A priest who recently burned a rainbow pride flag (seen below) and has said gay people should be put to death has finally been removed as head of his church.
We last reported on Rev. Paul Kalchik, a Roman Catholic priest at Resurrection Parish in Chicago, when he ignored direct orders from the local Archdiocese by burning the flag. Now, just days after the anti-gay demonstration took place, the Archbishop of Chicago has axed Kalchik from his role at the church.
Cardinal Blase Cupich said he had been worried about various issues at Kalchik’s church, but implied (without saying so) that this was the final straw.
“For some weeks now, I have become increasingly concerned about a number of issues at Resurrection Parish,” read a letter, signed by Cupich, to parishioners and staff at the church. “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.”
Monsignor James Kaczorowski, pastor of Queen of Angels parish, was appointed administrator of Resurrection Parish, effective Friday evening, according to the notice.
“I do not take this step lightly,” Cupich continued. “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.”
In fact, the Archdiocese’s attempt to pretend the action was unrelated to the flag burning caused a huge stir online, according to the Chicago Tribune:
Anne Maselli, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said the move was not connected to Kalchik’s decision to destroy the banner, a move criticized by some in the community who called it an anti-gay hate crime.
“He is taking some time away from the parish,” Maselli said in an email Saturday. “This has been in the works for some time and is not directly due to the flag burning.”
Yeah, it’s just a huge coincidence that the priest was fired just days after the world found out that he defied orders and burned a rainbow flag. The burning led to negative media attention, and to protests where various people called for his firing, but the Church wants us to believe removing him from his leadership role was unrelated to the only reason he’s in the news.
It’s not clear if this demotion is permanent or not, but let’s hope it is. The Church has enough problems as it is. They don’t need to give a platform to someone so he can spread his anti-gay propaganda.