Chicago Archbishop Removes Priest Who Burned Rainbow Banner

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(EDGE) The archbishop of Chicago has removed a priest as head of a North Side church after he burned a rainbow banner, angering the LGBT community.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Cardinal Blase Cupich (BLAYZ' SOO'-pich) announced Rev. Paul Kalchik's removal in a recent letter to parishioners and staff at the Resurrection Catholic Church.

Cupich said he acted "out of concern" for Kalchik and parishioners. He said the 56-year-old priest needed "time away from the parish to receive pastoral support."

Kalchik told the newspaper on Friday that he's not anti-gay and that he was "about as much of a gay basher as Mother Teresa."

An archdiocese spokeswoman told the paper Saturday that the priest's removal wasn't "directly due" to banner's destruction and had been "in the works."