Roman Catholic priest Paul Kalchik, 56, used to head the Resurrection Parish church in Chicago, Illinois — that is, until Sept. 21, when he disobeyed church orders and cut up and burned a rainbow Pride flag found hanging in the church. Since his Pride flag burning, Kalchik has been suspended by his supervising cardinal and has since gone into hiding, afraid of being sent to a mental asylum by the church and scared of being assaulted by “the rabid homosexualists of the North Side of Chicago.”
The rainbow flag in question was actually brought into Resurrection Parish church in 1991 by Daniel Montalbano, a gay pastor who began holding services in the church after his own church burned down. The flag was a banner with a rainbow descending behind a translucent cross, symbolizing that the gay community, then reviled as the Satanic degenerates behind the HIV epidemic, were welcome.
Paul Kalchik later discovered this flag and, on the church program printed for Sept. 2 services, he informed his congregation that he intended to burn “items of sacrilege,” along with some parishioner pledge cards and incense in a special prayer service in front of the church following its Sept. 29 afternoon mass.
Catching wind of his plans for a Pride flag burning, overseeing Cardinal Blase Cupich reportedly told Kalchik not to hold his ceremony. But Kalchik burned the flag anyway in a private Sept. 14 ceremony.
Kalchik later stated, “Nobody said not to destroy it. They said simply, ‘That ceremony you’re having … where you’re going to burn, blah blah blah,’ you know, ‘don’t have that ceremony.’ So, again, they didn’t tell me not to destroy it.”
Paul Kalchik defended his Pride flag burning, adding that it was the church’s “full right to destroy it. … We put an end to a depiction of our Lord’s cross that was profane. We did so in a private way, a quiet way, so as not to bring the ire of the gay community down upon this parish.”
But his plan didn’t work, because immediately after, Chicago’s lesbian Alderman Deb Mell led a public protest against Kalchik’s Pride flag burning, publicly calling for his removal.
In a Sept. 21 letter to the Resurrection Parish, Cupich wrote that he had replaced Kalchik as the church leader, writing, “Kalchik must take time away from the parish to receive pastoral support so his needs can be assessed.” Cupich immediately named Kalchik’s replacements to oversee the church. Kalchik had been with the church for 11 years.
In an interview with Church Militant — a radical Catholic group that considers homosexuality, abortion, contraception, divorce and re-marriage sins that people go to hell for — Paul Kalchik has since said that he never received any written dismissal from the church, but rather was told that police would be called and he’d be forcibly removed if he didn’t willingly leave the church.
Kalchik says he was interested to see how it would all play out as the church had already hired “volunteer policemen there (since his Sept. 19 flag burning) to make certain I wouldn’t be tarred and feathered by the rabid homosexualists of the North Side of Chicago.”
He adds that two church officials have since threatened to have him committed to the St. Luke’s Institute, a priest-focused psychiatric center in Maryland. Amid this threat, and other alleged death threats, Kalchik says he’s now in hiding.