On Saturday, it was reported by the Albuquerque Journal that liberal priest Vincent Paul Chávez’s Albuquerque parish, St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church, was asked to shell out church funds to help pay a universal settlement in its Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Unfortunately, St. Therese church, under the controversial and divisive leadership of Rev. Chávez, is bleeding cash, claiming the pandemic hit the church hard. “We have very minuscule savings at the Archdiocese Savings and Loan Program at the Catholic Center,” said Chávez in a letter to Archbishop John C. Wester. He added that the funds available to the over-politicized parish are “meager.”
This comes in stark contrast to other churches, such as the well-managed, fiscally responsible St. Joseph on the Rio Grande parish, which is giving the Archdiocese $300,000 for the settlement without question. Those that do contribute would be eligible for a “channeling injunction” to protect them from lawsuits from individual survivors whose claims occurred before 2018, according to parish finance Chairperson Frances Donio of St. Joseph on the Rio Grande.
However, the mismanaged funds at St. Therese may be due to Rev. Chávez’s messages pushing liberal political messages, including one display where the priest put a statue of the baby Jesus in a cage in protest to immigration policies of President Donald. J. Trump.
Chávez was forced to remove the divisive political display after parishioners threatened to disenroll their children from the nearby St. Therese Catholic School and a letter from Archbishop Wester demanding he take it down and “please refrain from any contentious, controversial and provocative signs in front of the church.”
Chávez’s politicization of the Child Jesus to push for liberal immigration policies is by no means an isolated incident. The priest has posted extremely controversial anti-Republican messages on the church’s billboard, reading things like “Trump golfs and attacks opponents as deaths near 100,000… Memorial weekend.”
Others read things like, “Red states America… Deaths up… Pray for them.”
In May 2020, the church also held a “Black Lives Matter” march while its billboard read things like, “Thank you, Governor, Dr. Fauci and CDC for keeping us safe” and “No human is illegal in God’s realm.”
Other slogans from the church include messages such as “Bridges, not walls” and “God bless Joe/Kamala… Time for unity.”
From the pulpit to the sidewalk of his church, Chávez may have pushed the faithful away with his politicization of the Catholic faith for his own Democrat-supporting beliefs and support for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. It is unclear if there is a direct correlation between the failure of St. Therese parish’s fundraising and the divisive comments by Chávez, but they are not likely helping the parish keep the lights on.