It would be impossible to undertake a project as comprehensive as this without the assistance and encouragement of many individuals. I began the research in 1986, and the documentary searches took me to many libraries and individuals. I have been particularly impressed with the collegiality and supportiveness of Mexican religious scholars, many of them clergy, who are engaged in efforts to deepen our knowledge of the contemporary Church. Among those who have made special efforts to keep me apprised of ongoing research and make invaluable sources available, I owe special thanks to a group of professors and graduate students of religious studies at Ibero-American University. These include Enrique Luengo González, who directed a number of graduate students in one of the most important projects on the views of priests anywhere in the hemisphere, Oscar Aguilar Ascencio, who has repeatedly provided me with unpublished materials and answered my probing questions, Eduardo Sota García, who went well beyond professional courtesy to make an entire set of back issues of a critical documentary source available by mail, and Roberto Blancarte, of the Colegio Mexiquense, who recommended other important sources.
I also owe a debt to Miguel Basáñez, who provided the basis for much of the original data in chapter 5, allowing me to pose religious questions in some of his national polls, and making other information available to me in his own polls for Este País. Also, Enrique Alduncin gave me the raw data related to religion for his national surveys at the National Bank of Mexico. I also am indebted to Manuel Carrillo Poblano and Miguel Basáñez for arranging numerous interviews and facilitating the interview process. In Puebla, Josd Alarcón Hernández brought me into contact with many interesting priests, and with Archbishop Rosendo Huesca, a cleric of many insights about the contemporary Church. In Jalisco, Javier Hurtado and Pedro Humberto Garza Gómez not only arranged my conversations with many clergy, but Pedro drove me into the countryside to visit rural parishes. Maria Emilia Farias, long interested in the Church, loaned me her prolific collection of clippings and materials, and Josd Luis Gaona, who covered the Church as part of his journalistic beat, sent me copies of every article he had published. Finally, the staffs at the Colegio de México, Ibero-American University, Bancroft Library,