Rev. Philip Pizzo of St. Benedict Joseph Labre Roman Catholic Church in Richmond Hill shared a graphic on Facebook that encouraged anti-Trump protesters to commit suicide. Photo via Facebook

Priest apologizes for meme encouraging anti-Trump protesters to commit suicide

By  Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News
  • February 1, 2017

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Parishioners were distressed after a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn posted a meme on Facebook that encouraged Trump opponents to commit suicide.

“Show your hate for Trump. Do it for social justice. #JumpAgainstTrump,” the meme said. It included a cartoon of a man in mid-jump off a skyscraper.

Fr. Philip J. Pizzo, pastor of St. Benedict Joseph Labre Parish, shared the meme on his personal Facebook page Jan. 29.

Parishioners told the New York Post that Fr. Pizzo often shares controversial political memes.

The meme was shared just one day after President Trump announced an executive order that suspended refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Fr. Pizzo’s parish website often double posts in English and Spanish in an effort to reach migrant families.

Some said they were considering switching parishes after the recent insensitive post.

“Suicide is not funny, plain and simple,” Carlos Coburn, a congregant who once sought counseling from Fr. Pizzo because he was struggling with suicidal thoughts, told the New York Post.

In a statement following the incident, Fr. Pizzo apologized for his post, which has since been deleted.

“I never intended it to get this kind of reaction and I regret posting it,” he said.

“I have been a priest for 40 years and my goal has always been to bring Christ to the people. I am pro-life and any reference to suicide is contrary to my beliefs, therefore, making my post completely inappropriate. Again, please accept my sincerest apology,” he said.

The Brooklyn diocese confirmed that the meme had been shared on Fr. Pizzo’s personal Facebook page.

In a statement, diocesan spokesman Vito Formica said Fr. Pizzo has said he meant the meme as “satire only, regrets the offense it has caused, and has deleted it.”

“Suicide is, indeed, a serious subject and this post does not, in any way, represent the view of the church,” the diocese confirmed.

(Story from the Catholic News Agency)

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.