TO THE EDITOR:
At various points in time the cross of Christ has been co-opted by groups whose message is inconsistent with Christian teaching. The medieval crusaders emblazoned the cross on their flags as they laid siege to the Holy Land, murdering thousands of innocents as they plundered the ancient city where the Eucharist was first celebrated. Fortunately, we do not banish symbols which intend to convey positive messages just because some might co-opt them for contrary purposes.
The April 21 editorial in the RI Catholic (“Bishop McManus and the Two Flags”) supported the bishop’s call for the Nativity School of Worcester to take down the Black Lives Matter flag and gay pride rainbow flag because “some factions” have used these flags to preach messages that are contrary to Catholic teaching. Meanwhile, the Jesuits who run the Nativity School continue to fly these controversial flags, most likely to signal Jesus’s unwavering support for those who are marginalized and discriminated against. In his own time, Jesus himself was criticized by religious authorities who objected to his association with sinners and tax collectors. They thought that by standing in solidarity with these morally compromised individuals, he might be sending the wrong message.
God bless the administrators of the Nativity School for their courage in speaking out, and for their desire to see young people formed in the assurance that God is on their side, even when some in the hierarchy are more concerned about public perceptions than supporting young people who have been hurt. One would think that the church would be careful not to prioritize public perceptions over supporting young people after the shameful concealing of clerical sexual abuse. Hopefully, the bishop of Worcester will someday have the same zeal to imitate Christ as the Jesuits who run the Nativity School do.
Tony LoPresti, North Kingstown