Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was recently named the 15th most powerful person in Brooklyn by City & State New York, the media organization dedicated to covering New York’s local and state politics and policy. The bishop is the highest ranking Catholic leader on City & State’s list of the 50 most influential people in the borough.
“Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio keeps a lower profile than his Manhattan counterpart Cardinal Timothy Dolan, but the Brooklynite has been just as forceful critiquing congressional policies on immigration,” says City & State. “Recognizing that many of his parishioners are Mexican and Central American immigrants, DiMarzio slammed President Donald Trump’s proposals as ‘restrictionism, somewhat based on racism.’ And he wrote an editorial in the Daily News decrying the Trump administration’s policies that separated children from their parents at the border and use of migrants as ‘bargaining chips.’”
The column mentioned by City & State was originally published in the Daily News on June 19 of this year under the heading, “An unholy separation policy: Stop pulling families apart now, says the bishop of Brooklyn.”
In his column, Bishop DiMarzio criticized the current administration and its policies on immigration and the separation of families at the Mexican border:
“The Trump administration says in taking children from parents at the border, it is following a law that already existed, but this is untrue. There is not a law that requires family separation. The President could stop this with a phone call.
“The administration also says this zero-tolerance policy acts as a deterrent by sending a message to adults of what could happen if they arrive at our border with their children. But this policy is not reflective of the values of our nation.”
Since Oct. 3, 2003, Bishop DiMarzio has been the head of the Brooklyn Diocese, which includes the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. He is the spiritual leader of 1.5 million Catholics in one of the most multicultural Catholic dioceses in the world. In the “Diocese of Immigrants,” Mass is celebrated each Sunday in 28 different languages.
Bishop DiMarzio has spent his ministry of over 40 years in the areas of immigration assistance and refugee resettlement services. He is currently chairman of the board of the Center for Migration Studies, and the Migration Policy Institute Board.
He is a member of the boards of CLINIC and the USCCB Migration Committees. Bishop DiMarzio is a former member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
While immigration has been at the center of his priestly life, Bishop DiMarzio has been an outspoken spiritual leader on every issue affecting his flock.
Other Catholics on the list include Frank Carone, No. 11; Carlo A. Scissura, No. 17; Gina and Tony Argento, No. 20; and Donald Boomgaarden, No. 43.
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