Texas diocese says border wall on Church land violates religious freedom

Brownsville, Texas, Nov 27, 2018 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Brownsville, Texas is pushing back against a government effort to use Church property to aid in the construction of the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

David Garza, a lawyer for the diocese in South Texas, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that “it goes against the First Amendment, freedom of religion.”

The federal government has informed the dioceses that it plans to survey an estimated 67 acres of property where La Lomita Mission is located near the Rio Grande, the Caller-Times reported. Some or all of the land may be confiscated through eminent domain for the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

A statement from the diocese said that Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville has already entered into several discussions with government officials regarding two properties owned by the diocese in Hidalgo County.

“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,” read the statement.

“Such a structure would limit the freedom of the Church to exercise her mission in the Rio Grande Valley, and would in fact be a sign contrary to the Church’s mission. Thus, in principle, the bishop does not consent to use church property to construct a border wall.”

Garza argued that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security should not be able to confiscate the diocese’s property. He said the land is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a public place of worship.

“La Lomita Chapel is a sacred building destined for divine worship to which the faithful have a right of access for divine worship, especially its public exercise,” he said, according to the Caller-Times.

Originally built in 1865 by Oblate Missionaries, La Lomita was the half-way point between the cities of Roma and Brownsville. A flood destroyed the original chapel building, but it was rebuilt in 1899. According to the National Parks Service, La Lomita was a major contributor to the foundation of Mission, the surrounding town.

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  1. CCC

    1909 Finally, the common good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order. It presupposes that authority should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members. It is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense.

    It seems to me that while the Church ignores LGBT degeneracy and abortion laws, including public officials and politicians who are Catholic, and support ‘worldly’ licentiousness it has now allied itself with socialists within the Democratic Party who have us destroy our American Culture and Catholic Culture to accommodate the will of the far left. If they Church cared for our security they would support the government in securing our borders and protecting our society from cultural genocide. But then again, since Vatican II, the Church seems hell bent on committing Catholic Cultural suicide so this comes as no big surprise. And the USCCB thinks that we should send them money and support our dioceses as we pay off victims of clerical sex abuse and work in league with the most radical of the leftists at home and in the UN. They might want to just be quiet and teach the Catechism: the WHOLE Catechism.

  2. I wonder if Trump will ever acknowledge what a bad idea it was to campaign for the border wall and promising that Mexico would pay for it, an estimated $30 billion? Mexican President Pena Nieto and former president Fox vehemently opposed Trump’s wild idea. Currently, Trump has placed the financial burden on the American taxpayer. Yet, even with all his lies and failed promises he got elected.

    After Trump insulted the Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau at the G7 meeting Trump might consider building a northern wall separating Canada and the US that is much longer and much more expensive.

    • The US has the most generous immigration policy on the planet: https://www.immigroup.com/news/top-10-immigration-friendly-countries

      Along with our generous (legal) immigration policy we are also the most generous country with foreign aid and disaster response around the globe.

      So in addition to this, people like you seem to think that open borders and illegal immigration is some kind of right without looking at what that means for the future of US going forward. Are we to take in as many immigrants as there are in the world since we have the most to offer? We give welfare, housing subsidies, health care, tuition and child care services all at the expense of the working stiff who is being displaced by a literal flood of illegal immigration. If it is controlled then we can monitor and know who is coming into our country which is the right of any nation and we can also monitor their health and other problems which may put the people of this country at risk. I wonder how many billions of dollars that works out to be . . . and it is ongoing? I also wonder why Spanish speaking South Americans march right past all their neighbors claiming that the seek asylum when they could find asylum in other Spanish speaking neighbors and not undertake such a long a treacherous journey. It is obvious that they are receiving help and are being encouraged to march across a number of countries to reach the Mexican border and we know that George Soros and his groups are funding this along with MasterCard. http://whatisupwiththesynod.com/index.php/2018/11/08/raped-a-man-attacked-police-demanded-the-state-give-him-a-wife-pakistani-judged-a-psychopath/

      So is it such a bad idea to try to stop what may turn into cultural genocide? You may not care a wit about the future but some of us do and some of us would rather help these people in their struggle against their own totalitarian governments. You don’t appreciate your liberty unless you fight for it and win it yourself. You can’t steal somebody elses freedom. We paid with our blood and we should be able to protect what we gained with our blood as well even though it would be much nicer if we simply build a wall and prevent illegal trafficking. Do you feel comfortable with the mules who smuggle drugs and humans over the border as well? Just wondering. That is why we have a legal way to immigrate and why it needs to be enforced.

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