ASK FATHER: Priest puts up scandalous “gay” flag for annual public “pride” week. Bishop: zero help.

From a reader…


I’m asking for some advice/direction on a frustrating and too common issue.

A local parish priest in my diocese has been flying the pride flag outside his parish for the second year in a row for pride week. The parish priest was confronted about the public scandal (several times now) this has created and brushed it off as “youthful ignorance”. [!] The bishop was then spoken too who said last year and again this year that “I spoke to Father X and he has agreed to take the flag down on Saturday” (after the pride week ends).  [Indeed.]

So my question is how are the faithful to respond to this public display of disobedience to Church teaching? Would I need to contact Rome now or is there someone else before it gets to that step?

There’s a lot going on in this message:  “second year”… “after hubris week… YOU are “ignorant”… the probably intimidated or compromised bishop won’t take a real stand….

First, how many people are engaged on this issue?  It seems to me that you could get organized (and see other suggestion, below) and schedule a meeting with the priest and work through the issues with him, hear his side. Remember, he might be homosexual and, therefore, personally invested in this scandal.  If that’s the case, then don’t expect a reasoned position or good treatment when you challenge him to affirm the Church’s teaching about homosexual actions.

You might at that point explain to him what is going to happen next to your annual giving in the parish for the next year.  You are all cutting back on your giving: too late to change that now, after two years of this public scandal.  The next time shame week rolls around, you will review your decision: no flags, etc., giving restored to normal levels – flags, etc. deeper cuts yet.

In response to his accusation of your ignorance, to dispel his “mature ignorance”, bring to that meeting screenshots or clippings of what “gay” parades for these shame weeks look like.  Ask the parish priest if he knew about their demonic, scandalous antics in front of the world… in front of children.  Why he is supporting that sort of behavior with a public display?  Is he being paid?  Is this from pressure from donors?

If the priest or bishop comes up with some pabulum about needing to be inclusive and welcoming to Catholics who feel they have been marginalized, then have in your pocket your written petition, signed by at least 50 people, for the Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated in your parish.

In the Illustrated Dictionary of the Modern Church, you’ll find a photo of TLM petitioners next to the entry for “marginalized”, as well as by, “systematically abused”, “ignored” and “heart-broken”.

Look, I have no idea who your priest or bishop is, but I fear that you are not going to get very far.  Write to Rome… fine.  Good luck with that these days.  They will refer you back to the local bishop.  The local bishop probably didn’t issue a public statement or put anything in writing about his dealings with the priest and the agreement they made, so everything is either deniable or at least delay-able.

If the people in charge are personally invested, you have little recourse.  The only thing that remains for you is your wallet, fasting and praying, and your map to another parish.

I feel for you.

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  1. L. says:

    I really think that under our former Bishop, a Priest flying a “pride flag” in front of a church would have been called on the carpet immediately and ordered to take it down, because you’re not supposed to let the cat out of the bag!

  2. Everyone at the parish should stop attending Mass there, go elsewhere, and throwing their money in the basket. A month or so of that should send a message.

  3. Akita says:

    Dear Semper Fi Catholic,

    A few thoughts:

    I would bet at least 45% of Novus Ordo attending parishioners have no problem with the flag. Thus your suggestion is unlikely to be realized.

    Secondly, I think, for Catholics, the “pride” flag is a type of millstone. If it is embraced or tolerated where children are present, it could send one to hell. If children are taught it is a symbol of love, tolerance, choice, etc when it really is a symbol of approval of sodomy, this is very displeasing to Our Lord. I would treat the “rainbow flag” as a great sacrilege.

    Where are the faithful Catholic men of the parish? The Knights of Columbus? They ought simply to remove the flag and stand their ground and calmly explain to the pastor how offensive the flag is to Our Lord. If the pastor dares to have them arrested, so be it. This has to stop. We are called to be saints. If this horrid object is allowed to desecrate a Church it is an opportunity for white martyrdom.

  4. _Dan_ says:

    Were I to see this at my parish, I would have no qualms about taking the flag down myself and disposing of it. I can’t think of a situation more analogous to money changers in the temple.

    [Two points. First, that would be theft. Second, when Christ overturned the tables in the courtyard of the Gentiles, he was signalling that a) like Jeremiah he was predicting the destruction of the Temple and that He Himself is the new Temple and b) that the Gentiles were coming to Him (the new Temple) and, thus, the day was close at hand.]

  5. mattg says:

    “Remember, he might be homosexual and, therefore, personally invested in this scandal.”–that’s what this all boils down to. We need to call a spade a spade.

    If we don’t take up this fight, we will be conceding that the last 1,986 years of Church history has been primarily about enabling, protecting, and funding predatory homosexuals. That we believe, 0and they do not. That we are dependent on them to minister the sacraments for our salvation, but they are not dependent on us for their “lifestyle”.

    But that isn’t true. They WANT us to fund their lifestyle. If they want to live the easy life of free money, housing, insurance, and easy access to teen boys to rape, then they need to fulfill their side of the bargain and at least PRETEND to believe.

    Start a campaign to cut. them. off. These homosexuals in the clergy need to know that the laity has the power to starve them to death. For them, the “easy” days are over. The cat is out of the bag.

  6. JustaSinner says:

    You’re right, Father, taking that rag down WOULD be theft. So instead, I’d take a video with the check for donation to said parish being lit ablaze. If money be what the Bishop’s desire, then money be that which is denied.

  7. teomatteo says:

    Yes. Theft is wrong but a ‘bold’ Sparpies along the yellow stripe with “Vigano is right!” might do the trick.

    [And that would be vandalism, which could lead to retaliation of spray paint on the doors.]

  8. Michael Haz says:

    As an alternative to demanding that the pride flag be taken down, flood the priest’s inbox and voicemail with demands for MORE flags. If one segment of the parish can be appeased with a flag, then other segments deserve, nay demand, equal treatment.

    Why not a NASCAR flag during the week of the Daytona 500? or an IndyCar flag during the week of the Indianapolis 500? How about an NRA flag, that’s certainly a good idea. And a Harley Davidson flag during Sturgis week. Don’t forget the University of Notre Dame flag during the week of that august institution’s annual football game against the USC heathens.

    The week of the Army – Navy football game should have the flags of both military services flying proudly. Who could possibly not like that?

    And why not a flag during every week in which a baby is baptized or a marriage is performed? Let’s celebrate with flags!

    And really, shouldn’t a red flag be flown every time James Martin tweets something about Catholic theology?

    Finally, shouldn’t a big, proud “Open For Business” flag be flown whenever a priest is in the confessional booth prayerfully awaiting customers? I think so, indeed.

  9. hwriggles4 says:

    For what it’s worth, a flag like this is flown at a Unitarian congregation about ten miles from my home. Seriously, it made the local news a year or two ago when the flag was clandestinely taken. (You know, I recall stealing flags from businesses during my Fraternity House days).

    You got it…this item made the 10 o’clock news because it was theft.

  10. maternalView says:

    It is interesting to me that you have superimposed the Nazi swastika over a so-called-gay pride flag. A couple of years go I suggested to a priest that seeing the so-called-gay pride flag was like seeing the Nazi flag. Rather than understanding my revulsion at what the pride flag represents he cautioned me that I was wrong to make the comparison and they weren’t the same. I’d been bothered by his comments since. Especially since he felt the need to remind me we need to love everyone.

    [Just to be clear: I didn’t create that image. However, it is a useful reminder about the totalitarian ideology that is being shoved into every aspect of our lives.]

  11. TonyO says:

    Dan says:

    Were I to see this at my parish, I would have no qualms about taking the flag down myself and disposing of it. I can’t think of a situation more analogous to money changers in the temple.

    To which Fr. Z points out:

    First, that would be theft.

    True, in a sense, it would appear to be theft. [That’s where you should have stopped.] But St. Thomas points that out with a man who is starving to death taking food from one who has surplus is not theft because the ownership of the food is conditional and the starving man’s need supercedes the implied condition. And St. Thomas points out that while it is right for a person who has been given custody over property, to be returned to its rightful owner upon demand, to GENERALLY be obligated to return it as requested, still he ought not return a sword to the owner who is in a drunken rage and prepared to murder someone. In like manner, a pastor who (I presume) is using parish funds (not his own), and is certainly using parish property, to commit sacrilege with the object in his scurrilous error, ought not be left in possession of the offending object. so that he can continue to cause scandal. Custody of it can be returned to him when he comes to his senses and repudiates the disorder he had been promoting. The parish does not belong to the priest, he is the custodian of it (on behalf of the bishop, but even the bishop’s use of it is subject to his obligation to use it for the needs of the people [see Canonist Ed Peters on ownership of parish goods]) so if the pastor is mis-using the parish grounds and buildings for shameful and scandalous acts and the bishop won’t intervene, others can correct the abuse. It’s not his parish in the sense of his owning it. [And the flag isn’t the property of the one who steals it.]

    But even short of that, it would be nearly as effective to simply take the flag down and drop it on the ground and replace it with a flag of Our Lady of Guadalupe, or the Sacred Heart, etc. And simply repeat every time it is put back up. Make sure that upon repetition it gets dirtier and more ragged, perhaps a creeping, incremental closeness to the gutter or similar filth? [And the church isn’t the property of the one who is changing the flag. Let someone come on to your front yard and change your US flag to a rainbow.]

    And that would be vandalism.

    The US government has held that burning the US flag is protected free speech. [We are not talking about buring the US flag.] Surely dropping a flag, not the US flag, onto the ground, which treatment is better than it actually deserves, is not so much vandalism as it is free speech. But for those who wish to observe all of the proprieties, donate $20 to the parish to replace the cost of the flag, with the stipulation that it not be used to purchase another flag of the same sort.

    hubris week

    Fr. Z hits the nail on the head there. Pride is the first sin, the sin of Satan and the pre-condition of Adam and Eve’s sin against obedience to God. It involves saying to God “not your way” and it implies “I am in charge, not you”. “Pride Week” does just the same, it says to God “I repudiate your making us male and female, I will decide for myself how things are to be”.

  12. Pingback: Is cutting off the money the way to go? | Fr. Z's Blog

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