an ill-thought out PR campaign in the early ’80s, it proudly proclaims, “Worcester, the Paris of the 80s”, over a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower. Honest to God, and it wasn’t a spoof either.
eta, there is actual documentation!
The cardinal in my story at #77 was McIntyre.
@PAM Dirac: I had a Ph.D. student many years ago who was a Jesuit. One day he walked into my office and announced he had to stop his doctoral studies because he was going to NE Brazil to work with the poor. I knew that this kind of lefty stuff was trouble in Brazil, and asked him what the Pope thought about this sort of thing. “The Pope?” he snorted. “The hell with him. We go where our mission needs us.” I am a hard-core Protestant, but that made me think again about the constructive forces within the Catholic Church. Apparently they are still around….
@Jinchi: I agree. These politicized conservative bishops were not a thing in the 80s. Maybe it’s always been true and only become clear lately but I recall nuns helping gay kids and people with HIV when others wouldn’t. The priests not so much. Anyway, I used to like priests and nuns. Now I don’t want to be near them. Honestly it is time to rescind tax free status for religious organizations.
@emmyelle: Thank you! Many plans. But first we have to get the house… (Sorry, I didn’t see this earlier.)
@caphilldcne: “…These politicized conservative bishops were not a thing in the 80s….”
Yeah, they were. You’ll have to go digging for the details, though, if you want them. I am told that his successor is also, ah, how you say in Eengleesh, no bargain.