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A sin of commission?

13 July 2011

It took a court order from the Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación, for the Secretaría de Gobernacíon to FINALLY admit that after having broken the very simple law in this country that says ministers of religion cannot proselytize for or against any particular political party, the Archdiocese of Mexico City (and its spokesman, Msgr. Hugo Valdemar) for flagrantly doing exactly that… specifically telling the faithful not to vote for the PRD.

The law is very clear on this, and the penalties aren’t a gray area in the law.  The Secretaría de Gobernacíon normally would just pull the registration for the offending cleric and his congregation, which wouldn’t be all that great shakes if we were talking about the Second Independent Church of the Holy Spaghetti-monster of  Fulanotitlan, Sonora… but we are talking about the Metropolitan Cathedral here, and the Cardinal-Primate of a country with (at least on paper) something around 80 million Catholics.

And, a federal executive from a Catholic party.  So… the law be damned, while admitting there was a crime, the Sec. de Gob. has set up a “commission” to consider what actions to take.

While there are those who might find it delightful to simply force the Cathedral to close,  realistically, I’m not sure what all can be done.  At least on paper, the Catholic Church doesn’t have all that much in the way of assets in this country, the Cathedral and most art works in churches being government property (since 1854).  Ironically, while intended to limit the power of the Church, it has worked recently to keep them from being held accountable in civil actions.

Profit centers for the churches (like schools) are separate organizations.  Still, I imagine that — like it or not — Msgr. Valdmar should look forward to a transfer to some less visible post, and the Cardinal may have to take up a second collection to pay a nominal fine.  And eat some crow.  Otherwise, I don’t think anything is going to happen.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Juanita Cortez permalink
    13 July 2011 10:25 pm

    As you well know, being a historian of Mexico, this land of blue, dry mountains and green, humid tropics has always been a theocracy. Unfortunately, like most religious cults, more damage has been done than Jesus had planned. From the earliest cardiologists of Tula to are most recent Marciel Legions, life has not been good for the common conscript. Sad, very sad, but from the mutilations of Palenque to the rafagas of Monterrey it is just by chance that one may fall upon that most noble of all people, the true Mexican.

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