James Anthony Tamayo

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
James Anthony Tamayo
Bishop of Laredo
Church Roman Catholic
Archdiocese San Antonio
Diocese Laredo
Appointed July 3, 2000
Installed August 9, 2000
Ordination July 11, 1976
Consecration March 10, 1993
by Joseph Fiorenza, René Henry Gracida, and Enrique San Pedro
Personal details
Born (1949-10-23) October 23, 1949 (age 67)
Brownsville, Texas
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston
Titular Bishop of Ita
Styles of
James Anthony Tamayo
Coat of arms of James Anthony Tamayo.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

James Anthony Tamayo (born October 23, 1949) is the current bishop of Laredo, Texas. He was ordained a priest on July 11, 1976 and consecrated bishop on March 10, 1993. He became auxiliary bishop of Galveston-Houston and titular bishop of Ita. On August 9, 2000, he was installed as the bishop of the newly founded Diocese of Laredo in Webb County in South Texas.

Bishop Tamayo is the son of Antonio P. Tamayo (1925-2016), a native of Port Isabel in Cameron County, Texas, and Guadalupe B. Tamayo of Laredo. He has a sister, Mrs. Mercy Barrera of Corpus Christi.[1] He holds a Master in Arts in Theology from the University of St. Thomas and attended St. Mary's Seminary in Houston.

Tamayo is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. On September 10, 2008, Tamayo called upon the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush to halt work-place raids in search of illegal immigrants. "We have respect for our enforcement personnel, but these worksite raids are only pitting human beings against each other. We must abandon the raids."[2]

In March 2015, Tamayo was among eighty religious figures who signed a letter to President Barack H. Obama asking that the government halt the practice of detaining families who have come into the United States illegally. He visited a detention center in Dilley between San Antonio and Laredo and expressed concern for the women being held there, some for a considerable period of time.[3]


In March 2016, Tamayo halted the construction of a Catholic student center at Texas A&M International University in Laredo. The Brothers of St. John, key sponsors of the $4 million-plus project, held a groundbreaking ceremony in November 2013. Tamayo did not attend the groundbreaking; nor did he offer an explanation for his opposition to the project, even to TAMIU President Ray Keck. Hundreds of thousands of preliminary funds have already been spent on the project, which has been on the drawing board for a decade.[4]

Glen S. Jackson of Alexandria questions Bishop Tamayo's opposition to the student center, which he said has caused a "hostile atmosphere" in the Laredo diocese. No other college or university has faced such a denial. Jackson claims that 99 percent of the clergy in the Laredo diocese favors the project.[5]

Meanwhile, Father Robert L. Kincl of Hutto, north of Austin, a former judicial vicar for the Laredo diocese, has announced that he will deliver some thirty letters opposing Tamayo's position on the student center to the post office at The Vatican.[6]

In another controversy, when a priest was arrested in 2002 in Laredo on rape charges from New York City, the district attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn), said that the diocese under Tamayo was "less than satisfactory" in cooperation with law enforcement. Tamayo did not explain the circumstances under which the priest had left the Laredo diocese.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Antonio P. Tamayo". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved March 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ Hernan Rozemberg of the San Antonio Express-News, "End raids, bishops plea", Laredo Morning Times, September 11, 2008, pp. 1, 9A
  3. ^ "Faith leaders support immigrants", Laredo Morning Times, March 28, 2015, pp. 1, 13A
  4. ^ Philip Balli; Judith Rayo; Gabriel A. Trevino (March 20, 2016). "Bishop Tamayo halts construction of Catholic Student Center". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ Glen S. Jackson (Letter to the Editor). "Bishop Tamayo rejecting the construction for the ministry center baffles all who have donated". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Letters urging pope to allow construction of Catholic Student Center to be delivered to Vatican". Laredo Morning Times. April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Letters delivered to Vatican question bishop's actions". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
First Bishop
Bishop of Laredo
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston
Succeeded by