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MEXICO: The Catholic Church and sex

Clerical Mexico and anti-clerical Mexico have been fighting for nearly two centuries. The former had a moment of glory recently with the canonization of Juan Diego, denounced by the latter as "five hundred years of a lie". The very successful film "The Crime of Father Amaro" was recognized to be anticlerical in intent. More shocking was a film showing Salomón Palma Chaparro, a priest in a Chihuahua town having sex with his secretary. TV reproduced parts of it, with the more lurid parts deliberately blurred. The priest reported took the movie himself. He has repented, and the Church has allegedly forgiven him. The whole business is odd, like the movies taken secretly by the Peruvian Montesinos, the right-hand man of President Fujimori, showing him giving bribes to congressmen. The aim way have been blackmail. If so, in the case of Montesinos, it backfired. The Mexican case may have been due to gross machismo, Possibly the priest was collaborating with anti-clerical Mexicans. The whole affair is puzzling, but it has led to reports on that taboo subject, the sex lives of priests. One report says that only 10% of priests observe their vow of chastity, and that 40% of nuns have had sex with men, often priests, or even with other nuns. This whole affair may be the work of members of the PRI, angered by the victory of the pro-clerical PAN. We await clarification and would appreciate information on the politics behind the film.

Ronald Hilton - 1/10/03