The Catholic school principal/white supremacist Frank Borzellieri has been fired, according to the Archdiocese of New York. A press release from the Archdiocese claims that “many of the opinions expressed by Mr. Borzellieri in his writings were found to be incompatible with the philosophy and practices of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School.”
It was revealed late last week that Mr. Borzellieri, the principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Bronx, was a known white supremacist and a frequent contributor to bigoted publications. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is composed of predominantly black and Latino students.
The Observer talked with Joseph Zwilling from the office of the Archdiocese today about the incident. “We at the archdiocese learned about his writings last week,” said Mr. Zwilling. A meeting was held with Mr. Borzellieri, the diocese’s superintendent of schools, and the pastor Our Lady of Mount Carmel. “We met with him, we reviewed his writings, and then the pastor made the decision that he should be terminated,” said Mr. Zwilling. “He was told last night that he was being terminated” he added.
The press release from the Archdiocese continues in proto-typical damage control fashion: “The Catholic schools of the Archdiocese pride themselves on serving a diverse student population, without regard to a student’s religion, race, or background,” it says.
A message from the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel offers a more personal tone, however. “I realize that many of you are confused and, in some cases, angry with me in response to the Frank Borzellieri situation,” writes Father Eric Rapaglia. The pastor explains that at the time Mr. Borzellieri was hired the Archdiocese was unaware of his radical racial writing.
While Mr. Borzellieri was at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, however, Father Rapaglia was made aware of his views on race and immigration. “My decision on whether or not to keep Mr. Borzelleri employed at our school was not such an obvious one to make,” the pastor says, citing “good credentials” and previous work in minority-dominated schools as contributing factors to the decision.
Mr. Borzellieri is the author of several books including Lynched: A Conservative’s Life on the New York City School Board and is an adjunct professor of journalism at St. John’s University.
“In the spirit of love and forgiveness, please keep Mr. Borzellieri and his family in your prayers as well,” writes the Pastor, concluding his message to the congregation.
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