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Religion in Mexico: Sex and the clergy



Raúl Escalante clarifies the clarification: "Given the aclerical (rather than anticlerical) nature of Mexican politics, it would be odd that the Governor of Oaxaca (and even odder that the Secretary of the Interior [Gobernación], who is in charge of state-church relations) would openly state his beliefs on what the clergy should be entitled to do. I think David's reference was to a statement by the Bishop of Oaxaca (whoever he was at the time), not Carrasco.

The attitude to the clergy in Mexican politics has shifted since the Revolution from intolerance to open devotion (in the case of Fox). The Catholic Church has become increasingly vocal of its political opinions since the Salinas administration. Under the surface, however, most public figures continued to be practicing Catholics throughout the period, especially outside the capital. My mother-in-law tells a story about her uncle, whose secretive wedding ceremony (Church services were outlawed during much of the 20's) was attended by the Chief of Police of the Federal District. Carlos Fuentes' Las Buenas Conciencias portrays this ambivalence beautifully".

My clarification: When the churches were closed, it was anti-clericalism. When they were tolerated, it was aclericalism. Historically some sincere Catholics like Bernanos were anti-clerical. They simply thought that the Church, a human institution, was corrupt.

Ronald Hilton - 4/9/02


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