Rev. Philip Pizzo, the pastor of St. Benedict Joseph Labre Catholic parish in Richmond Hill NY, devised a Facebook meme suggesting that critics of President Donald Trump should literally kill themselves. “Show your hate for Trump. Do it for social justice. #JumpAgainstTrump,” read the meme that was posted on January 29. It included an image of a man falling from a skyscrapter.
 
In the past, the Catholic priest has posted a photograph of Barack Obama accompanied by the words,“He’s not my president,’’ and one of Hillary Clinton with a title in Italian that means “Ugly Face’’ and with “Happy Halloween.’’
 
The 67-year-old priest told the New York Post that the meme was meant to be funny, but that he does not promote suicide.
 
Some parishioners were not amused. One man, who was baptized by Pizzo, said that he was so upset by the post that he will now seek out another parish. Carlos Coburn said that he had once spoken to Pizzo about suicidal thoughts. “It’s disturbing for someone in my situation,’’ Coburn said. 
 
The parish Pizzo serves has a large Latino and Caribbean contingent. 
 
The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn issued a statement that said that Pizzo’s statement does not reflect Catholic teachings. The post has been removed. 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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