A Catholic priest who cut up and burnt a rainbow flag has been removed from his position.
Father Paul Kalchik, a priest from Chicago, announced his plans to burn the flag, which had been in storage for a number of years, in a post on the Christian website Church Militant earlier this month.
He wrote: “We cannot let the current troubles keep us from our mission to go make more disciples for the Lord, nor should modern day distractions like global warming, LGBT ‘rights’ or even immigration issues ever take precedence over that mission.”
In another note, he revealed he was planning to burn the flag on September 29 and wrote: “On Saturday Sept 29, the Feast of Ss. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, we will burn, in front of church, the rainbow flag that was unfortunately hanging in our sanctuary during the ceremonial first Mass as Resurrection parish.”
However, Kalchik was ordered not to burn the flag by his diocese but he failed to abide and cut up and burnt the flag in a private ceremony.
An article read: “Parishioners of Resurrection Parish in Chicago, Illinois, held a rainbow flag-burning event last week, cutting up and setting on fire an LGBT flag that once hung in the sanctuary at the parish’s first Mass.
“Father Paul was asked not to go through with a public burning of the rainbow banner, as complaints were heard from the gay community, and those complaints never fall on deaf ears in today’s culture.
“Therefore, the burning was carried out privately, by a few parishioners.”
Now, Kalchik has been temporarily removed from his role by the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Blasé Cupich.
Cupich said: ““For some weeks now, I have become increasingly concerned about a number of issues at Resurrection Parish.
“It has become clear to me that Fr. Kalchik must take time away from the parish to receive pastoral support so his needs can be assessed. … I do not take this step lightly.
“Rather, I act out of concern for Fr. Kalchik’s welfare and that of the people of Resurrection Parish.
“I have a responsibility to be supportive of our priests when they have difficulties, but I also have a duty to ensure that those who serve our faithful are fully able to minister to them in the way the Church expects.”