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Priest who spoke out against flying ‘pride’ flag outside Catholic schools expelled from diocese

A Polish priest in the Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario said his ouster was not for defending Catholic teaching against LGBT backers but for his approach to the pandemic.
Fri Apr 23, 2021 - 6:41 pm EST
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BURLINGTON, Ontario, April 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A priest who argued that the LGBT “pride” flag does not reflect the Catholic faith has been asked to leave his diocese. But it was his approach to the pandemic, not his bishop’s support for the flag, that sparked his removal. 

“The issue of the flag is not the reason for my expulsion, but the difference between (Bishop Douglas Crosby and me) in the pastoral approach towards the pandemic,” Father Janusz Roginski told LifeSiteNews by email.

“(This) made the Bishop lose trust in my capacity to be a pastor in his diocese.” 

The priest did not say what these differences are alleged to have been. 

Roginski, 49, has been the pastor of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Burlington, Ontario since 2018 and has served the Diocese of Hamilton since 2006. A native of Poland, Roginski impressed Catholics throughout his chosen home when he gave a presentation before the Halton District Catholic School Board (HDCSB) on Tuesday, arguing against a proposal to fly the “Pride” flag outside their schools. 

“Most of the Catholics passing by the school and seeing this flag in the school would think that we accept the homosexual lifestyle and what it represents,” Roginski testified

“We cannot do that. We would be a cause of scandal and (would be) misleading people rather than leading them to heaven.”

He suggested that instead of flying the homosexual flag in June, the schools dedicate the month to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and teach their students about the love of Jesus Christ, which is “all-inclusive.” 

Roginski’s witness was in contrast with the Diocese of Hamilton’s support for the pride flag proposal, which manifested both as a document commissioned by the Episcopal Vicar for Education for the Catholic Partners of the Diocese of Hamilton and as a memo from the Chancellor forbidding priests from mentioning the proposal in either their homilies or the announcements. A pro-LGBT Catholic school trustee in nearby Toronto, Maria Rizzo, congratulated Bishop Crosby, 71, for his support over Twitter. 

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The HDCSB meeting was Tuesday, and when the Hamilton Diocese 2021 clergy appointments were published Thursday, Roginski’s parishioners were aghast to see that he was leaving, not only St. Gabriel’s but the diocese. Word spread that it was because of the priest’s presentation of Catholic doctrine at the Catholic school board meeting. 

However, Roginski has been assuring those who ask him that this was not the case. He told LifeSiteNews that the Diocese of Hamilton told him of their decision about a month ago. Meanwhile, the priest is happy that he has been accepted by the Diocese of St. Catharines. He is also grateful that he has received so much support for his presentation to the Halton Catholic school board. 

“I am happy to see an overwhelming positive response from lay Catholics and from priests of our diocese through emails, messages and phone calls,” he said.

“From these communications (I see) that the lay Catholics feel abandoned by their shepherds, bishops and priests in their fight for the teachings of the Catholic Church,” he continued. 

“Some of them pointed out that at school discussions the representatives of the Hamilton diocese often sided with those who were against established Catholic teachings regarding the issues of abortion, euthanasia and LGBTQ. This is very disturbing and disappointing.”

Roginski believes that many people are confused by what the LGBT rainbow flag really means. He said that proponents of the flag presented the Halton Catholic school board trustees with positive meanings (like inclusiveness, diversity, love, and the dignity of every person). However, the flag also stands for homosexual pride parades, which are “very offensive to any Catholic with their immodest display of sexuality that borderlines on pornography,” he said.  

In addition, the flag represents physical homosexual acts, the redefinition of marriage, and the adoption of children by homosexual couples, the priest noted. 

“All these issues are contrary to the teachings of Jesus and His Church, which calls for holiness, virtue and chastity,” Roginski said. 

The pastor posited that the Catholics who don’t pay attention to this aspect of the rainbow flag honestly believe that it is a symbol that could make schools a safe environment for children struggling with their sexual and gender identities. But in reality it is something completely different. 

“This symbol (…) fails to signify the values they have in mind,” Roginski said.  

“Instead, it becomes a sign of division, controversy, and a scandal to many Catholics who see in this flag a sign of opposition to the well-established Roman Catholic teachings,” he said. 

“It becomes a sign of promotion of sin. As such it can never be used in any Catholic context. It would be a betrayal of the Gospel, of the teachings of holy Roman Catholic Church and of Jesus Christ himself. We cannot allow it.”

One of Roginski’s parishioners wrote to LifeSiteNews to state her belief that the real reason her pastor is being replaced is because he is “conservative.”

“St. Gabriel's has been a good parish for conservative Catholics, but it appears that Bishop Crosby wants to turn it into a liberal parish,” she wrote. 

“It appears that Bishop Crosby doesn't want these conservative priests and conservative faithful in his diocese.”

LifeSiteNews reached out to Bishop Crosby and Rizzo and is awaiting their replies. 

To support Fr. Roginski’s witness against LGBT ideological symbols and values in Halton District Catholic schools, please contact the following HCDSB school trustees: 

Patrick Murphy
905-630-1591
[email protected]

Brenda Agnew
[email protected]

Marvin Duarte
416-559-9327
[email protected]

Peter DeRosa
905-638-2529
[email protected]

Nancy Guzzo
[email protected]

Vincent Iantomasi
905-536-4100
[email protected]

Helena Karabela
289-230-1423
[email protected]

Tim O’Brien
905-632-2954
o’[email protected]

Janet O’Hearn-Czarnota
905-630-3581
o’[email protected]


  catholic teaching, diocese of hamilton, diocese of st. catharines, douglas crosby, halton catholic district school board, janusz roginski, lgbt, pandemic, pride flag, rainbow flag

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