MISSION, RGV – Bishop of Brownsville Daniel E. Flores does not want a border wall going through two pieces of Diocese property in Hidalgo County but he may be powerless to stop it happening.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores

The two pieces of property are in south Mission, close to the Rio Grande. One tract of land houses the famous La Lomita chapel. The other tract is south of Juan Diego Academy, next to a levee. About one acre on each property will be impacted if surveying by the federal government takes place.

The following is a brief statement by the Diocese of Brownsville about the U.S. government’s requests for right of entry and site assessment of the two properties.

“The Most Rev. Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville, personally engaged in several amicable discussions with federal officials about requests for right of entry and site assessment to two properties in Hidalgo County owned by the diocese. The entry rights requested are for the purpose of making survey preparations for the eventual construction of a wall on these properties.

“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. 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.”

The statement went on to say:

“Thus, in principle, the bishop does not consent to use church property to construct a border wall. He understands, however, that the federal government has recourse to the courts to obtain survey rights. The Diocese of Brownsville received official word notifying us that papers have been filed in federal court for the Southern District of Texas in McAllen seeking right of entry on the properties owned by the diocese. The filing in court was not unexpected.”