Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They better wise up. Taking Joey Doyle’s life to stop him from testifying is a crucifixion. And droppin’ a sling on Kayo Dugan because he was ready to spill his guts tomorrow – that’s a crucifixion! And every time the mob puts the crusher on a good man, tries to stop him from doing his duty as a citizen – it’s a crucifixion. And anybody who sits around and lets it happen, keeps silent about something he knows has happened, shares the guilt of it just as much as the Roman soldier who pierced the flesh of Our Lord to see if He was dead. Boys, this is my church! And if you don’t think Christ is down here on the waterfront, you’ve got another guess coming! Every morning when the hiring boss blows his whistle, Jesus stands alongside you in the shape up. He sees why some of you get picked and some of you get passed over. He sees the family men worrying about gettin’ the rent and gettin’ food in the house for the wife and the kids. He sees you sellin’ your souls to the mob for a day’s pay and what does Christ think of the easy-money boys who do none of the work and take all of the gravy? And how does he feel about the fellows who wear a hundred and fifty dollar suits and diamond rings, on your union dues and your kickback money? And how does He, who spoke up without fear against every evil, feel about your silence?… You want to know what’s wrong with our waterfront? It’s the love of a lousy buck. It’s makin’ the love of the lousy buck, the cushy job, more important than the love of man! It’s forgettin’ that every fellow down here is your brother in Christ! But remember, Christ is always with you. Christ is in the shape up. He’s in the hatch. He’s in the union hall. He’s kneeling right here beside Dugan. And He’s sayin’ with all of you, if you do it to the least of mine, you do it to me! And what they did to Joey, and what they did to Dugan, they’re doin’ to you. And you. You. All of you! And only you, only you with God’s help, have the power to knock ’em out for good.
On the Waterfront, Father Barry