History says RICO was passed to get mobsters off the streets and to break organized crime. Theodicy, however, may tell a different story.
By EDMUND DeMARCHE and LEONARD GREENE
A Brooklyn bishop accused of using his bully pulpit to blackmail legislators over a molestation bill he opposes said yesterday he has no plans to repent.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio told state lawmakers that he would close churches in their districts -- and blame them for the shutdowns -- if they backed a bill making it easier for sexual-assault victims to sue local parishes, which was first reported by The Post.
DiMarzio, who made the threats months ago during a legislative breakfast at his residence, said he'd gladly preach the same sermon again.
"This bill is going to bankrupt the church," DiMarzio told The Post yesterday after a confirmation ceremony at a Bay Ridge church where spoke about love and forgiveness. "We are going to close parishes in these districts if this bill goes through. I'm not going to deny that I said that."
The strong-arm tactics outraged several legislators.
One politician was so put off by DiMarzio's tirade that he signed on to the measure as a co-sponsor.
But parishioners in the bishop's home parish said he's doing the right thing. "The Catholic Church is always targeted," said Joe Ramos, 37, a member of The Cathedral Basilica of St. James in downtown Brooklyn. "The bishop's job is to protect the church."
DiMarzio said he would not apologize for his position -- or his style. "I threaten everybody," the bishop said, laughing. "I can't help it. It's the position."
I think a certain church needs to be stripped of its tax exempt status. I also think a certain bishop needs to have an unplanned meeting with some FBI agents.
Both these things should happen at the same time they happen to Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah.
May that day come very, very soon.
[Hat Tip: FGBA.]