New Mexico Catholic heads defend advocate over racism claim |

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico’s three Catholic bishops said the head of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops didn’t accuse anyone of racism and are defending his actions in trying to push for an expansion of early childhood education programs.
In an open letter Tuesday, the bishops wrote that Allen Sanchez, executive director of the group, has a deep love “for the Gospel” and is an advocate for the state’s poor with an extension record.
“We Catholic bishops of New Mexico respectfully request our elected officials keep their focus on the issue at hand: the plight of our children living in extreme poverty,” Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester, Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu and Gallup Bishop James Wall wrote.
The letter comes after 33 GOP New Mexico state lawmakers sent Wester on letter Monday asking if he agreed with remarks about racism made by Sanchez.
Sanchez told The Associated Press he believed racism contributed to the defeat of a proposal to expand funding for early childhood education.
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