UPDATED – WASHINGTON (CNS) — Federal officials sought entry to two properties belonging to the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, seeking to survey the land for construction of a border wall on it, but in an Oct. 29 statement, Brownsville Bishop Daniel E. Flores said he did not consent to such use because such a structure “would limit freedom of the church to exercise her mission in the Rio Grande Valley.”
He also said it would be “contrary” to the church’s mission.
“While the bishop has the greatest respect for the responsibilities of the men and women involved in border security, in his judgment, church property should not be used for the purposes of building a border wall,” said the statement released by the diocese.
The diocese said it received “official word” from the government saying “papers” have been filed in federal court for the Southern District of Texas in McAllen “seeking right of entry” and says the filing was not unexpected.
“There is more to this dispute than meets the eye,” said Kevin Appleby, senior director of international migration policy for the New York-based Center for Migration Studies. “The government is also sending a political message. The bishop is right to fight it.”
Appleby said in an Oct. 29 email to Catholic News Service that the reason it goes beyond being a legal fight is that it goes into political territory as well, since the Catholic Church has “consistently supported immigrant rights and generally opposed a border wall.”
“The church also has traditionally been seen as a safe harbor by immigrants, and this would counter that view,” he said.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103