Charles Miller, who was charged with punching the auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark during a Saturday afternoon Mass, is a former professional boxer who calls himself “The Fightin’ Preacher,” according to his Facebook profile. The 210-pound, 48-year-old South Ward man has been charged with one count of aggravated assault after delivering a blow to the face of the Most Rev. Manuel A. Cruz, who fell backwards and required medical attention after the attack. Miller will appear in Essex County Superior Court tomorrow. While the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has declined to comment on Miller’s motive, his Facebook profile offers a glimpse into the alleged assailant’s state of mind shortly before he was caught on video bopping the bishop. Miller, who also goes by the name “Dog Time,” wrote in his social media profile that he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. His lengthy social media history paints a picture of a man who has grown bitter over race relations in the nation and what he considers to be a white hijacking of Christianity. At 9:04 a.m. Saturday, just hours before he drove his pink Cadillac with zebra-print interior to Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Miller posted an expletive-ridden rant against the “white hoe ass” Virgin Mary, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and others. Much of the writing is nonsensical and without punctuation, referencing what appears to be various portions of the Bible. What’s clear, however, is that Miller was boiling with anger, vowing that he was, in all capital letters, “coming up in there to get yawl once upon a time called right mutha f— now.” That line—“once upon a time called right now”—appears throughout Millers’ Facebook post history, seemingly acting as a battle cry against perceived injustices. The Fightin’ Preacher also shared a number of images railing against the treatment of African-Americans in the U.S.
by Deacon Greg Kandra
Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. For nearly three decades, he was a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to a variety of programs and was honored with every major award in broadcasting. Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.