WORCESTER, Mass. - Demonstrators outside Bishop Robert McManus’s office are waving the same flags he doesn’t want flown at a local Catholic school.
“I don’t believe he’s following the message of the Gospel,” demonstrator Joseph Twarog said.
A group of about 10 demonstrators wanted to make public their support for the Nativity School of Worcester. Last month, Bishop McManus sent a letter telling the school they should take down the LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter flags.
“It’s a demonstrative way to say ‘All are welcome here,’ which is what Jesus has said originally,” Bud Larievy said. “Why is that in contradiction to the Bishop’s perception of what Catholicism is?”
Demonstrators said the Bishop has shown this type of behavior before. Twarog is a Catholic himself and said over the years, Bishop McManus has created an environment of fear and intimidation within the local Catholic community.
“I mean, if you look at the sign, it says ‘Christ embracing people,’” Twarog said. “(Bishop McManus) is pushing them away. Jesus wouldn’t be pushing them away, he would be embracing them. The Bishop is out of step.”
Larievy drove from Boston to show his support. He said Bishop McManus should follow be following the precedent set by of other Catholic leaders.
“The Bishop needs to understand he may be right on doctrine, but he isn’t correct when it comes to social justice,” Larievy said.
Demonstrators said their goal is to get the Bishop and Diocese to open its doors to people of all backgrounds, not close them.
The Nativity School is not affiliated with the Diocese and is still flying both flags. The Diocese of Worcester said they are still in talks with representatives from the school over the matter.