Church into politically tainted activities. Human rights issues appeal to a broader
group of bishops because of their clearer moral implications.
Neither the hierarchy nor the Mexican people see the Church as playing a direct
political role, but a redefinition of its responsibilities, socially and economically,
would have important political repercussions on the political process at a time of
dynamic change. An awareness of this influence on the part of public figures has
encouraged increasing criticism of the Church among those who suspect its motives. Mexicans themselves may take greater interest in political outcomes as these
same issues confront Church authorities and laity alike.
A shorter, different version of this chapter appeared in the Latin American Research
Review 29, no. 3 ( 1994): 69-100.
David C. Leege,
M. R. Welch, and
T. A. Trozzolo, "Religiosity, Church Social
Teaching, and Socio-Political Attitudes," Review of Religious Research 28 ( 1986): 118.
The authors note, however, that the relationship is stronger when concerned with family
life and sexuality than with economic and political matters.
In a comprehensive survey of some 14,000 regular attenders at Mass, nearly three-
quarters said laity and priests worked together, and an equal number described their priest
as a friend or as someone very close. Comisión Episcopal para el Apostolado de los Laicos, Que piensan los laicos mexicanos del sinodo '87 ( Mexico City: CEM, 1986), 33.
Kenneth D. Wald,
D. E. Owen, and
S. D. Hill, Jr., "Churches as Political Communities," American Political Science Review 82, no. 2 ( June 1988): 533.
The most comprehensive survey of the literature on the relationship between religion
and politics in the United States, which offers the strongest theoretical underpinnings, is Kenneth D. Wald, Religion and Politics in the United States ( New York: St. Martin's, 1987), especially "The Religious Dimension of American Political Behavior,"61-101.
Kenneth D. Wald,
D. E. Owen, and
S. D. Hill, Jr., "Churches as Political Communities,"543-544.
Edwin Eloy Aguilar et al., "Protestantism in El Salvador: Conventional Wisdom versus the Survey Evidence," Latin American Research Review 28, no. 2 ( 1993): 19.
See, for example, the numerous essays in Edgar Butler and
Jorge A. Bustamante,
eds., Sucesión Presidencial: The 1988 Mexican Presidential Election ( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1991), and Judith Gentleman, Mexican Politics in Transition ( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1987).
Oscar Aguilar and
Ismael Martínez, "La iglesia católica mexicana como factor de
riesgo para la estabilidad del sistema político mexicano," unpublished paper, May 1987; Guillermo Correa, "Une a intelectuales e iglesia, la lucha contra la imposición electoral," Proceso, no. 513, September 1, 1986, 28-29; David Torres Mejía, "El regreso de la iglesia," in Polftica y partidos en las eleciones federales de 1985 ( Mexico City: UNAM, 1987), 20-25; Dennis Goulet, "Tbe Mexican Church: Into the Public Arena," America, April 8, 1989, 318-322.
Marjorie Miller, "Mexico Church-State Relations: Stepping Out from the Shadows," Los Angeles Times, April 29, 1990; "Iglesia y estado: los puntos del conflicto," Nexos, no.
141 ( September 1989): 19-23.
Joseph Klesner, "Changing Patterns of Electoral Participation and Official PartySupport in Mexico,"