Kalchik had served the Resurrection Parish for 11 years.
Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Chicago archbishop, has fired Reverend Paul Kalchik from his position as head of Resurrection Church after the latter set fire to a rainbow banner. The removal was announced by Cupich himself through a letter to the many staff and parishioners of Resurrection Church located in the Avondale neighborhood of the city. Kalchik was helped by a few parishioners during the burning.
Kalchik, who is 56 years old, and a few congregation members set fire to the rainbow banner, an LGBTQ pride symbol which was once displayed prominently in the church. The flag was set on fire despite a strict order of the Chicago archdiocese to desist from doing so.
Cupich's letter, signed September 21, curiously avoided any and all mention of the flag burning issue. The letter stated that the Cardinal was forced to take this drastic action out of concern for the priest's welfare and for the betterment of the faithful who attend Resurrection Parish. Cupich went on to expand on his previous statement, saying that he has a responsibility to support priests when the latter are embroiled in difficulties. Other than this duty, there were other duties as well. One of them is to make sure those who serve the faithful continue to minister them in a church-approved manner. Kalchik has served the Resurrection Parish for approximately 11 years and required some time away from his church to get pastoral support.
The priest at the center of the storm gave a lengthy interview to the media on this issue. Kalchik admitted to burning the flag, but said he did so a quiet manner so the gay community does not have any reason to attack the church and the principles it goes by. He said those who burned the flag were in their rights to destroy the piece of cloth, and the action was done in a private manner as they knew the archdiocese were against such actions.
When asked about why he did it, Kalchik said the tipping point for him was the gays' depiction of the Lord's cross. He pointed out that the flag had a rainbow and a Christian Cross intertwined. To the priest, the picture of the Christian cross could represent only Christ's passion and his death. He told the media that such a depiction could only be regarded as a kind of sacrilege.
We are asking all supporters of peace, love, and tolerance to join us in sending Fr Paul Kalchick a strong message –Hate Has No Home Here. Join us for a peaceful assembly in front of Res. Parish (3043 N. Francisco) this evening, September 19 at 6:30 pm. https://t.co/Kleu9lNIDH
— Deb Mell (@debmell) September 19, 2018