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Newark, N.J., May 24, 2019 / 03:00 pm (CNA).- A Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Newark has instructed a charter school to cover a pro-LGBT mural painted on church property.
Fr. Paul Prevosto, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack, instructed administrators at Bergen Arts and Science Charter School to paint over the mural on a cafeteria pillar, after parishioners complained that church property was being used for the display.
Bergen - Arts - Science - School - Building
Bergen Arts and Science leases the school building from Holy Trinity. Both the church and the school share use of common spaces including the cafeteria, which the church uses the space for events and parties.
Several charter schools in different dioceses rent space from empty school buildings owner by parishes.
Mural - Student - LGBT - Community - Painting
The mural was painted by a 16 year-old student “to support the LGBT community.” The painting featured a rainbow heart and interlocking abstract male figures, which were covered following the instruction.
Fr. Prevosto said that parishioners had come to him with concerns about the “sexual” depiction and that he had instructed the school to “take care of it.”
Lease - Agreement - School - Church - States
The lease agreement between the school and church states that “due to the Catholic nature of the Landlord, [the] Tenant promises to conduct no affairs or establish any organizations that would be contrary to its Catholic moral values, ethics and faith.”
According to reports in the Bergen Record, Fr. Prevosto was simply applying the terms of the lease in the light of concerns expressed by the church community and that anything "that would be contrary to our Catholic sensitivity should not be displayed or seen."
Organization - School - ILearn - Schools - Inc
The non-profit organization which manages the school, iLearn Schools Inc., stressed the importance of mutual respect in resolving the situation.
“As a public school, we are inclusive, supportive, and respectful of the artistic expression of our...
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