Mexico's Churches Dispute Details of New Law on State and Religion Law Gives Official Recognition to Religions, but Critics Say It Also Gives the Interior Ministry Arbitrary Power over the Internal Life of Churches

By David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 1992 | Go to article overview

Mexico's Churches Dispute Details of New Law on State and Religion Law Gives Official Recognition to Religions, but Critics Say It Also Gives the Interior Ministry Arbitrary Power over the Internal Life of Churches


David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


A NEW law intended to launch Mexico into a era of clearer church-state relations is being swept up in a tempest of controversy.

"This boat is taking on water fast," says Roberto Blancarte, president of the Center for Religious Studies in Mexico, an nonsectarian academic research group. "Neither the Catholic hierarchy nor most of the other religions are satisfied with this law."

The Law of Religious Associations and Public Worship, passed July 15, fills in the details of the constitutional reforms initiated by President Carlos Salinas de Gortari in January.

For decades, governments here refused to recognize the existence of the Roman Catholic Church or any other church. Church officials could not vote. Church land was government property. Churches operated in a legal vacuum because of what state officials saw as political meddling and "excessive" property ownership.

But as they emerge from legal limbo, churches are finding themselves subject to new rules defining the roles of church and state. And the Catholic hierarchy, in particular, finds this objectionable.

The new law gives "excessive power to the state" by granting "discretionary power to the Interior Ministry over a series of aspects of the internal life of churches," complained Abelardo Alvarado Alcantara, auxiliary bishop of Mexico's Archdiocese, in a press conference last week.

Church property ownership is now limited to land and buildings "indispensable" to religious activities. "Who will say what's indispensable? The Interior Ministry," Mr. Blancarte says.

The most recent issue of Nuevo Criterio, an official Catholic publication, suggests that the Vatican withhold diplomatic ties with Mexico until the law is corrected. Ironically, notes Blancarte, Mr. Salinas "rushed these reforms through in an effort to win Vatican recognition," before the Pope visits Mexico this fall.

Catholic officials also are upset by the continued ban on ownership of media enterprises. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mexico's Churches Dispute Details of New Law on State and Religion Law Gives Official Recognition to Religions, but Critics Say It Also Gives the Interior Ministry Arbitrary Power over the Internal Life of Churches
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.