So Long, Father Pat…

By Wayne Lutton
Volume 20, Number 4 (Summer 2010)
Issue theme: "Remembering Terry Anderson"

Father Patrick Bascio died on Sunday, May 30, 2010, in Covington, Kentucky, after a long battle with cancer. He was born on Sunday, January 2, 1927, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of the late Pasquale and Antoinette Bascio.

He was an Air Force pilot toward the end of World War II and thereafter was drawn to the priesthood, being ordained in 1955 by the Holy Ghost Fathers. He earned an M.A. in psychology and a Ph.D. in systematic theology, focusing on the morality of economic and political systems, at Fordham University. For seven years, in the 1980s, Father Pat directed a Ph.D. program in humanities for the U.S. Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island.

After serving as a missionary in Tanzania, Trinidad, and Grenada, he was appointed as counselor (ambassador) of Grenada’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations. He is believed to be the only priest to ever hold a UN ambassadorship.

Father Bascio was the author of nine books, including Gorbachev and the Collapse of the Soviet Communist Party (1994); a novel, A Crime of Innocence (2005), which was recently selected to be made into a movie; and Defeating Islamic Terrorism: The Wahhabi Factor (2007).

Late in his life, Father Bascio took an interest in immigration issues, after seeing how an influx of illegal Mexicans and Central Americans was harming the black parishioners of a church in Harlem he led for a number of years. He came to view unfettered immigration as dangerous and wrong. In his last book, On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration: A Priest Poses an Alternative Christian View (2009), Father Bascio argued that you could not improve the lives of illegal aliens at the expense of poor American citizens. He recognized that illegal immigration has become a corrosive force in American society and that churches’ support for illegal immigration is corrupting many churches themselves.

In 2009, Father Bascio became chairman of Catholics for a Moral Immigration Policy ( and went on a national speaking tour. Video clips of Father Bascio, where his honesty, humor, and warmth are evident, are posted on our website,, and at

“Father Pat” inspired people of faith to re-evaluate their positions regarding illegal immigration and mass legal immigration at a time of high unemployment. He was a welcome and unique new voice in the movement to reform our immigration policies. He will be much missed.

About the author

Wayne Lutton is the editor of The Social Contract and a columnist for Middle American News.