Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Holy War

Three years ago this month, a new pastor at Holy Spirit Parish in McAllen fired four church workers who belonged to the United Farm Workers union. This angered church members, who say the firings were ultimately the decision of Bishop Raymundo Peña.

The workers eventually reached a settlement, but critics say the union busting continues.

Churchgoers at Holy Spirit haven't forgotten that incident, as the blog Reflections of the Spirit shows (WARNING: web page plays annoying song). There's a post on the anniversary of the firings, complete with some of Ramon Ramirez's editorial cartoons from that time that skewer Peña. There's an exhortation for parishioners to wear red when the bishop visits.

To this day, parishioners still battle it out with the Diocese of Brownsville over issues like the unionized church workers, a church raffle, and the ousting of the parish's Peace and Justice Committee.

The diocese has done some pretty crappy things over the years -- like stonewall investigators and tell a sexual abuse suspect to flee the country -- so it's nice to see members try to hold diocese officials accountable.


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