Dallas's Bishop Kevin Farrell Takes on An Old Latino Community Center in West Oak Cliff

Categories: Religion

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That sure happened fast. Behold, the Three Stages of Lawyering Up:

Stage 1: A perceived injustice occurs -- in this case, a July 29 letter from attorneys representing the Diocese of Dallas and Kevin Farrell, the recently installed, Dublin-born Bishop imported from a titular see in Algeria, ordering the Calumet Community Center -- a non-profit center that serves as a gathering spot for West Oak Cliff Latinos -- to vacate the premises the diocese owns.

Calumet has occupied the space for 14 years. The center had been sharing land with the Santa Clara Catholic Church, and director Juanita Miramontes said they had an agreement with a previous bishop for a lifetime lease. The new bishop, Farrell, didn't like the arrangement, so he drew up a new lease for 25 years in 2009, Miramontes said.

And now he wants them out.

Miramontes issues a press release Tuesday and schedules a presser for this morning. A David-and-Goliath allusion is made, and the diocese is accused of engaging in "bully tactics." It's the classic set-up for a big-guy-crushing-the-little-guy scenario. In one corner, it's a nonprofit that relies on donations and fundraisers, and provides a haven for the children of working parents. In the other corner, you've got the Catholic Church, which hasn't made for the most sympathetic protagonist lately. It's a public-relations no-win for the diocese.

Stage 2: Lawyers get involved.

Stage 3: The presser is canceled. A terse, "revised" press release is issued. It says the presser is postponed "pending engagement of legal counsel."

Things get complicated and, for the moment, unknowable. The diocese says Calumet is getting evicted because they haven't kept their insurance coverage up to date, which was a part of the deal. "Calumet has been in continued, repeated violation of the terms of the lease agreement," diocese spokesperson Annette Gonzales Taylor tells Unfair Park. "And it's been over months and years. They have again failed to show proof of insurance. That's what all this is about: Their failure to abide by the terms of the lease agreement."

Before she quit talking completely, Miramontes responded, saying the Dallas Diocese's excuse is hogwash. "It has not lapsed. I had to renew in July, and it was right on time. If I knew I was at fault, I would not have called a press conference."

She wondered aloud whether the diocese was clearing Calumet out to make way for a new occupant. "They should let me know," she said.

"They can look at our books. I don't know why they're doing this."

Unfair Park asked Miramontes to show us an up-to-date insurance statement. She passed us along to Calumet director and treasurer Rosa Orenstein, who said all inquiries would have to wait for -- guess who? -- the attorneys.

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Ghunter
Ghunter

I don't know about the rest of the reporting in this story, but Bishop Farrell is not "recently installed." He was named and installed as bishop here in the spring of 2007 (coming I thought from Washington D.C., not Algeria, though that might be wrong and Brantley might be right) .  

Ed D.
Ed D.

D.C. is correct. There's a decent little bio, with sources, on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K...

scottindallas
scottindallas

I was taken aback by the Algeria point as well.  Perhaps in Algiers there might be a few Catholics.  But, there sure aren't many in the country.  In Oran, where my wife is from, my father-in-law walks to the mosque one block from their home.  The mosque is an old nunnery.  The building still has a plaque for the "les soeurs."  Oran is noted for the statue of Santa Cruz--a statue of Mary on the mountain top that overlooks the city.  There are vestiges of the French Catholic heritage there, but almost everything has been either converted or preserved. 

Papist
Papist

The bishop wouldn't push forward on something like this unless there's a real problem...the idea that the big, evil Catholic Church hates the little man and will do everything to keep him down is dumb.  I bet that Catholic Charities is the biggest provider of services to the poor of south Dallas.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Its reasons like this that I wish harm upon the pederast and thieves that make up the catholic church. Heaven forbid hispanics, especially 1st generation transplants from lands south of us, are using their property. I thought that was the current mission of the catholic church to focus on those folks. Here's hoping the they collapse from within..;)

Dallas_Joe_Schmo
Dallas_Joe_Schmo

do you only post banal comments? do you ever actually make a reasonable thought from time to time?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Actually no, I have points of genius throughout the day, which sounds like your lacking at this point sir..;)

In all seriousness, I have a huge problem w/ the cathaolics, as its still the only religion that condones abhorrent behavior between priests and kids. Here's hoping they lose the case..

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Christianity is the religion.  The Catholic Church is sometimes called the universal church the word being derived from the Greek adjective katholikos meaning "universal" or all-embracing. Absolutely nobody condones the abhorrent behavior.  

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