Catholic Vote asks for information on dioceses at border
Bishop Flores and Bishop Olson object

2022-02-11T16:27:36-08:00February 12th, 2022|

The leader of a Catholic political advocacy group Friday pushed back against criticism of the organization’s legal efforts to obtain federal documents related to the work Catholic dioceses and charities are doing to assist undocumented migrants crossing the Texas-Mexico border.

“Catholics and Americans more broadly are frustrated with the situation at our border, and anyone truly concerned should welcome more facts,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, told Catholic News Agency, adding that transparency “can only be a good thing.”

In an email Feb 9, Burch announced that CatholicVote had joined the conservative group Judicial Watch in filing a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that the agencies were dragging their feet responding to Freedom of Information Act records requests CatholicVote filed on Sept. 1, 2021. The requests sought copies of “all communications” between the agencies and Catholic-affiliated groups working on the border.

“We want to know: What role are Catholic charities, dioceses, or Catholic-affiliated relief organizations playing in this effort? Are they helping house migrants in homes, hotels, or shelters? Are they paying for transportation, flights, buses, or other services — with government money?” Burch wrote in the email. “Is what they are doing legal? And is it the right thing to do?”

The FOIA requests specifically ask for records relating to the following groups and individuals: the Diocese of Brownsville; Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores; Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley; Sister Norma Pimentel, the latter group’s executive director; the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The lawsuits and the focus of the records requests met with sharp criticism from some Catholic leaders and groups.

“There is nothing wrong with feeding the hungry and providing care for those here in our country,” Pimentel told the National Catholic Reporter.

Bishop Flores also objected to CatholicVote’s actions. “I question why Catholic Charities is being singled out when a number of other NGOs and city entities have received and are also receiving funding,” he said. Bishop Michael Olson of the Diocese of Fort Worth echoed the same sentiment in a tweet posted Friday….

The above comes from a Feb. 11 posting on the Catholic News Agency site.

20 Comments

  1. Borders Are Legal February 12, 2022 at 9:40 am - Reply

    It’s only right to let people know how their donations are being spent. Our country has borders, even if our church does not, and they must be respected.

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    • thatdirtylittleratnunnheim February 12, 2022 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Respected? How about enforced. These bishops only care about the holy buck.

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  2. invasion February 12, 2022 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    The Church should not be assisting an invasion of this country.

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    • History Major February 14, 2022 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      I agree. Let’s kick out these Protestant invaders and reestablish the Spanish Empire!

  3. Tell them February 12, 2022 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Sister Pimentel: “There is nothing wrong with feeding the hungry and providing care for those here in our country.”

    And then, good Sister, tell them to go home, back to their own country.

    You’re encouraging them to stay by giving them goodies.

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  4. anonymous clergyman February 12, 2022 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Sister is absolutely right, “There is nothing wrong with feeding the hungry and providing care for those here in our country.” In fact, it would be a sin not to.
    That said, there’s nothing wrong with transparency. Look at how the Vatican mismanaged the Peter’s Pence collection for years. People thought they were giving money to the Vatican for charitable works. People have a right to know how their donations are being used. Catholic Charities are being “singled out” because they are Catholic organizations. Mr. Burch and his organization are Catholic. (If he belonged to the Salvation Army, he’d want to know how they were using their donations.) Clergy and others I know of speak highly of Bishop Olson. So maybe the bishops have reasons of which we’re unaware.

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    • click February 13, 2022 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      They are not concerned with how donations are being used. Click the link.

      • anonymous clergyman February 13, 2022 at 9:22 pm - Reply

        I did and read the entire story. Asking if their activities are legal is a legitimate question. As are questions about human trafficking, cartels and gang members. Why the need for secrecy? As Pope Francis and many others have noted, the Church has already suffered too much from unneeded secrecy. Let the light shine on the Church’s activities. As Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)

  5. dorothy merle devine February 12, 2022 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Imagine being condemned for following Jesus’ Beatitudes? Feeding, clothing, housing the poor, sheltering the immigrants, providing safety for political victims of violence — most of whom are Catholics — Catholic who chose life, who chose not to abort, but to bring children into this world. Why are the nuns, priests, and lay Catholics who provide them essential food and housing being investigated and persecuted by the wealthiest of the wealthy white Catholics who control so much of the economy — especially on the Sunday when Jesus calls us to feed the multitudes? This political action committee does not reflect Pre-Vatican II, Post-Vatican II, Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict, Francis — and especially not Jesus. Shame on them.

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  6. emmie February 13, 2022 at 12:42 am - Reply

    This organization might be told to not use the word “Catholic” in its name.

    If you click the link in blue-federal lawsuit- it says what they really are trying to do.
    They ask if what Catholic Charities is doing is illegal, but Catholic Charities has to obey God.
    If they get a call that someone is hungry, they have to feed them.
    In traditional works of mercy, they need to harbor the harborless. Now it is called shelter the homeless.
    To not do it, would be a sin of omission.

  7. Fr. Richard Perozich February 13, 2022 at 3:28 am - Reply

    I was a pastor in Honduras. I was a pastor in San Diego. I did not use my money to help someone emigrate/immigrate. When people came for food, clothing, and even work for pay I helped them from my own bounty, NOT from the collection or from some other public entity. When funds were exhausted I sadly told them I had no more to give at that time, sharing even the food in my own refrigerator/pantry for my own sustenance. However one comes down on a side of the issue, the matter here is not food, shelter or clothing for those in the US, rather assistance in crossing the border and resettlement in the US by Catholic Charities and NGO’s.

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    • Janet Ross February 14, 2022 at 4:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you Father Rich for always making good sense.

  8. Democrats February 13, 2022 at 5:39 am - Reply

    These people know full well what they are doing at the border, which is why they don’t want what they do to be investigated nor revealed. They are Democrat party operatives in religious garb. They are actively working to undermine the southern border and American sovereignty in order to boost a reliably Democrat voting demographic.

    Borders. Language. Culture. They’re all gone. America is over.

  9. Prepare yourselves February 13, 2022 at 9:07 am - Reply

    What did they say about Jesus? That he was Beelzebub, that he had the
    power of Beelzebub. Calumny: be prepared for it. If you do good, with prayer, before God, taking on all
    the consequences of your charism and you go forward, prepare yourselves for defamation and calumny,
    because the Lord chose this way for himself!.” (Pope Francis, Address to the International Union of
    Superior General, May 12th, 2016)

    • Don't buy February 13, 2022 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Oh, so by that logic anyone who is criticized is doing the work of Christ. Don’t buy it.

      • a good woman February 13, 2022 at 8:08 pm - Reply

        No. Here is where it comes from:
        “All women religious, all consecrated women should live mystically, because yours is a
        marriage: yours is a vocation of maternity; it is a vocation of acting on behalf of Mother Church and of Mother Mary. But those who tell you this, they think that being a mystic is being a mummy, always praying like that… No, no. You have to pray and to work according to your own charism, and when the charism leads you to work with refugees, to work with the poor, you should do it, and they will call you “communist”; that’s the least of what they will say about you. But you should do it. Because the charism leads you to this.

        In Argentina, I remember a sister, she was provincial of her congregation. A good
        woman, and she’s still working… she’s nearly my age, yes. And she works against those who traffic youngsters, who traffic people. I remember, under the military government in Argentina, they wanted to put her in jail, putting pressure on the Archbishop, putting pressure on the Provincial Superior, before she became provincial, “because this woman is a communist.” And this woman saved so many girls, so many girls. And yes, that’s the Cross.

  10. Joyce February 14, 2022 at 9:39 am - Reply

    The main concern here is missed. While we are to care for our brothers, exactly what is it that we are doing by encouraging people to make the journey to come to this country illegally? First, we are helping others break the law. But more importantly, we are aiding those who take advantage of those people by forcing them into human (sex) trafficking. Many women and children are brutally raped on the trip here to get food at your free kitchen. Many are made to be mules or worse for bringing dangerous drugs in; those which kill your parishioners. And no one wants to speak to the fact that our children must be masked in school, while those who cross the border are not even tested for disease. Its as if you are giving them incentives to be victims. Bishops, you are not really helping people, you are hurting them.

  11. Hymie February 14, 2022 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Catholic Charities is neither.

  12. Just Saying February 14, 2022 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Jesus never said “Blessed are the poor: but only if they live in your country.” At least that’s not what I heard this Sunday. Did you?

  13. Amen February 19, 2022 at 7:59 am - Reply

    It’s about time Catholic Charities stop aiding and helping illegal immigration. It’s a Federal crime to transport, harbor illegal immigrants.
    Stop committing sins the Catholic Church so much stands against.For all to get to heaven. This whole thing is nothing but total crimes against humanity.
    The bishops and Catholic Charities are commutin sin against God and these people they pretend to help.

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