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MEXICO: Fox and the Church



Tim Brown reports: I am a Protestant married to a Catholic and attend Mass as often, if not more often, than most Catholics. Since we have moved around considerably, when arriving in a new country or place, before "taking communion" I ask the presiding priest to request permission for me to take Roman Catholic communion because the local Bishop can authorize the taking of communion by a non-Catholic if the non-Catholic cannot for an acceptable reason take communion in his own church, in my case because I am taking my spouse of 43 years to a Catholic church. To date I have been authorized to take communion by two Cardinals, an Archbishop, about five Bishops, a Monsignor, and a Jesuit provincial. I have been denied only once, by the Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico, who refused to give me permission because I had worked on the Nicaraguan Contra program. He told me personally that was his reason after I was denied communion by "my" parish priest. As you might guess, this particular Bishop was deep into Liberation theory but, in my opinion, with very light on true Christianity.

As to annulment, the theoretical rules were well described by our colleague, but the reality in my experience is quite different. I had a very good Jesuit friend in Spain who was an ecclesiastical lawyer specialized in annulments. His favorite case was that of a Duque who had been married for about 25 years and had a number of children. In that case the Duque obtained an annulment on the grounds that there was no positive proof the marriage had been consummated. Incredulous, I asked how that was possible. My Jesuit friends reply: Bribes to Vatican officials. I could go on describing cases. But in reality, even when someone has an absolutely excellent case for annulment, none is ever approved by the Vatican unless a very hefty fee is paid first. In these matters, the Keys to the Kingdom apparently can only be used to open the doors of heaven after a stiff toll is paid.

My comment: I am all in favor of inter-religious marriages. Some of the happiest marriages I know are between Jewish males and goyim women. However, it clearly becomes a problm when either is very pious. I heard today of a man aged about 25 who had not been baptized. He wanted to marry an Episcopalian girl, so he was baptized, Presumably he has not held in his parents' arms.

Feminist activists get into the act, becoming priests in Protestant churches. The Catholic Church is adamantly opposed to this. Mexican women fighting machismo have found a way of asserting themselves: a mass for women only at the Basilica of Guadalupe. Yesterday 80,000 (/!) of them completed their trek from Querétaro and other towns of that religious area, some carrying babies in their arms. It is unlikely that many of them walked all the way, as true pilgrims do. I did not see any of them making the final approach on their knees, a good old custom. They declared that they were showing that they were not subordinate to men. The Bishop of Querétaro gave the sermon. Unfortunately I do not have the text.

Ronald Hilton - 7/17/01


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