A priest in Queens is under fire after posting a meme that encourages members of the resistance against President Donald Trump to jump to their deaths, the New York Post reported.
“Show your hate for Trump. Do it for social justice. #JumpAgainstTrump,” read the meme posted to the personal Facebook page of the Rev. Philip Pizzo. The meme also featured a graphic of a man falling from a high building.
Pizzo, the pastor of St. Benedict Joseph Labre Roman Catholic Church in the largely Hispanic neighborhood of Richmond Hill, told the Post he does “not promote suicide,” which the religion considers a moral sin.
“I’ve helped many people over the years, and it does not promote suicide. It was funny,” Pizzo said.
His parishioners, however, were not laughing.
“Suicide is not funny, plain and simple,” Carlos Coburn said. Coburn, a 20-year member of St. Benedict who once was counseled by Pizzo after having suicidal thoughts, said he will switch to another church. “It’s disturbing for someone in my situation … and I don’t want to go back to his church.”
Another told the Post that Pizzo often posts about supporting the president, “but this was just taking it too far.”
Pizzo "says he intended (the meme) as satire only, regrets the offense it has caused and has deleted it,” Vito Formica, spokesman for the Diocese of Brooklyn, said. "This post does not, in any way, represent the view of the church."