Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn since 2003, gave the commencement address to this year’s graduating class of St. John’s University. Below is a letter written in response to that address by the father of one of the graduates. It reflects the tenor of Bp. DiMarzio’s speech quite clearly. Equally evident is the justice of one father’s anger at the contradiction between the purpose of the event and the bishop’s self-admiring seizure of it to promote a specific political agenda.
The first obligation of any commencement speaker is to honor the occasion. It is a rite of passage, a ceremony that marks the commencing of adult life. Transition to adulthood is an advance into the inescapable mysteries the future holds for every individual life. Graduates are poised to step into the dark where commitment to excellence and truth remains a crucial, often fearsome, guide. DiMarzio might have reminded his young audience of their ongoing need for courage and humility in the face of unseen challenges or the shifting demands of a social imagination. He might have acknowledged their hopes and their fragility in a precarious world.
But no. Instead, he grandstanded, using the occasion as a bully pulpit to advocate open borders. Like an ambitious player in a political machine, he seconded the leftward drift of the current pontificate. And he attacked Donald Trump.
Written on letterhead stationery and mailed to the bishop, the letter was also forwarded to friends and like-minded acquaintances with permission to circulate it in whatever way possible. It appears in full below. I have simply removed the writer’s name and address, and broken an over-long paragraph into shorter ones for ease of reading.
Dear Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio:
Shame on you for injecting your Marxist politics veiled as Catholic doctrine into my son’s Commencement Exercises at St. John’s University on Sunday, May 22nd, 2016. Nowhere in the bible does God or Jesus call for a borderless and lawless world. Only a selfish zealot hiding behind gilded vestments and well-guarded fortress walls of the Vatican could rank his agenda higher than the right of the families who wanted to celebrate their children’s wonderful day in peace.
I am not alone in these sentiments witnessing shocked faces of many in your captive audience. I could refute your false biblical migration arguments in detail citing James Hoffmeier and others. I could cite economists who document how your dystopia punishes the poor legal U.S. citizens and the over-taxed legal families of our country. Your coded words, noted a few sentences into your speech, identified your taxonomy: clericus proditoris [predatory cleric]. Perhaps if you actually worked in the boots of those you advocate for you could empathize for the legal others who were once poor and now are barely- not poor. Your twisted logic imposes extra burden and sacrifice on those who sacrificed already.
You push more onto the public trough. Where is the dignity in that? You’re lucky there is a Church to sustain you.
My ancestors came here with nothing scrounging the streets of NYC for anything that would burn in tenement pot belly stoves. One was sent back because of a suspicious cough. Immigration was regulated then in contrast to your convenient lies. “[Ellis Island] Immigrants were tagged with information from the ship’s registry and passed through long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States”. Many were sent home or quarantined.
Also germane to today’s radical Islam concerns, Ellis Island became federally regulated as WWI approached and many enemy aliens were arrested and turned over to the Navy. This is factual. I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings and defies your narrative. You also cited The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 but failed to mention that a closed border was a requirement of that legislation. It was defunded by the House of Representatives. I know you were happy about that.
Unfortunately that rush to the open border was the cause of a drug resistant tuberculosis outbreak that killed thousands of the immunosuppressed many of whom were suffering from AIDS in the urban centers at that time. I saw it in the clinics at NYU first hand. Today we see the outbreaks of diseases directly related to the open border policy that you pray for. In fact your policies are violation of evidence based epidemiology practices. I’m sure you didn’t learn this from a master’s degree in sociology.
Your partisan attacks on Mr. Trump were disgusting and had no place in the ceremony. Free migration agitators are true narcissists who love to be hailed as heroes- freedom fighters of the downtrodden. These fraudsters count on three things: firstly there will always be those with less who want something for nothing and will staunchly maintain the power hierarchy of their symbiotic heroes; secondly there will always be sheeple dumb enough not to complain as their wallets are picked; thirdly there will always be insecure useful idiots clamoring for praise and the mantle of hero. You promote anarchy.
There is no place for politics at a commencement celebration. When I listen to quislings such as you I pray for the resurrection of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
You stole from me and my family the once in a lifetime day that could have been embellished with catholic spirituality. Instead you sprayed toxic political graffiti in our faces. The Pope also condemned the rejection of migrants as an “act of war” then chose tokens from a refugee population to bring home leaving the rest to fend for themselves. What a disgusting sham. How did he choose? Mass immigration has turned Europe over to Islam with sharia mutilating and subjugating women while hollow men weep and appease. It was also the Pope who sat down with the architect and champion of late term abortion to collaborate on the global warming fraud. What strange bedfellows! You chose Mr. Trump to attack, echoing the Pope in his Marxist rhetoric—that really takes courage. It is clear the Church is collaborating with Progressives to redistribute wealth using failed social experiments and an inchoate understanding of the planet.
Shut up and pray.