New York Catholic principal linked to white supremacist group — UPDATED

After reports surfaced about him, the Archdiocese has launched an investigation.  And yesterday, a mass at the man’s parish was disrupted by a protestor, according to the New York Daily News:

Shock over an outspoken Catholic school principal’s ties to a white supremacist group turned ugly during Sunday Mass at a Bronx church.

Cops were called to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Fordham after a church-goer interrupted the service to call for the removal of Frank Borzellieri as principal of the parish school.

“I wanted them to feel my sense of outrage that he was brought into the community to teach,” said Juan Varela, 54, who was arrested yesterday on disorderly conduct and weapons possession charges and spent seven hours in police custody.

Varela, who is Catholic but lives in Queens, said he sat in a pew during the 10 a.m. Mass. At one point he stood up, walked to the altar, faced parishioners and began railing against Borzellieri.

“This church hired a racist. This church does not like Hispanics and blacks,” one police source quoted Varela as saying.

Cops said he initially refused to leave, but finally complied. He said he was kicked from behind by ushers at the back of the church as he tried to exit.

He was picked up by police about two blocks away. Varela was charged with criminal possession of a weapon – a knife – and disorderly conduct, cops said.

The News revealed Sunday that Borzellieri, 48, was quietly hired two years ago as principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School despite his controversial writings. In his 2004 book – “Don’t Take it Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies” – Borzellieri declared “diversity is a weakness” and that America‘s rising black and Hispanic populations will lead to a “New Dark Age.” He has also written for the white supremacist publication American Renaissance.

There’s more at the link.

Meantime, the Archdiocese of New York says it’s looking into the principal’s writings. And a local website has posted some excerpts from his book.

UPDATE: The principal on Tuesday was fired.  Details.

  • gerardnadal

    Oh my. This principal won’t be getting the Saint Francis of Assisi award this year. Seriously, though, how does the Archdiocese diocese square this hire with the Inner-city Scholarship Fund’s Annual Appeal?

    BTW, we now need to register with Patheos to comment.

    [Gerard...re: registration. I know. I'm hoping it will cut down on trolls and make people somewhat more responsible in what they say and how they say it. We'll see. Dcn. G.]

  • deaconjohnmbresnahan

    Racism should not be tolerated in any part of the Catholic Church. There have been a number of Catholics fired from Catholic schools because they do not adhere to or live up to Catholic teaching. From what has been revealed so far, he should be fired.

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    Lest we forget: racism is considered in Church teaching to be an “intrinsic evil.” Like abortion, it can never be condoned, ever.

    Dcn. G.

  • naturgesetz

    In addition to looking at the principal, the Archdiocese would do well to have some serious discussion with the pastor as to what he finds acceptable from a Catholic perspective in the man’s writings and what, if anything, he considers unacceptable.

  • pagansister

    Guess I don’t understand why the man was hired to begin with, since those who did the hiring apparently knew of his book and it’s contents. Not so wise a choice. The article did say he was “quietly hired”. Sounds like those who did the hiring expected that there might be some major questions asked if folks learned of his book. Well, now there is.

  • tpa

    Greaaat, now this.

  • peregrinus

    I wonder if they were just desperate to fill the position? Sometimes schools lose somebody just before the school year starts and have to scramble.

  • pagansister

    #7 peregrinus: Good point, but I would think that leaving the spot open would have been better than hiring a person with the past this fellow has. Perhaps put in a person to fill the position on a tempory basis until a permanent man/woman was found.

  • anthonyslayne

    Just last month, a man was fired from Cisco because he wrote a book against gay marriage. If we’re going to be consistent in our principles, then we should recognize that, as ugly as racism is, what Borzellieri does in his off time within the bounds of the law is outside his employer’s scope … although not outside the purview of the confessional.


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