Patrick Bascio

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Father Patrick Bascio, C.S.Sp.

Patrick "Pat" Anthony[1] Bascio, C.S.Sp. (Boston, Massachusetts January 2, 1927 - Covington, Kentucky May 30, 2010) was a Roman Catholic priest, missionary, diplomat, and author best known in the United States for his 2009 monograph On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration: A Priest Poses an Alternative Christian View.

Biography

The son of Pasquale Bascio and Antoinette Quagliata Bascio, Patrick Bascio was a pilot in the United States Army Air Force, serving in the Pacific Theater in World War II from 1944-1946. During his service he was drawn to the priesthood, and took up studies at St. Mary's in Norwalk, Connecticut. In time, he would also earn a Masters in Psychology from St. Joseph's Seminary and College and a PhD in Systematic Theology with emphasis on Morality of Economic and Political Systems at Fordham University.

After Bascio's ordination in 1955, he taught physics at Umbwe College, part of a mission near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Fatefully transferred to the Caribbean in 1962, Bascio served as pastor on Carriacou Island in Grenada, and taught Black Studies at the University of the West Indies at Port-of-Spain in Trinidad and Tobago where he also did pastoral work. Following Grenadan independence in 1974, he was Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Eric Gairy and Counselor in the Grenada Diplomatic Mission to the United Nations. He became involved in the revolution that overthrew Gairy's government and installed Maurice Bishop's Communist People's Revolutionary Government in 1979. That year he returned to the United States, and was pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist, a Harlem parish long staffed by Holy Ghost Fathers, through 1985. His proximity to the UN Headquarters allowed him to continue as Economic Advisor to Grenada's UN Ambassador during this period. He later directed the Masters and PhD programs in Humanities at Salve Regina University and the Masters program for high-ranking US and allied servicemen at the Naval War College, both institutions in Newport, Rhode Island. In the 1990s he was pastor at Our Lady of Divine Providence, a parish on Providenciales island in the Turks and Caicos Islands for a time, and returned to his involvement with the UN as ad hoc representative to the UN High Commission for Refugees. In 1996 he again transferred to Trinidad and Tobago, and was Peace and Justice Coordinator for the Holy Ghost Fathers there from 2000 through his retirement from pastoral work in 2006, at the age of 79.

Late in life he resided in Aurora, Indiana. In addition to several nonfiction works, he wrote three novels in his last years. He died after a long struggle with cancer in 2010.

Opposition in Illegal Immigration

Near the end of Fr. Bascio's life, he became a vocal critic of the episcopal Catholic attitude toward illegal immigration, going so far as to say the position held by the Christian Church at large on illegal immigration was wrong. A self-identified "Kennedy Democrat", Bascio was long a liberal supportive of mass immigration, Bascio recounted, "I was like Cardinal Mahoney. I wanted to feed everybody, I wanted everybody to come to America and enjoy themselves," but came to say "the facts converted me." While he said his work with Grenada and the UN prepared him for his transformation, he credits the epiphany to his experiences on returning to Harlem in the late 2000s to preside at the marriage of a former altar boy from his days at St. Mark the Evangelist. A few younger parishioners offered to take Father on a tour of Harlem, baffling the old priest.

That Friday evening, they said to me, "Father, I want to bring you through a tour of Harlem." I said, "What are you talking about, a tour of Harlem? I know Harlem like the back of my hand!" They said, "Yeah, but, we're gonna take you through a tour, and we're gonna see if you observe something." I said, "Okay." So Saturday morning, off we went, we're touring Harlem, and they're dropping into little cigarette stores, liquor stores, places to get hamburgers, they're bringing me in and out of all these establishments -- I suddenly noticed! That, in all these shops the kids were taking me through, I hardly saw one Black man! The workers there were Latinos. Now, I want to emphasize that the kids said they had nothing against Latinos, but illegal; Latinos coming into Harlem, taking their jobs, working for half of the salary that they would work for, has made Harlem totally desperate! I mean, if a young Black man can't find a job in Harlem, where's he gonna find a job in America? The shock that I got, seeing that young Black men could not even work in Harlem, that was a transforming moment for me. It was an epiphany for me...

Bascio also emphasized the catastrophic effects of the emigration of the highly-skilled from poor countries, causing further underdevelopment as they move to the First World where their expertise is better compensated but there is already a surplus of medical and other professionals. Bascio said he did not oppose legal immigration, which he called the natual "evolution" of society, but denounced illegal immigration as a "revolution" that engenders a plethora of social ills and leads to animosity between peoples.

Given the blanket opposition of the Vatican II Catholic hierarchy to immigration law enforcement, particularly in the United States, the publication of Fr. Bascio's On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration by American Free Press in 2009 was warmly received by opponents of White demographic genocide. Brenda Walker of VDare.com breathed a sigh of relief, pointing to the book as a rare instance of sanity on the issue from a Catholic clergyman. Denying charges she was anti-Catholic, Walker nonetheless admitted "I had to blink twice a couple weeks back when I heard a Catholic priest bravely buck the establishment of his church to stand with the rule of law and genuine morality."[2]

In 2009 Fr. Bascio became head of Catholics for a Moral Immigration Policy, a group that attempted to counter the open borders stance of the hierarchy; however the group was short-lived and ultimately did not survive his death. Though terminally ill with cancer, Bascio spoke as a panelist at an Ethics and Morals of Illegal Immigration writers ([2] [3]) workshop hosted by Social Contract Press on October 4, 2009. Arguing that America is a fundamentally Puritan society, he made the case that only moral arguments will carry the day in the immigration debate, and said illegal immigrant Latino gangs dominating many inner cities should be considered an invading army that should be met with military force. "I come from a military family background, and I'd love to do it myself," the WWII veteran jested, "but a priest taking up arms would not be a very good idea." The next day he appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, where he debated illegal immigration with Thomas Reese, S.J.[3] On January 27, 2010 he appeared on the inaugural episode of Tomorrow's America Discussion Series, where he was interviewed and his comments were discussed by a panel.

Bibliography

Nonfiction

  • The U.N. was my parish: Experiences of a priest-diplomat. Dimension Books, 1977.
  • Building a Just Society: A Different Viewpoint. Orbis Books, 1981.
  • Failure of White Theology: A Black Theological Perspective. Peter Lang Publishing, 1994.
  • Defeating Islamic Terrorism: The Wahhabi Factor. Branden Books, 2006.
  • Perfidy: The Government cabal that knowingly abandoned our prisoners of war and left them to die (with John "Top" Holland). American Free Press, 2008.
  • On The Immorality of Illegal Immigration: A Priest Poses an Alternative Christian View. American Free Press, 2009.
  • Pedophilia: Cancer Within. Branden Books, 2010 (posthumous).

Novels

  • A Crime of Innocence. Dead End Street, LLC, 2005.
  • Priest to Mafia Don. Branden Books, 2007.
  • Sacred Obsession. Branden Books, 2010 (posthumous).

Sources

References

  1. The cover of On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration gives Bascio's middle initial as J.; however, his obituary lists his middle name as Anthony, and no sources give a full name beginning with J. Since his email address was [email protected], it is possible his J. name was the second of two middle names.
  2. Brenda Walker. Father Pat Bascio: A Rare (?) Immigration Enforcement Voice In The Catholic Clergy VDare.com. October 14, 2009. Accessed October 3, 2013.
  3. Lou Dobbs Tonight. October 5, 2009. Archived [1].