An artefact that connected a Chicago Catholic priest with the church in which he served has been cut to ribbons and reduced to ashes.
The “sacrilegious” rainbow banner, incorporating a cross, that once hung in the Resurrection Church was burned in a “private” ceremony. It was to be publicly destroyed on September 29 by Fr Paul John Kalchik, but when the the Chicago archdiocese heard of the plan, it ordered the priest to stop its destruction.
Undeterred, Kalchik and parishioners went ahead and destroyed it.
Church Militant carries an explanation from one unnamed parishioner as to why the banner, bought for $1,000.00 and which featured in the church’s inaugural mass, was destroyed.
The banner appeared after gay-friendly priest Fr Daniel Montalbano took over the church, after his own church burned down.
One of our deacons complained loudly about this banner and what it represented, but those complaints fell on deaf ears. Father Montalbano was a great friend of Cdl Joseph Bernardin and one of the founders of AGLO, Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach …
Longtime parishioners and deacons have given accounts of the gay Masses that were held in the basement of the rectory, and the wild all-male parties in the parish house. The real story of Fr. Montalbano’s death in 1997, at the age of only 50, is too sordid to be detailed on paper.
So what is the real story? The only reference I can find to his death is a report in The Chicago Tribune of May 30, 1997:
Rev. Daniel Montalbano, 50, pastor of Resurrection Catholic Parish, also served in the Chicago Catholic Archdiocese as associate director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. In that capacity, he worked with leaders of the Jewish religious community in Chicago, as well as of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
After celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood one week earlier, he died Sunday in the parish rectory, apparently of a heart attack.
The parishioner added:
Somehow, the rainbow banner was tucked away, but recently found. It is visible in the pictures of the 1991 Mass with Cdl. Bernardin and Fr. Montalbano. Also shown is the parish’s first Easter Candle, which is curiously sporting a rainbow, too.
No one in this parish, especially our pastor, hates people who have a same-sex attraction. And, in spite of comments by many bishops and even the Pope, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has not changed, nor has scientific research proven that anyone has a gene that makes them born gay. The Church teaches that sex outside of marriage is sinful, and that sex between two people of the same sex is always sinful.
Father Paul was asked not to go through with a public burning of the rainbow banner, as complaints were heard from the gay community, and those complaints never fall on deaf ears in today’s culture. Therefore, the burning was carried out privately, by a few parishioners. Our prayer service on Sept. 29, the Feast of the Archangels, will be centered on offering our pledges of prayer, fasting and abstinence to the Lord in reparation for the sexual abuse that has gone on and been covered up for so long.
It is a shame that [Fr. Paul ] has been told his faculties as a priest might be taken away. It’s a shame that we have taken calls from foul-mouthed people who wish him harm … We hope that Fr. Paul will be allowed to continue to pastor at Resurrection … He leads the Rosary twice a week and prays at an abortion clinic every Saturday morning …
The priest said of the banner’s destruction:
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. It’s our full right to destroy it, and we did so privately because the archdiocese was breathing on our back … We put an end to a depiction of our Lord’s cross that was profane.
To use the image of the cross as anything other than a “reminder of our Lord’s passion and death,” he said, “is what we consider a sacrilege.”
So in a quiet way we took matters into our own hands and said a prayer of exorcism over this thing. It was cut into seven pieces, so it was burned over stages in the same fire pit that we used for the Easter vigil mass.