TO THE EDITOR:
I know Bishop Robert McManus to be a good, honest and righteous man and bishop, but I disagree with his decision to require The Nativity School to drop its ‘Black Lives Matter’ and gay pride banners, and with your editorial in support of this action.
Though the bishop rightly states that the Church teaches “that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God,” thus equal in dignity and value in God’s own eyes, he objects to these banners because they have sometimes been misappropriated to signal ‘distrust of police’ or the support of gay marriage. The irony here is hard to swallow. Perhaps the bishop should have his Catholic schools remove the crosses from their classrooms because that symbol has been so often co-opted to commit, condone, and justify a host of sins over the past two millennia, including Crusaders’ pillages, colonialist oppression and white supremacist racism.
I urge Bishop McManus to reconsider his position. These banners stand for inclusion, equality and the dignity of the human person regardless of race or sexual orientation. The abuse of those symbols by others should in no way obscure the truth of their intended message any more than the sins of those who abuse the Cross should obscure its truth. The Church is obligated to not only respect and honor the meaning of these banners, but to reach out to those who are marginalized, persecuted and discriminated against in our society, or as Jesus proclaimed at the start of his ministry, “to bring glad tidings to the poor... proclaim liberty to captives and... let the oppressed go free.” Instead of criticizing, we should all be congratulating The Nativity School community for so publicly living out our Lord’s command to stand for justice and to love one another as he has loved us.
Bruce Daigle, Woonsocket