In defiance of a Chicago Archdiocese order, Resurrection Catholic Church Pastor Fr. Paul Kalchik and a number of parishioners cut up and burned the Rainbow flag featuring a white cross overlaid with the flag colors that was left inside the church.
The Rainbow flag was originally going to be burned as a sacrilege at a prayer service following the Sept. 29 evening Mass, however, the action took place this past Friday, Sept. 14 in a private ceremony.
Archdiocese of Chicago Communications and Marketing Director Anne Maselli told Windy City Times, "We were unaware that this occurred, and we are following up on the situation. As Catholics we, the Archdiocese of Chicago, affirm the dignity of all persons."
"This act of defiance that they took is inconsistent with Catholic values and respect for God's people," said DignityUSA President and Dignity/Chicago member Chris Pett. "The harm this has done to the parish, the neighborhood and the larger Catholic community is counterproductive to any good they believe they are trying to achieve. We denounce this wholeheartedly and call on the Archdiocese to counter-act this disrespectful action by this renegade priest."
When reached for comment, Resurrection church did not respond to queries about why they defied Archdiocese orders and burned the Rainbow flag.
In an interview with NBC News ( www.nbcnews.com/ feature/nbc-out/parishioners- defy-chicago-archdiocese-burn- rainbow-flag-exorcism- ceremony-n910666 ), Kalchick said, "We did so in a private way, a quiet way, so as not to bring the ire of the gay community down upon this parish. It's our full right to destroy it, and we did so privately because the archdiocese was breathing on our back. We put an end to a depiction of our Lord's cross that was profane."
For previous reporting on this story, visit http://www. windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/ Local-priests-planned-Rainbow-flag-burning-shut-down-by-Chicago-Archdiocese/64002.html .