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I Islamophobia

Parkland Priest Posts Anti-Islam, Anti-Immigrant Messages on Social Media

By Sharon Aron Baron, For Parkland Talk, On 17 August 2018, Read Original
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News about Catholic priests hasn’t been favorable lately. Priests are expected to be caring, compassionate, understanding – and to be trusted. When asked for their opinion or advice, they are looked up to as good role models for the community.

A resident and parishioner of Mary Help of Christians Catholic church in Parkland said one of their priests may not be a good role model after viewing his social media posts. In them, he found extreme views against Islam, Arabs and immigrants along with other socialist and political rhetoric.  The parishioner, who does not want to be named since he has children attending the school, pointed out they were posted publicly by Father Ireneusz Ekiert.

“I happened to come across his Facebook page, and holy smokes, he’s a rampant poster of some pretty hateful messages.”

With so many anti-immigrant messages and memes on his Facebook feed, its difficult to imagine that Ekiert himself was an immigrant to the United States who came here at the age of 26 from Miedzyzdroje, Poland to complete his theological studies.

It was just six months ago after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school massacre that Ekiert told his parishioners to “show and live love daily—not just in a time of grief and horror. That the lesson learned from the shooting is to be proactive in showing love, not to wait to respond to a catastrophe.”  However, since that time, he has written hundreds of posts that are politically charged – as well as dividing.  

Ekiert is also the administrator of the church, and was hired in December 2017 for the 2,700 member congregation whose mission statement says: “Our parish will strive to create an oasis of peace and caring by using the tranquility of our surroundings to our advantage.” 

It didn’t matter what side of the political spectrum Ekiert is on the parishioner said. “If he was an ultra-liberal, posting anti-Trump stuff five-times a day, I’d have an issue with that too. This is not what you want out of a leader of the church. If he doesn’t go, a lot of families will be pulling their children out, mine included.”

The Facebook page lists Ireneusz Ekiert as the owner and his place of employment as administrator of Mary Help of Christians.  There are many photos of him and the church going back several years. We reached out to the Archdiocese of Miami for comment have not heard back by press time.

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