Fr Paul Kalchik has been removed from his position over concerns for his welfare after causing outrage and controversy when he cut up and burned a flag that merged a rainbow with a cross.
Kalchik, who has been the pastor of the Resurrection Church for the past 11 years, announced on the website ChurchMilitant.com on September 2 that he planned to cut up and burn the pride flag, saying, “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.”
The 39-year-old had been told by the archbishop not to go through with the plans he had announced to burn the flag, but he did so anyway in a private ceremony attended by church members.
Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has now removed Kalchik from his position after learning of problems in the parish, as well as problems with the Chicago priest’s conduct.
Cupich wrote in a letter to parishioners:
“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.”
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.”
According to NBC Chicago, the priest received death threats after he cut up and burned the rainbow flag, while ABC reports that protestors calling for Fr Kalckik’s ousting had held up signs that said: “hate is not holy.”
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