We don’t work for the government

Tijuana's archbishop speaks out against demand for "profits"
Pope John Paul II and Bishop Romo

Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Romo

The following comes from an Aug. 26 story in the San Diego Reader by Bob McPhail.

In unusually combative language, the archbishop of Tijuana has accused Mexico’s federal government of extorting money from the Catholic Church under the guise of taxation.

In an interview published August 25 by the daily newspaper El Sol de Tijuana, archbishop Rafael Romo said new tax regulations requiring churches and all their subsidiaries to maintain strict books and to pay taxes on monies left over after accounting for expenses would do more harm to the needy than anyone else.

The Catholic Church currently operates hospitals and clinics, provides food, clothing, and shelter, and dispenses other forms of social assistance through parishes, schools, and religious orders across the city, he said. If every parish or organization providing such services must account for and assign a value to every item provided to the poor as well as provide receipts to every donor, many of them will get out of the business of helping the less fortunate rather than deal with the smothering new tax rules, the archbishop said.

The new tax regulations — part of a nationwide crackdown that has also provoked protests from business owners over the record-keeping involved — treat churches as if they were businesses and require them to pay taxes on their “profits,” according to Archbishop Romo.

The archbishop invited politicians of all stripes to come with him on a visit of parishes across Tijuana so they can see for themselves “what the church is and what it does.”

Though the archbishop took aim at the politicians behind the new regulations (“leftists who must abhor the church or they wouldn’t be leftists”), he said the church would continue its work as best it could “because it is not the government for whom we work but God and our brothers.”

To read the original story, click here.



  1. I wish the USCCB (through their CCHD, Catholic Charities, and CRS) would stop partnering with the immoral Federal Government by taking $63 MILLION Dollars annually in Federal Grants.
    * Compromises and supporting false issues that are not required of Catholics in the name of the Faith – exist due to $63 MILLION.
    * Bishops get involved in politics that belong to the Laity (prudential judgment) to support the government.
    * It also confuses Catholic voters, and causes scandal.

    CCC: ” 1759 An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention
    (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6).
    The end does not justify the means.”

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Tell that to Arch. Gomez who apparently loves to pose for photo ops in his Tidings with them as long as they are for Illegal immigration!
      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  2. St. Christopher says:

    Well, government, if pagan, usually despises what it considers “freeloaders” (that is, non-taxpayers), unless it can be seen, as in the USA, that such freeloaders are guaranteed voters. Mexico, too, has a long modern history of violence against, and control over, the Catholic Church; see, e.g., the recent movie, “For Greater Glory,” about the Cristeros war in Mexico in the late 1920s. What it comes down to is this: true Catholic lifestyles are most often — not always — incompatible with most forms of government. As is seen in current America, “religious persecution” is simply not understood when controlling political forces are pagan. A “right of conscience” means that the government cannot tax you, or control you, or punish you, so it must be opposed. President Obama is crazily inconsistent in his complete tone-deafness to the clear and unmistakable rights of the Catholic Church (and some other people of faith) regarding opposition to ObamaCare, homosexual abortion and the like. But this view is far beyond Obama; no government wants any kind of independent power, particularly when no one really shares its world view. Catholics need to fight to maintain their Faith, that is pretty much it. Abp. Romo will likely not be happy with the Mexican government’s response to his opposition, particularly as that country is completely corrupt, non-religious, and drug-money influenced. But Presidente Nieto is welcomed like a hero in CA by Governor Brown — wait, what is that you say? A connection between pagans? Against the Church? To enable completion of Satan’s shopping list? As Oliver Hardy asked of Stan Laurel, “Do you know what you’ve done?”

  3. MIchael McDermott says:

    You may not think you work for the government, but that is only because you hang on to outdated notions of Personal & Religious Liberty – which have no place in an Age of Abomination, where truly – ‘Tolerance Macht Frei’.

    “The Obama administration just released their 8th revision of the HHS mandate, this time a so-called “accommodation” in response to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

    Instead of finally admitting they were wrong, the Obama Administration is digging in even further.

    Under this “accommodation,” any religious non-profit such as the Little Sisters of the Poor or closely-held for-profit company like Hobby Lobby who objects to paying for abortion-inducing drugs must notify the Obama Administration, which will then force insurance companies to make a separate arrangement to provide “free” abortion-inducing drugs.

    It’s clear this is nothing more than an accounting gimmick. And under this proposed rule, even pro-life organizations like the SBA List would still not qualify for any “accommodation” at all!

    Tell Obama: The only “accommodation” we’ll accept is the complete reversal of the religious liberty-crushing HHS Mandate.

    Marjorie Dannenfelser
    Women Speak Out PAC

  4. The USCCB’s charities DO work for the government, when they agree to take $63 Million dollars annually in Federal Grants and therefore live up the government requirements for the grants.
    There are always strings attached to Federal money.

    This is in opposition to the required: “On the Service of Charity” which went into effect on Dec 10, 2012.
    Article 10 § 3. ” In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church’s teaching.”
    ” In carrying out their charitable activity, therefore, the various Catholic organizations should not limit themselves merely to collecting and distributing funds, but should show special concern for individuals in need and exercise a valuable educational function within the Christian community, helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. The Church’s charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance. “

    • Immigrants must obey the law (CCC 2241), and this includes immigration laws.

      The Bishops should not be assisting this Obama Administration or anyone in breaking just laws.
      However it is appropriate to send aid to the Diocese of Countries in need.

      The US Bishops must stop relying on the Federal Government for their charitable works. The Federal (and CA State) governments are in conflict with Church teaching. This gives grave scandal.

  5. We all must to 2 things for our Bishops.

    Code of Canon Law – under “Obligations and Rights of all the Christian Faithful”
    ” 212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church
    and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful,
    without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”
    and CCC #907.

    Pray for Bishops to have the knowledge and courage to do their own jobs (not interfere in the temporal jobs of the Laity – CCC # 898).

  6. Thank you archbishop Rafael Romo! It is always refreshing when one of our shepherds is a clear thinker! When you said, “leftists who must abhor the church or they wouldn’t be leftists”, you spoke plainly and truthfully!

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