Media personality Laura Ingraham took the Catholic bishop of Yakima, Washington, to task for discouraging his flock from attending an event at which she is scheduled to appear. Spero News
reported this week that the office of Bishop Joseph Tyson sent an email to priests in the diocese discouraging parishes from advertising a pro-life charity event where Ingraham was to appear.
Speaking on Feb. 25, Ingraham said that the Catholic bishop has “picked the wrong fight with the wrong person, I can tell you that.”
Ingraham is the featured speaker a fundraising event for Image Point, which is a nonprofit that operates a mobile medical unit that provides services such as counseling and ultrasounds as an alternative to abortions. This week, Yakima diocesan officials issued an email that called into question Image Point’s alleged failure to “collaborate in a meaningful way with the Diocese,” after having received a grant from the Knights of Columbus. Monsignor Robert Siler of the Yakima diocese also wrote that besides her “pro-life witness,” Ingraham holds positions on immigration that “are at odds with positions held by the U.S. bishops.”
On Feb. 25, Ingraham drew a line between Bishop Tyson’s position on immigration and what she said is the “enormous amount of money” the bishop’s office receives in federal grants. These millions of dollars, said Ingraham, go to Hispanics.
“You have to follow the money here,” said Ingraham, including donations and the federal government that she says encourages Catholics in Yakima to embrace “more of an open borders mentality.”
Instead of taking money from the government for the resettlement to fill pews, said Ingraham, she asked “Why don’t we just preach the gospel? How about that for an idea instead of getting all caught up in issues of policy versus the doctrinal issues that actually are at the core of the church, like the support for pro-life which is a doctrinal issue.”
The Diocese of Yakima is sticking by its guns. The diocese slammed what it called Ingraham’s harsh comments “supporting the deportation of entire families, including children who are American citizens.” It also disputed a characterization of Bishop Tyson in LifeZette.com as an “open-borders bishop,” and noted a joint pastoral letter signed by U.S. and Mexican bishops in 2003 that said that while people have a right to migrate to support themselves, it also says sovereign nations have a right to control and protect their borders.