Last week, when I heard news that Father Paul Kalchik and some fellow parishioners from his Chicago parish had burned a rainbow flag he found in the church’s storage, I knew things weren’t going to go well for him in Cardinal Bernardin’s old archdiocese, now administered by Cardinal Cupich. The Chicago Tribune provides context:continue at The American Conservative
Kalchik said he twice was a victim of sexual abuse, the first time by a neighbor, when he was 11, and the second time by a Chicago-area priest when he was a teenager. The priest Kalchik names as the one who abused him died in the 1990s and has not been among those who have been named by the Diocese of Joliet or the Archdiocese of Chicago as a priest with substantiated allegations against them. Kalchik equates the flag with predatory behavior, he said
I think we can concede that Father Kalchik’s action was rash, and arguably imprudent given that the Archdiocese had warned him not to do it. But this is how Cardinal Cupich responds? This, in a time in the Church’s life when it is becoming ever clearer that many in the Church’s senior leadership are gay, and devoted to protecting other gays in power. Cardinal McCarrick is a condensed symbol of so much of the corruption in the Catholic Church.....UPDATE: A parish priest e-mails:
There is nothing that the laity can do to protect priests. Bishops have total authority over us. We can certainly walk away. We can leave. But Kalchick is a great example of what happens when a priest stands up to his bishop’s agenda. He’s probably done as a priest.
What the Illinois Grand Jury investigation uncovers could be explosive.
Fr. Paul Kalchik Leaves For Undisclosed Location After Chicago Archdiocese Threatens Forcible Removal by Police
One of the parishioners, a Chicago policeman, told me of some of the bizarre events of the last week, including numerous threats of death and rape against Fr. Kalchik, at least two probable attempted break-ins or acts of vandalism, one of which included breaking keys into all the locks in the doors of the church office. And then there was the visit by two Archdiocese representatives, yesterday, ordering Fr. Kalchik to vacate his parish and commit himself into psychiatric confinement.