“Not an easy step”

Suspended from ministry: Priest burns rainbow banner © Mark Lennihan

Chicago Cardinal Archbishop Blase Cupich suspended a priest from ministry for burning a rainbow banner. The flag is an international symbol of the LGBT community.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the cardinal acted "out of concern" for the 56-year-old priest and members of the Resurrection community. Clergyman needs "time away from parish to receive pastoral support". He did not take this step lightly, Cupich wrote.

"I have the responsibility to support our priests when they have difficulties, but I also have the duty to ensure that those who serve our faithful are fully able to serve them in the way expected by the Church," the cardinal said, explaining his decision.

Impeachment already "in the works"

The priest had previously spoken of his own abuse as a child by a neighbor – as well as a later incident by a priest when he was 19 years old. Abuse crisis in church is "definitely a gay thing," he added.

To the Chicago Tribune, the priest had stated that he was not against homosexuals. A spokeswoman for the archdiocese told the newspaper that the priest's ouster was not only related to the burning of the rainbow flag, but had already been "in the works" beforehand.

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