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Catholic Priest Urges Trump Protesters to Commit Suicide

Image: Catholic Priest Urges Trump Protesters to Commit Suicide

Rev. Philip Pizzo of St. Benedict Joseph Labre Roman Catholic Church is drawing fire for a meme he posted on Facebook calling on anti-Trump protesters to jump from a building. (Screengrab via Facebook)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 11:34 AM

A Catholic priest who posted a meme suggesting those protesting President Donald Trump's actions should commit suicide said the controversial message was meant to be funny.

Rev. Philip Pizzo, of the largely immigrant St. Benedict Joseph Labre Roman Catholic Church in Queens, New York, shared a social media post that said those against Trump should jump off a building, the New York Post reported.

“Show your hate for Trump. Do it for social justice. #JumpAgainstTrump,” read a meme that the pastor posted on his personal Facebook page Sunday, according to the Post. The meme, which has since been deleted, showed a man leaping from a skyscraper.

This comes after the conservative priest previously posted a picture of former President Barack Obama on Facebook, with “He’s not my president” appearing in the post. He also published a post of Hillary Clinton with the title “Ugly Face” featured in the post.

Despite the controversy sparked by Pizzo’s recent actions, the 67-year-old told the New York Post Monday that he didn’t mean any harm by the #JumpAgainstTrump post, but simply thought it was “funny.”

“I do not promote suicide,” he said, according to Metro. “I’ve helped many people over the years, and it does not promote suicide. It was funny.”

Pizzo might have seen the meme as funny, but many parishioners did not.

“Suicide is not funny, plain and simple,” said Carlos Coburn, a congregant, according to Metro.

Coburn added that, following this incident, he’s contemplating finding another place to worship, even after being a member of St. Benedict for 20 years.

Another parishioner, Alex Leston, said Pizzo’s post is proof of how “disconnected” he is to his congregation.

“The parish he is supposed to be serving is mainly Latin American and Caribbean,” Leston said, according to Metro. “It’s not a good look for him.”

A church spokesman also condemned the meme.

“Father Pizzo did share the meme in question on his personal Facebook page,” diocese spokesman Vito Formica said, according to the Post. “He says he intended it as satire only, regrets the offense it has caused and has deleted it. This post does not, in any way, represent the view of the church.”

The incident comes days after many protested the president’s ban on immigration.

Trump ordered a temporary immigration ban on seven Muslim-majority countries as well as an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees on Friday.

The move prompted nationwide protests at airport terminals across the country.

Many took to social media, reacting to Pizzo’s offensive Facebook post.

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A Catholic priest who posted a meme suggesting those protesting President Donald Trump's actions should commit suicide said the controversial message was meant to be funny.
catholic, priest, trump, protesters, suicide
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2017-34-31
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 11:34 AM
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