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Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. This disk, its printout, or copies of either are to be copied and given away, but NOT sold. This computerized book may be used for serious research as the line breaks, paragraphs, page breaks and page numbers in the text of this copy correspond to the original book, except for the header page, dedications, copyright page etc. that are separated by stars, thus; **** **** to conserve paper in printouts. Fine Print -- always takes away what the big print gives. Therefore we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, goofs, etc. that may have crept in in spite of the careful manner we do our work. Also, in electronic files, the files may be corrupted by anyone whose hands they pass through. Entered into computer format 1994 by Mr. Lowell Decker for the enlightenment of Humanity, and given for free distribution to: Bank of Wisdom, Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 117 page printout. **** **** THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE CIVIL POWER AND THE CLERGY HISTORICAL AND LEGAL ESSAY BY EMILIO PORTES GIL ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC MEXICO, 1934 **** **** OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC, LIC. EMI- LIO PORTES GIL, IN THE MATTER OF THE INDICTMENT PRE- SENTED BY THE HON. CONSTITUTIONAL PRESIDENT SUBSTITUTE OF THE REPUBLIC, IN REGARD TO THE WORK OF SEDITION UNDERTAKEN BY THE CATHOLIC CLERGY UNDER THE PRE- TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 3 OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION OF MEXICO. The Hon. Constitutional Substitute President of the United Mex- ican States, General Abelardo L. Rodriguez, in a letter dated Octo- ber 30 of the current year, has been pleased to report to me the following facts: "Under the pretext of the draft of Amendments to Article 3 of the Constitution submitted to Congress by the National Revolutionary Party, and already adopted both by the Chamber of Deputies and by the Senate, the Catholic clergy have undertaken a campaign of open sedition in which they clearly reveal their inten- tion of going as far as rebellion. These activities of the Catholic clergy are nothing new, nor are they a surprise either for the ele- ments of the Revolution or for the Nation because, it is a case of an historical attitude persistently maintained, by which they endeavor, by taking advantage of any opportunity, to assail any advanced principle or any benefit which the people may have succeeded in winning by force of arms from its traditional and ancient enemy, who, when circumstances are favorable to him, crouches in conceal- ment, but not inactive, awaiting the time when his diminished pres- tige and lessened power shall oblige him to adopt an attitude that will seem decisive. My Government, firmly adhering to its standards of strict compliance with the law, yet at the same time unwavering in its revolutionary principles, cannot allow that fruitless agitation of people's consciences stirred up by the Catholic clergy to pass un- noticed, and although it cannot (fortunately for the country) consi- 5 der that those activities constitute even slight threat to the stabil- ity of the regimen and the permanence of the principles of the Revo- lution, it has deemed it expedient that the Attorney General of the Republic should, within his constitutional functions, take cognizance of these facts, so that he may take such action as may be appropriate against the persons proving guilty thereof, whose nationality is in a great majority of cases only doubtfully Mexican, by reason of their discharge of those duties enjoined upon them by their belief, as subject to a central organ of the Catholic Church. Wherefore, you will please find attached hereto the proofs and papers in my posses- sion, which are in themselves sufficient grounds for intervention by the Attorney General of the Republic in the exercise of constitutional powers, so that you may kindly proceed to study them, and then make such indictments as may be necessary. I here wish to place on record, in referring this matter to you, that the attitude of the Federal Executive and my own personally, will ever be those of sup- port and championship of the benefits gained by the Revolution and of the principles of the Constitution embodying them, and that I shall, with such decision and firmness as circumstances may require, take action against whomsoever may attempt to disturb the public peace or modify our political and social regimen, without yielding in the slightest, because I am above all determined to assume, before the people, any responsibility which the course of events may have in store for me, and to do honor, as always, to my unquestioned ante- cedents as a sincere revolutionary. I beg to renew the assurances of my best consideration." 6 TITLE FIRST CHAPTER ONE Introduction. -- The purposes of the present opinion-The Mex- ican Government and its policy towards religious agitators.- The concrete objects of the Mexican State as at present cons- tituted.-Reasons for the Clergy's lack of conformity.-Its un- lawful interference.-The Mexican Revolution and the struggle against fanaticism.-The part played by the Clergy in the his- tory of Mexico. The office of the Attorney General of the Republic, pursuant to Article 102 of the Federal Constitution, Article 1, sections I and II of the law for the regulation of that same constitutional provision, Article 1, sections 1, 2 and 3, Article 113 and following of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure took cognizance of the following present- ment, and has carefully carried out the proceedings necessary for ascertaining the existence of the offences, the circumstances in which the latter were committed and the criminal liability of the ac- cused, in order finally to decide as to the exercise of the criminal action appropriate in the circumstances. After bringing to a close the first stage of federal criminal procedure, and after verifying the existence of all the elements in- dispensable to any cause, by fulfilling the requirements provided by Articles 16, 19, 20 and 21 of the Political Constitution, this Adminis- trative Department has, bearing in mind the very special importance of this matter, to the normal unfolding of those institutions that achieve the objects of the Mexican social group, deemed it advisable briefly to set forth the criminal interference of the Catholic clergy in the Republic of Mexico, in past times and at this day. In order to explain the present condition of those religious associations and corporations known as churches, which are de facto institutions with 7 no standing in law, we must turn to the data in regard to their guilt as shown by present activities, which due to their character of in- fringement of criminal provisions now in force, merit severe punish- ment; and with respect to the part played by this problem in the historical development of the Republic, which shows us how an organ- ization the character of which is necessarily spiritual, has resort- ed to all kinds of improper proceedings in its eagerness to become possessed of the greatest amount of material resources, and has by reason of its moral and physical enslavement of the masses, made it impossible for any political organization to undertake an energetic program of government. That is why we now find it essential, for full justification of the policy embarked upon against religious groups and their work of undermining our institutions, to set forth the deep-seated damage which that organization has involved to our country; that very organization that now protests against the advanced legislation of Mexico, and yet forgets that a righteous aspiration for political and social revindication has led the Mexican people to the abolition of all those privileges that made of it a people tributary to an alien power, which, not content with despoiling it of all its property, bound all the acts of its private life in chains, under cover of interested aims. In this regard the Hon. President of the Republic has, with perfect clearness and precision, stated the problem as follows: "The campaign which we have so intensely and so energetically been carry- ing on for the purpose of destroying those religious prejudices that have controlled education in Mexico, may not be considered as the personal work of any public official, but only as the assumption of definite form by a popular aspiration, and the practical realization of a revolutionary principle and of a social tendency which we can- not but support, if we wish to be straightforward with ourselves and with those ideas for the triumph of which we have fought". The stand taken by the Catholic clergy, and its seditious, vision- ary and unpatriotic activities, induce it to believe that it will thereby achieve the restoration of inordinate power like that wielded by it in the past, and it fails to take into account the fact that it has at the present day broken down in the presence of the new organiza- tion of the modern state, which no longer circumscribes its func- tions to the creation of law, but on the contrary extends its action much farther and embraces all matters connected with economic, political and cultural administration, and which has set for itself as one of its specific objects, the extirpation of fanaticism. This is why 8 in the Mexican State the men of the Revolution cannot allow the peo- ple to remain sunk in ignorance and sloth; in the former, because it converts man into a member of a herd and because it surrenders, in spirit of slavish submission everything in the way of scientific knowledge and of truth drawn from the real founts of experience. We here refer to religious activities with the entirely selfish aims of swelling the fortunes of the clergy, of enhancing their political power and of freely allowing undue traffic in the acts of religion. As regards sloth, because when capital is accumulated in the hands of the clergy it is disastrously exported from the country to uphold an alien sovereign; besides which convents, seminaries and other similar institutions are centers of indolence, idleness and the repetition of useless acts, and places where those superstitions and falsehoods that darken the soul of childhood, the teaching of youth and the judgment of grown men are fostered. The reasons for the lack of conformity of the clergy in Mexico may in general terms be said to lie in the immense fortunes and enormous areas of landed property in the hands of the Church, from colonial times down to our own day, but since vigorously counteracted by the Reform Laws, the Constitution of 1917, the statutes emanat- ing therefrom and the efficient action of revolutionary governments; the termination of a regime of privilege and undue concessions; the freeing of man's conscience darkened by an oppressive regime com- posed of material power, dogmas, threats and falsehood, all together making up an obscuring and stupid fanaticism, which prevented a dispassionate study of the problems of the Cosmos in accordance with the knowledge contributed by natural and social science; the recognition of the fact that only to the State falls the task of exer- cising those activities that tend to achieve the ends sought by the peoples, and the prevention of all interference by bishops, priests and other religious, in matters only coming within the province of the Nation's representatives; and lastly, the intervention of the State the way of guiding the consciousness of the masses, in shops, in the fields, and in schools, by systematizing the study of human at- tainments for the better utilization of natural resources and the fuIler satisfaction of human needs, by unfolding the idea of public service and duty so that every human being may contribute to the fulfillment of individual and social aims and not constitute an obs- tacle in the way of the achievement of the longed-for ideal of a society that shall be better organized, more humane and altruistic and with a fuller sense of responsibility; in few words, a noble effort 9 of the Mexican Revolution, which all the peoples of the earth will deem just, to dignify and improve the lives of its citizens and to bring a breath of liberty and well-being, and a piece of land and a free conscience to the humble peasant dwelling far away in the moun- tains or lost in the limitless horizons of the fields. To the Church has now come the hour when its responsibility will be exacted from it; the Mexican State cannot in any way permit a renewal of criminal interference by any religious group. In this connection let us remember the words uttered by the Chief Magis- trate of the Nation on July 25, 1926: "The attention of the Federal government having been, as it was, totally engaged by the urgent problems of its administration and by the solution of the serious matters affecting the development of Mexico, and also by the per- formance of its obligations at home and abroad, it had not remem- bered its eternal enemy, the evil Mexican and foreign Catholic clergy in Mexico, and the agitators and petty politicians who have always sought to gain profit for themselves in their shadow, when the Chief of the Catholic Church, on the occasion of the last anniversary of the Federal Constitution by which our country is governed, order- ed that there be reproduced, or allowed to be reproduced, an old docu- ment in which the men at the head of the Mexican clergy disowned and repudiated the Constitution of the Republic"; when faced by this uncalled for attitude on the part of the clergy, that high official expressed his determination that each fresh demonstration of hostil- ity or opposition or hindrance to the administrative work of his government would necessarily involve the taking of new measures of repression, for those disobeying or refusing to acknowledge the laws of Mexico. Our political code expressly defines the main principles govern- ing the organization of the State; and consequently, the principle that religious groups must necessarily submit to regulation by the political department, constitutes one of the bases of our constitu- tional system. A Mexican publicist asserts: "The struggle with the clergy is to such an extent identified with the essential principles of the Mexican Revolution, that we cannot, during the last twenty years, find any transcendent moment of our public life or far- reaching action of our regime, not connected to a greater or lesser degree with the fight against the Church, its economic power and control over people's consciences, achieved over four centuries of almost absolute supremacy". In fact, in this historical and legal study of the matter, we 10 shall find it truly regrettable to have to verify, on reviewing the pages of the history of the country, an unmistakeable parallelism be- tween the agitation stirred up by the political activities of the Mexi- can clergy, which in this regard is entirely different from that of all other countries and religions, and the slightest indication of progress, initiative for reform or aspiration towards evolution in any of the fields in which the Government had to make felt its indispensable authority for the purpose of procuring improvements in or progress of habits and customs, culture or civilization; but more especially and notoriously whenever any measure making for progress in any way affected its vast interests which it has always strenuously and zealously defended, even overriding its most sacred duties, including those towards nationality and country. **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. This disk, its printout, or copies of either are to be copied and given away, but NOT sold. Bank of Wisdom, Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 11 CHAPTER TWO Mexican social organization.--Origin of Mexico's nationality.-- The bull "Noverint Universi".--The Spanish Conquest and the situation of the religious groups.--Economic and political su- premacy of the Church.--Economic conquest and spiritual con- quest.--Idolatry among the aboriginal peoples.--The population of Mexico reduced to slavery.--The religious factor as a hin- drance to the development of the country.--The enormous pow- er of the Church.--The Inquisition.--The expulsion of the Je- suits.--Ecclesiastical patronage.--The property of the Church at the end of the sixteenth century.--Some documents in regard to the behavior of the clergy.--Provisions of the laws of the Indies in support of what is asserted.--Final reflections. The powerful influence exercised by tradition and history, and identical aspirations and common needs, have welded the Mexican people into the social organization existing in our own time, which although it differs ethnically, culturally and politically from the aboriginal races, and from New Spain, yet constitutes an historical series that joins them into one whole. The origin of Mexican nationality must be sought in the fusion of races that followed the Conquest. The aborigines inhabiting Anahuac, that is to say the territory surrounding the lakes, and who later occupied other portions of the present area of the Republic, where the clergy later erected the archbishopric of Mexico and the bishoprics of Tlaxcala-Puebla, Michoacan, New Galicia and Anteque- ra, with the addition of a portion of the former territory of the Audiencia de Guatemala, were lacking in perfect ethnic unity, nor were they politically one body, nor did they exhibit any other charac- teristics binding them together, but were on the contrary antago- nistic to one another like the Aztecs and Tlaxcaltecs, this being one of the circumstances of which the Spaniards most availed themselves, 13 inasmuch as the Conquest was achieved by using the forces of the conquered themselves. The Bull Breve Noverint Universi of Pope Alexander VI issued on May 4, 1493 (for its text see "Cedulario de Puga") settled the conflict between the rights of Spain and Portugal over any lands they might discover, by drawing a line one hundred leagues west of the Acores and Cape Verd, everything discovered by Spain west of this line and not as yet taken over by any Christian power up to Christ- mas Day, 1492, to fall to her and everything discovered east of that line to fall to Portugal. Jacinto Pallares ("Legislacion Federal Com- plementaria del Derecho Civil Mexicano, p. VI."), says that "in the Middle Ages there were two titles under which sovereignty over con- quered lands might be acquired; one was. that the people con- quered should be infidels, AS THEY WERE IN THAT CASE BE- YOND THE PALE OF ALL LAW, as provided by Law 24 Title 28, Part 3; while the other consisted in the award made by the Pope to the sovereigns. The first of these titles was assailed by Francis- co Victoria in the University of Salamanca; the other was accepted by almost all Catholic sovereigns: "When God bestowed upon Saint Peter", said Pope Gregory VII, "the right to bind and unbind in heaven and on earth, He made no exceptions and nothing has re- mained withdrawn from His sovereignty; God has bestowed on the Pope all the principalities and all the realms of the Universe, and has appointed him to be the Lord over all the kings of the earth". The forged decretals of Isidore, the apocryphal source for many cen- turies of the papal power and of other ecclesiastical abuses, contain- ed the alleged gift from Constantine to the Pope of almost the whole of the known world, and more particularly of the Islands; and on the strength of this Pope Urban II said in 1601: quia religiosi Im- peratoris Constantini privilegio in jus proprium Beato Pedro Ejusque succesoribus occidentalis omniae insulae condonatae sunt; that same apocryphal code was the ground on which Adrian IV granted to Henry II of England sovereignty over Ireland; the jurist Bartolo taught that same doctrine; in 1344 Clement VI bestowed upon Luis de la Cerda sovereignty over the Fortunate Isles; in the 15th Century the King of Portugal induced Pope Martin V to vest in him the dis- coveries he had made in 1452; Nicolas V granted to Alphonzo of Por- tugal the right to fight against, conquer and enslave the Saracens and other unbelievers; in 1454 he extended this right to all the infidels in Africa; on May 3, 1493, the Pope conferred upon the King of Spain rights similar to those of the Portuguese; lastly, the Bull of May 4, 14 1493 was probably issued at the instance of the Spanish Ambassador at Rome, and this Bull gave rise to a number of conflicts due to the geographical inaccuracies it contained and was the subject of agree- ments made at Tordesillas on June 7, 1594". A study of the historical circumstances that led up to the issue of the Bull, the situation of the papacy and of the conquering countries, does not furnish any exact information for asserting, as do Catholic writers, that the said Bull was an effort on the part of the Church for the pacification of America, by avoiding serious conflicts between her conquerors. The right of conquest and of occupation was not sufficient for full jus- tification of the despoilment of lands on the new continent, it was necessary that some spiritual authority, cloaking material interests, should, though without any right of any kind, decide a controversy which it was incompetent to judge, in which the parties should have begun by acknowledging or defining the indisputable rights of the inhabitants. The consequences that flowed from that Bull were far- reaching: By virtue of that spurious concession, the King of Spain declared that the lands and soil of the Indies were the property, not of the Spanish Nation, but of his own royal estate (Law 14 and others relevant of Title 12, Book 4 of the "Recopilacion de Indias"). There was no law other than the right of conquest, provisions issued for the protection of the Indians remained a dead-letter; they were ill-treated by the "encomenderos", who were monks well aware that the soil by itself was worth nothing without the work of the Indian laborers, who were tied to the land, who had no rights of any kind and who were in reality, slaves, inexorably bound by "encomiendas" and allotments. The concessions granted by Pope Alexander VI in- volved the duty of converting the people to Catholicism, and confer- red the right of collecting tithes and of patronage as regards all churches and other religious associations. Behind each conquistador stood a monk enrolled in his service, and fresh vistas of fabulous wealth were opened out for the Pope. These were the first symptoms of that unbridled greed of the clergy which subsequently acquired astounding intensity, to the ruin of the Mexican Nation. Mexico was conquered by a band of bold and courageous ad- venturers, but who were dominated by great cruelty, inexhaustible greed of wealth and rudeness of intellect. Later on those same ad- venturers became coarse "encomenderos" some of them wallowing in wealth, and donned ecclesiastical habiliments in order to continue to enjoy their life of privilege. Certain Catholic writers fall into great error when they attempt to justify the excesses committed by 15 the conquistadors and religious, by asserting that the conquest was a holy war. There is nothing farther from the truth as shown by the authentic information which history furnishes. The greed of gold and thirst for adventure dominated the Spanish hosts. It was no desire to catholicize that impelled them to conquer. Cortez sailed out of Havana after paying with ingratitude Diego de Velasquez for the confidence that he bad reposed in him and the favors he had showered on him. The conquest by Spain was a struggle of a mate- rialistic nature, a definitely economic conquest. Spanish civilization was superior to that of the Indian tribes, as was its culture, its lan- guage, its military organization and its industrial progress, but the conquest was not animated by any idea such as the diffusion of superior knowledge. All these things spread due to the force of cir- cumstances themselves, and excepting the work done by some mis- sions, the conquerors were impelled by motives of an economic nature: Their objectives were mines, lands and the Indians themselves as working animals. We ever find throughout the history of Mexico a constant lack of understanding of Indian psychology. Note the strong terms in which the wrongs suffered by the Indians are set forth to Philip II by their defender, Diego Rodriguez Bibanco, in his petition sent from Merida on March 8, 1563. Also the letter which the Indian headmen of several provinces of Yucatan wrote to the same monarch on April 12, 1867 "complaining of the tortures, deaths and robberies inflicted upon, them by the members of the Order of Saint Francis". ("Cartas de Indias" pp. 392 and 407). Hernan Cortez, an intelligent and resolute man, accepted the as- sistance of the religious orders, in his eagerness, to dominate, as a valuable tool placed ready to his hand, not only as an ally of his own soldiers, but also as a means of materially and spiritually controlling the conquered. This has always been the work done by the clergy in Mexico, to throttle and darken people's minds so that interested domi- nation of the various groups of society may freely be exercised. To what degree the animadversion of the Spaniards against the monks extended, we can learn from Mendieta, where he depicts in strong colors the embryonic situation which constitutes the first period of the Colony ("Historia Eclesiastica Indiana" Libro HI, Cap. LVII): "On their side the monks were not free from faults, if not as great, yet more serious due to the respectable nature of the interests under cover of which they were committed and to the character of per- manence given them by the hierarchical organization of the monastic orders. The work undertaken for the conversion of the heathen, the 16 true value of which we shall examine farther on, added to the fact that their eagerness to build monasteries made them resort to op- pressive methods hardly consistent with that Christian charity of which they made a boast, the corporal punishment inflicted on the Indians, were not a necessary consequence of that mild and fatherly disposition they purported to be clothed with; and the firmness, not to say obstinacy, with which they excluded everyone foreign to their particular order, so as not to share with other religious workers, especially the secular clergy, any influence acquired by them, gave rise to bitter complaint, both on the part of the civil authorities and of that of the bishops, who were unable to bear so vexatious a lessen- ing of their pastoral jurisdiction. (See the curious and instructive report addressed to the "Consejo de Indias" on May 15, 1556, by Alonso de Montufar, Archbishop of Mexico. Collection of unpublish- ed papers, Volume IV, p. 491). Our national problem was never solved, a difficult task due to deep-seated causes dating from before the Conquest, and to other and numerous causes that succeeded one another and became ag- gravated in colonial times. The Church was the most serious obstacle in the way of the development of our economic and political, institu- tions. Alonso Gonzalez, a secular priest, was the first clergyman to land in Mexico, at Cape Catoche, on March 5, 1517, and there he solemnized the first baptisms by which the spreading of religious falsehood began. Later on, when the area conquered had increased, when the fabulous wealth of the Indies was the subject of talk in Spain, when the gold of the Americas awoke the greed of Europeans, the wave of Spanish immigration started and the clergy, the most potent auxiliary, of conquest and of colonization, began to send its missions of Franciscans, Augustines and Dominicans, the number of religious having greatly increased and begun the conquest of wealth and its accumulation in enormous quantities. Grants, gifts, favors from the conquistadors, privileges, and concessions, were so many factors assisting that growth. They invariably enjoyed the protec- tion of the conquerors. When the mission composed of twelve Fran- ciscan friars arrived at Veracruz, Cortez ordered that they be special- ly taken care of, furnished them with everything they needed, and on their arrival in Mexico showered on them great favors, and they enjoyed, as did the whole of the clergy in New Spain, great material power. Some of the early missions did noble work, which we cannot refuse to acknowledge, due to their merits and self-sacrifice; but 17 they were exceptions among these religious associations. Especially blameable was the conduct of the secular clergy, the cause of so much harm to the country and which even in Spain was the subject of criticism due to its "unworthy immorality". For some of the early apostolic missionaries, the conquest was a spiritual mission, these enlightened men, however, are worthy of consideration, because in spite of their unusual moral qualities, destiny allotted to them the cruel mission of carrying out their noble work in the midst of clerical disorder, the disorder of that same clergy which, under the pretext of overthrowing the idols of the Indians and of building Catholic churches, took part with the conquerors in the looting of the towns, and subjected the Indians to torture in their eagerness to ascertain the whereabouts of fabulous wealth. It is true that history exalts the good qualities of certain notable men, but it also tells us that what always prevailed was the unheard-of greed of the Church and the terrible avarice of the clergy, who went so far as to connive at and to sanction the most opprobrious acts of cruelty and immorality on the part of the conquistadors and of the religious themselves. With reference to this period, Dr. Mora ("Mexico y sus Revoluciones") says on page 272 of Vol. I: "If the rules of the Orders subsequently became so relaxed until they have reached the contemptible condi- tion in which we, see them at the present time, this cannot in any way detract from the merits of the first missionaries. It is true that they introduced into Mexico certain capital errors and certain rules of conduct which have been and still are exceedingly harmful to the social order; but those errors were not so much theirs as of their century, and at that time were common throughout the world, and were generally applauded as principles of the sanest policy. If nowa- days it is not only right, timely and rational to reject them but also to combat them by main force, this does not necessarily mean an aspersion on the memory of those who professed them in good faith and introduced them with the best intentions". Furthermore it is advisable to take into consideration the following interesting com- ment by Licenciado Alfonso Toro ("La Iglesia y el Estado en Me- xico", p. 8). "As regards the Mexican Church, it was founded by friars. As soon as it became known that Hernan Cortez had con- quered Mexico, three Flemish Franciscans, Brother Pedro de Gante, Brother Juan Van Tacht o de Tecto and Brother Juan Van Aor o de Ahora came to the country to convert the Indians, and established schools in order to teach them Christian doctrine, reading and writ- ing, singing and some few European trades. The work done by these 18 missionaries of whom not one was Spaniard, was really beneficial and civilizing. Later on, with the permission of the King and of the Pope, twelve Spanish Franciscan friars arrived; they had been care- fully chosen from among the best elements to be found in the con- vents of Spain, and were the real founders of the Mexican Church. Historians have lavishly praised the work done by these mission- aries: if we are to believe them, they succeeded in converting millions of Indians to Catholicism in a very short time and did away with idolatry entirely. The grounds for these panegyrics are none other than the information furnished by the interested parties them- selves, like Fathers Motolinia and Mendieta, or the Franciscan chroni- clers who immediately succeeded them, who have painted a very bright picture of the work of their brothers in the faith and des- cribed them as saints worthy of worship on an altar; but the fact that things did not happen exactly as narrated by those writers, is proved to us both by documents found in the archives, in recent times, and by an impartial criticism of those same chronicles, from the pen of the friars themselves. From it it is apparent that just after the Conquest and for many years subsequently, they were only very superficially acquainted with the languages and psychology of the Indians; that they were content to teach them a few prayers, often in Latin, which they repeated mechanically without understanding them, and the ceremonies of worship without explaining their mean- ing, and that this was sufficient for considering them as converted to Catholicism. Nor was this the only mistake made by the mission- aries, as they also, resorting to what theologians call pious frauds, by inventing apparitions of images, like the Franciscans in the case of the "Virgen del Pueblito", at Queretaro, the Augustines in that of the "Christo de Chalma", and other religious orders in other simi- lar cases; and they also sought substitutes for idols in the calendar of the Catholic saints, in order that the Indians might worship them". In support of what that Mexican historian says, whom we have quoted above, we may appropriately mention the first miracle of the Conquest. This took place on March 22, 1519, when Cortez landed on the banks of the Grijalva River, where he fought a pitched battle with the natives, whom he defeated. In this connection, so relates Gomara the historian, (whose opinion is borne out by other mem- bers of the expedition, "who saw nothing but who did hear some- thing") in that battle and in the confusion of the fighting, the Apos- tle St. James or Saint Peter appeared on horseback to aid the Span- iards. But Bernal Diaz del Castillo, in his ingenuity asserts (Vol. I, 19 Chap. XXXIV) "as I a sinner was unworthy to see this, what I did then see and recognize was Francisco Morla on a chestnut horse, who was riding alongside Cortez". The period of fraud and of the inven- tion of falsehoods then began, the conquistadors themselves being the first to practice them, as they had in some way to stimulate fighting ardor, which had in many cases given way to discourage- ment. Brother Diego de Landa on his episcopal visit to Tabasco in 1575, says that that country was so infested by Indian wizards and sorcerers, and that he was so harassed by them that he was only able to cross a bridge thanks to the celestial interposition of an angel who accompanied him (Lizama y Cogolludo). The historical narration of Maria Teresa de la Santisima Trinidad Aycinena, a Carmelite nun, written in 1816, is also worthy of careful study as she asserted that on the Friday of each week Jesus Christ came down to the Convent of Santa Teresa to hold converse with her, and as proof of those hap- penings there was exhibited a letter signed by the angels (a litho- graphic reproduction of this letter may be seen in Lorenzo Montu- far's History of Central America) and this document was, so that its authenticity might not be questioned, certified by Ramon Casaus y Torres, Bishop of Rosen and Archbishop of Guatemala. This occur- rence which was considerably exploited by the clergy of that country, gave rise to intervention by other and higher Church authorities, due to the iniquitous manner in which the hysteria of an unfortun- ate woman was taken advantage of, this being a case which is to day studied and defined with absolute precision by experimental psychology. It may be asserted, without fear of error, that the Indians of this country were then and continue to be idolaters. The Indian sub- stituted another religion, which he did not understand, for his idol- atry; fear induced him to become a convert, and it was curious to see how during the Conquest the Indian buried his idols beneath the altar of the cross, thus deceiving the conquistadors, more especia- ly the religious, who later on boasted of the millions of aborigines converted. In the foundations of all the churches of the country we find traces of Indian temples, just as at the bottom of the alleged Catholicism of the Indian we find his ancient idolatrous beliefs. A Catholic writer asserts that "as, the liberals of our time are envious of and confounded by the conversion and attachment of the masses of our people to Catholicism, they have gotten into the way of saying that the Indians are idolaters. We appeal to the common sense and experience of the Mexicans. The Indians, if we take not only the 20 dullest witted (as is done in the case of everything odious) but the whole race, will be seen to have sufficient ability to distinguish, when it is explained to them, between the material of which the image is made and what it is intended to represent. When we ex- plain this notion to our children of five or six, they understand it readily and at once". What a pity that so brilliant a writer should give so absurd an explanation. He forgets that there is a wide dif- ference between an Indian and a non-Indian child. The native tribes of this country had at bottom preconceived ideas in regard to reli- gion, their consciousness was not lacking in the religious idea; on the contrary their minds were furnished with a religious system trans- mitted by tradition or habit. Only the highest culture can from man banish his religious prejudices, one example of this is the now al- most exceptional case of the Mexican fanatic devoted to the service of the immoralities of the Catholic clergy. And the reason for these arguments lies in the fact that the Spanish Conquest was a strictly superficial Conquest. Neither the conquistador nor the missionary ever reached the soul of the Indian peoples, they never had the strength, either material or moral, to assimilate the Indian; far from this, they always adopted a policy of aloofness, ill-treated the Indian, enslaved him, and fostered race hatred. The blending of the two races was low and mean, and never in accord with any noble aspira- tion, on the contrary, the result was a race that exhibited the con- genital vices of each one. The mestizo hated the white man and exploited the Indian, and was a crafty individual of scant intelligence and less morality, who feebly claimed his share of the exploitation of his own kin. Fray Bernardino de Sahagun in a manuscript now in the National Library says the following: "They (the first twelve missionaries) did not when preaching forget the advice which the Redeemer enjoined upon his disciples and apostles when he said unto them: estote prudentes sicut serpentes et simplices sicut columbae; be ye wise as serpents and mild as doves, and although they be- haved in accordance with the latter injunction, yet did they fail to observe the former and the very idolaters themselves noticed the lack of that serpentine wisdom and so with crafty humility they hastened to receive that faith which was preached to them, yet concealed the fact that they neither hated nor renounced any of their gods nor their worship and thus were they baptized, not as perfect believers as they pretended to be but as simulators who received that faith without abandoning their false belief in a number of gods. Such dis- simulation did not extend to principles and this was the reason why 21 the aforesaid preachers believed that their faith was perfect and so stated to all the ministers of the gospel who later came to preach to these people. The first ones to come were the Dominican fathers and after these twenty friars of the Order of Saint Francis (myself among them) and we were all of us told (as were the Dominican Fathers as well) that this people had adopted the faith so sincerely, had almost all of them been baptized and were so steadfast in the Catholic faith of the Roman Church, that there was no need to preach against idolatry, because they had forsaken it absolutely. We ac- cepted this information as very true and miraculous, because such a multitude of people had, in so short a time and after so little ex- hortation and preaching and without any miracles, been converted and entered the bosom of the Church, so that we left to one side the well sharpened weapons that we had brought with us to use against idolatry, and due to the advice and persuasion of those fathers we preach on subjects of morality in connection with the arti- cles of faith and the seven sacraments of the Church. After a few years the lack of the wisdom of the serpent in the foundation of this new Church became very evident, because we had no knowledge of the conspiracy between the headmen and the chiefs, to receive Jesus Christ among their gods as one of them and to honor Him just as the Spaniards did themselves, this in accordance with an ancient cus- tom of theirs, that whenever any strange people settled near any place already inhabited, they when they deemed fit took as one of their gods the god of the new arrivals; thus, so they say, Texcatli- puca is the god of the Tlalmanalcos, because they brought him with them, and Huitzilipoctli is the god of the Mexicans because they brought him with them also and so were gods multiplied among them, the people already settled taking over the god of the newcomers, and the latter the god of the previous settlers. That being so, they were very willing to take the God of the Spaniards as one of their own gods, but not so as to forsake their old gods and this they concealed in their catechism when they were baptized; and on being asked when taught their catechism whether they believed in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, together with the other articles of faith, they replied quemahca that is yes, in accordance with the conspiracy and their old customs, and on being asked whether they denied all those gods which they had formerly worshipped, they like- wise answered quemahca, yes, hypocritically and deceitfully. It is believed due to many tokens (which compel belief) that this wicked- ness was first practiced in all the villages round the Lagoon and 22 thence made its way to Cuaxaca and Campeche, and it was first dis- covered in those provinces a few years ago; the reason we have for believing that this is where it originated is that the people on this lagoon played a trick, they being exceedingly perverse as will here- inafter be said, and so this new Church was built on a false founda- tion, and even though a few buttresses have been added it is still in a shaky and ruinous condition. Sahagun himself further specifies ("Historia de las cosas de Nueva Espana") Book XII, Chap. 12-6, some of the idolatrous practices in vogue in his time, and which may be said to have come down to ours, and throws no slight responsibil- ity on the friars his colleagues. In the appendix by Zumarraga to a Treatise of Dionisio Cartujano which the former wrote and print- ed in Mexico, and cited by Mr. Garcia Icazbalceta, in his introduc- tion to the "Coloquios Espirituales y Sacramentales" of Hernan Gon- zalez de Eslava, the following occurs: "and for this reason alone, although in other lands and among other peoples this vain, profane and pagan custom might be tolerated, it must not in any way be suf- fered nor consented among the natives belonging to this new Church, because as they are by natural inclination given to similar vain pleasures and not backward in observing what is done. by the Span- iards they would rather imitate them in these profane vanities, than in Christian customs. And besides this there is another and graver objection due to the habit of these natives in former times of celebrat- ing the feasts of their idols with dancing, music and rejoicing, and they would think and accept as good doctrine and law that the keep- ing holy of feasts consists in such mockeries, and this objection is in itself sufficient to warrant the prevention of such vanities in New Spain". How apposite the repetition of those words would be at the present time, on witnessing some of those religious festivals, the typically idolatrous origin of which is undeniable, and which even now take us back to antiquity. No one can deny that our most superb monuments consists of churches and cathedrals, the architecture and massiveness of which are remarkable, but we must add with Dr. Atl (The Churches of Mexico) that the ostentatious. ceremonies of public life and the squandering of wealth were supplemented, by the slavery of thou- sands upon thousands of natives compelled to build churches and con- vents, under the twofold impulse of government compulsion and re- ligious fear. The Indian was invariably the one who carried out those architectural works and even in many cases the designer. In nearly always happened that he was not paid for his work; he was either 23 deceived by promises for the life to come or was obliged by force to render his services. Lands lay untilled and industries were not de- veloped. If some part of the effort devoted to the building of churches had been available for really useful works, if the fields had been cultivated, and bridges and roads built, had industry been organized and the people taught to work, so as to gain genuine and immediate economic results, Mexico would have established her economic organ- ization on a sound basis". We do not think that the social structure of the Colony ever modified the psychology of the Indian. For the tecuhtli of the an- cient Mexicans were substituted the Spanish encomenderos; their priests were replaced by the Catholic clergy; their stone idols by the images of saints; their tlacatecuhtli by the Viceroy or King; their Cihuacoatl by the Archbishop or by the Pope; but the great mass of the Indians continued to be macehualli or serfs and an enor- mous proportion of the landed property continued in the hands of the clergy. The country remained under a semi-feudal organization, and the conquistador, the friar and the landowner of Spanish blood kept the aborigines in a state of slavery. The Church was an institution fundamentally devoted to the exploitation of everybody: Spaniards and Indians, rich and poor. The whole life of the individual centered in and round the Church, all his acts were chained to the severest tyranny imaginable, from a man's birth to his death all the acts of his life, even the simplest, came under the influence of the Church. Everything was religious, ferociously so. "It is true that our paint- ing was religious; Cosio says that even in the most insignificant hamlets there are, inevitably, churches; that the only organized class is that of the fanatics, that the Indian blindly obeys the almost al- ways unworthy, promptings of the village priest; that the Church has been wealthy and powerful; that, in fine, Catholicism in Mexico has had at its disposal the power and exceptional circumstances to have actually made of every Mexican an exemplary Catholic. And yet a great majority of the population, composed of Indians, is, not at bottom Catholic, as pointed out by several writers. The Indian deep down in his mind continues to worship his ancient idols and to practice his picturesque and gory religion. To the Indian, an image of a saint is a fetish, or rather an idol, and the moral machinery of his religion, if we may call it so, is the very simple one of offering gifts to God to pacify Him or to propitiate Him. It is further rather strange to observe that in the infinite number of niches containing numberless images of saints and apostles, the rough-hewn concep- 24 tion of the idol is noticeable. The stone image of a saint carved out with loving care by the Indian is not a Christian saint but an idol. Its features, attitude and in fine, the real meaning of the carving belong to the old idolatrous religion of the Indian. Catholicism, per- haps the most elaborate religion of all times, with its complicated worship, with its gorgeous, ceremonies, with its severe ritual and vigorous dogma, is almost entirely foreign to the Indian. He does not, never has and perhaps never will, understand the real substance of Christian doctrine. It is not because he does not understand the high philosophy or the splendid morality of Christianity, something unknown even to the best Catholics of Europe, but because the pro- paganda carried on by the Spaniards was a propaganda backed by intimidation, which is the very method employed in imposing and spreading idolatrous religions. The real truth is that the Mexican Indian was surprised by the Catholic missionary without alleging anything in the way of affection or even of love, the idol was des- troyed and Christ and heaven substituted for it. That Conquest was too hurried, too stupid, not disinterested enough, to reach the In- dian's soul. The scenery has been changed, the name has been alter- ed, the appearance of things is different but, we repeat at bottom things continued to be the same; the Indian professes his own re- ligion and if he has from it dropped certain bloodthirsty customs, such as sacrifices, this is because political and social forces compel him to do so". The Mexican clergy may well regret the fact that those times of power, luxury, disorder and extravagance will never come back. "In the eighteenth century, the City of Mexico was undoubtedly one of the wealthiest cities of the earth. Tradition tells us that it was quite a common thing for rich men to lay down a path of silver bars from their house to the parish church, or at least from the front door to their bedchamber, so that those who were about to baptize the capitalist's child might tread that silvery path. All families in easy circumstances dined off silver plate, furniture made of this metal was quite usual and the amount of clusters, large and small candlesticks, lamps and other articles intended for worship existing in the churches was something fabulous. Viceroys and Archbishops set an example of splendor and ostentation in their palaces... Re- ligious festivals and at them processions, dedications and other so- lemn acts... the entrance of Viceroys and Archbishops, the cere- monies of private life, such as baptisms, marriages, funeral obse- quies, the latter more especially when it was an Archbishop or a 25 Viceroy that had died, in fine, everything was ostentatious and mag- nificent (Francisco Diaz Barroso). Who can deny the insolent lux- ury by which the Church was surrounded? Those same monks who had taken vows of humility and poverty? At such ceremonies ex- travagance was scandalous, and there were no attempts made to relieve the cruel slavery of the Indians... The wealth of the clergy was proportionate to the wealth and piety of the community, and as both were very great, the former was so likewise"... The wealth of the clergy was a fact beyond all doubt, but piety was so scarce a commodity, that it was only obtainable from those who exercised a monopoly of religion, in exchange for worldly goods. The brief re- port, dated March 24, 1575, in which the Archbishop of Mexico, don Pedro de Moya y Contreras, sent to, the King, Philip II, confidential and personal information in regard to the clergy of his diocese (Car- tas de Indias, p. 195), the report submitted to the King by the Ca- thedral Chapter of Guadalajara, on the happenings in that kingdom ("Coleccion de Documentos para la Historia de Mexico", by Garcia Icazbalceta, Vol. II, p. 484) and the description given by friar Jero- nimo de Mendieta (Historia Eclesiastica Indiana, book IV, Chap' XLVI), depict with absolute clearness the swift decline into which the Mexican Church fell. Gil Gonzalez Davila (Teatro Eclesiastico de la Primitiva Iglesia de las Indias Occidentales, Vol. I, pp. 16 and 17) asserts: "That the ecclesiastical element continued in the mean- time to grow in the Colony, and convents to increase in number, ac- cumulating enormous fortunes and with a considerable increase in the number of persons belonging to the clerical body". During the time when Don Juan Perez de la Serna was Archbishop, only eleven years, fifteen monasteries, convents, churches, hospitals, and chapels were founded in Mexico City and its immediate surroundings, the sum of two million two hundred and twenty-seven thousand ducats having been spent on the respective buildings and endowments, while a few years later, in 1644, the Town Council of Mexico prayed that Philip IV should grant to it: "That no more convents or monasteries be founded; as regards the former they said that the number of nuns was excessive and that of their servants still more so and that the need of limitation was urgent. That the landed estates of the clergy be restricted and that it be forbidden to acquire any more; regret is expressed that the greater part of such estates belong to the clergy through endowment and purchase; AND THAT IF A REMEDY BE NOT APPLIED THE CLERGY WILL IN A SHORT TIME BE LORD OF ALL. They also pray that no more religious emigrate from that 26 kingdom to New Spain and allege very cogent reasons. They pray that the Bishops be enjoined not to ordain any more ministers and assert that in Mexico, Puebla, Michoacan, Oaxaca, Guadalajara and Chiapas, there are more than six thousand priests with nothing to do, that had been ordained on the strength of trivial chaplaincies. They beg and pray that the excessive number of priests be diminish- ed because they only serve to engender idleness and the evils flowing therefrom". One of the most opprobrious ecclesiastical courts established in Mexico while under Spanish domination, was the tribunal of the In- quisition, which was in everything independent of the ecclesiastical and civil authorities, and yet enjoyed the jurisdiction of both of these for decision on all problems connected with faith or religious beliefs and other matters having to do with this subject. The establishment of this court in the 16th century made manifest the degeneracy and corruption of the Mexican clergy, and exhibited the inquisitors as the most hypocritical and hateful oppressors and murderers regis- tered by the history of the Church in Mexico. The attempts made by a majority of Catholic writers to justify the proceedings of so monstrous a tribunal have been in vain, for as its ignoble work, and iniquitous and anti-social activities become known from historical documents, any censure, however severe, would seem insufficient for this ecclesiastical establishment which was used both by the Church and by the Kings of Spain as a formidable political weapon; by the latter, because they used it to keep aliens out of the New World, and by the Church, because it was of use to it in acquiring economic and political powers. Everything of the nature of scien- tific progress was an impossibility in New Spain, because any books arriving from abroad were subjected to the strictest censure, and the reading and circulation thereof were prohibited, any surreptitious introduction of same being severely punished and any indications of freedom of thought letting themselves at times be seen, being repress- ed. The seat of this tribunal was in Mexico City and it was com- posed of two inquisitors and one prosecutor, while in the principal cities within its jurisdiction, there were commissioners and delegates subordinate to them who carried out summary proceedings in the causes that came within their cognizance. Dr. Mora ("Mexico y sus Revoluciones", p. 269) points out that, "in addition to the enormous income which confiscations had brought into the treasury of this tribunal, in every one of the churches situated in its jurisdiction, which embraced the whole of the kingdom of New Spain and the 27 Captaincy General of Guatemala, a canonry had been suppressed for its benefit, the income from which was turned over to it and collect- ed by the inquisitors". "This tribunal, even in civil cases, did not litigate in any other court, but took cognizance of and jurisdiction over every case to which it was a party. So much has been written of late years on the subject of the Spanish Inquisition, and of the objections inherent in its existence and mode of prosecuting, that we deem it superfluous to treat the matter at any length; it is suf- ficient to know that the informer in these proceedings always re- mained unknown, and that if the accused was unable to guess his name, he never learnt who he was, as he was never told; that during the whole course of the proceedings the defendant remained in soli- tary confinement; that he was never able to impeach any witnesses, or he was never told who they were; that he was only given a re- sume of the proceedings, so that his counsel, whom he could not freely select, might plead in his defense; that torture, although not inflicted towards the last, was legal; that the judgment rendered against the defendant was not notified to him until the time had come for its execution; that there was no recourse to the civil autho- rities that might shield the innocent from oppression; finally, that defendants found guilty were sentenced to death at the stake, a bar- barous form of torture which is contrary to nature and has there- fore been abolished by all civilized nations. These details, although briefly stated, are sufficient in themselves to excuse the act of those who suppressed the holy office, which had, although established for the prosecution of real offenses, made itself detestable merely by reason of its procedure and the way in which it was constituted, the more as the conviction became general that acts due to understand- ing, incapable of being gauged by morality as being the effect of necessary influence, should not be considered as offenses, and far less be punished. In spite of the very vicious manner in which that tribunal had been constituted, the increase in civilization due to the century had reached it and succeeded in mitigating its ferocity, cer- tain cruel practices that had been quite common at the time of its establishment and even during the centuries that followed, having fallen into disuse. The penalties imposed by the Inquisition in Mex- ico were penitences, imprisonment, fines and the disgrace that in- variably attached to anyone so unfortunate as to be prosecuted by the Inquisition, and which extended to his family. Corroborating what Dr. Mora says, Trejo ("La Revolucion y el Nacionalismo", p. 56) states: "What a difference, what a tremendous abyss there was 28 between the fatherly and admirable personality of the early friars and missionaries, and the sly and odious imprint on the faces of the monks who acted as inquisitors, which marked them out as oppress- ors and murderers; that same God of mercy, invoked by good friars in order to inflame the Indian soul with religious fervor, was also invoked by the inquisitors in order to shield and cover up their crimes and acts of barbarism. To the Dominican friars fell the unenviable glory of conducting that tribunal, which by a sort of mockery was called holy, and which discharged its functions in a building appurte- nant to the monastery of Santo Domingo, a building which now houses Mexico's School of Medicine. That court inquired into and punished those acts and offenses which were in general deemed heretical (a concept which is in itself vague and elastic, and which widened its competency and jurisdiction to a tremendous extent). It functioned on the basis of a secrecy just as absolute as that of con- fession itself, both as regards the accuser, and the acts imputed. That absurd and hateful system of investigating, made of the pro- ceedings a true and actual general inquisition, in which there was no room for any possible innocence nor any defense whatever. In order to set the proceedings in motion, a mere suspicion or an anonymous complaint were sufficient. The investigation was accompanied by the most brutal and repulsive tortures, which were applied to the defendant who pleaded not guilty by means of special machines, the tendency of which was to inflict on the defendant the most thor- ough and painful torment (wounds, dislocation and breaking of bones, etc.) until admission of guilty was wrung from him. All this was carried out in the midst of imposing ceremonies with the out- ward forms of religion, that made the outrage only more theatrical and repulsive. So that a clear idea may be formed of the iniquitous brutality characteristic of such tortures, I may say that among many others there were several like the "turn on the head" which the documents of that period themselves said, "involved the danger of eyes starting from their sockets"'. The judgments of that court were executed in the main square of the City of Mexico, and were sur- rounded by great pomp and solemnity, intended to produce great panic and terror. The whole of this sinister spectacle, so often cursed by the victims, contributed to strengthen and firmly establish the enormous power of the clergy. Some ancient tradition of barbarism and malediction seemed to hover over our great square. On it took place, first the bestial human sacrifices of the Indians, by which they endeavored to propitiate their gods; and centuries later, in the name 29 of a superior civilization, the sacerdotal crimes of that new worship that had overthrown the Aztec idols, were committed on the same spot. Unlimited severity, implacable harshness, were shown by the tribunal of the Inquisition, and all the aspirations and all the efforts of human intelligence fell into its clutches and were stifled therein. All opinions, schools of philosophy or polities, all economic or scien- tific ideas of every kind that could, in the judgment of those despotic, fanatical and uncompromising friars, involve any danger however slight, or any discussion even, of clerical control over people's con- sciences, or in any way affect the doctrines on which it was based, were declared heretical and were very severely punished. That court was also a political instrument; the various political and social move- ments that succeeded one another in the Colony, including the War of Independence, were by its aid curbed and suppressed, or an at- tempt made to do so. Tremendous and exemplary punishments, ex- communications, and punishments of every kind did not, however, suffice, and from the glorious deaths of Hidalgo and Morelos, a new fatherland arose condemned to grow and to live by dint of intermin- able struggles and gigantic sacrifices. Another one of the public func- tions that strengthened clerical domination, was that ECCLESIAS- TICAL CENSORSHIP exercised on public expression of thought. The clergy was the supreme authority that decided as to what books, what theories, what publications were to come to the knowledge of the public, and what others were to be withheld. Can one conceive of any greater control, of any more irritating tyranny over spirit and conscience, than that hateful and obnoxious despotism?" In view of the foregoing, no one will be able to deny the enor- mous political and economic power acquired by the Catholic clergy during the years of the life of the Nation under discussion. A power by it exercised in the midst of all the vices of religious organization, of all the vast ambition of the clergy to increase its interests. During the course of the eighteenth century the Viceroy, Marquis of Cruillas, carried out the expulsion of the Jesuits, and the confiscation of the property belonging to the Society, which expulsion had previously been ordered by the King of Spain; it is here advisable to recollect how great was the perturbation produced, both in Spain and the Colony by the expulsion of those never satisfied spirits, ever athirst for wealth and influence over consciences and for political power, as they formed a community deeply rooted in the Colony; none of these circumstances could escape the attention of the Spanish Monarchs. "Thus Ferdinand VII (Alfonso Toro, op. cit., p. 38) in view of the 30 disorder produced by the admission of so great a number of individ- uals into the religious orders, to the discredit and detriment of their holy rules, "provided by a Royal Order of July 20, 1754, in ac- cord with the Holy See, that for a period of ten years no one was to be admitted into the religious orders" on any pretext whatsoever. He likewise forbade that any one under 21 years of age be admitted, by reason of the "continued excesses of many men in such orders and the great number of apostates". But when the reformative intent- ions of the Bourbons became more noticeable was during the reign of Charles III, who in an order dated March 10, 1763, ordered the following: "It having come to my notice that the failure to obey orders previously and repeatedly given, to the effect that any privi- leges applied for by communities and other corporations holding land in mortmain in regard to the acquisition of property, be absolutely refused, has been the cause of greatly increased injury to my vas- sals; and desiring to put a stop once for all to such injury I have decided that in no case shall applications from such corporations for land in mortmain be admitted, even though clothed with the great- est piety and need; and that the Council of the Treasury, whenever any concessions of this kind shall come to its notice or it shall be asked for reports on same, shall, before granting them, or express- ing an opinion, allege all the orders made to the contrary and the intolerable injury to the cause of public welfare involved by the estates of lay persons gradually disappearing on the ground of ill- understood piety". --Charles III furthermore, in his keen desire to europeanize Spain, where there were almost 200,000 ecclesiastics, sunk in idleness, succeeded in surrounding himself by ministers well versed in the doctrines of the French philosophers of the eighteenth century, and they, seeing the omnipotence of the Catholic Church in Spain, attempted to subordinate it to the State, by limiting the power of the Inquisition, making priests amenable to the civil courts in the investigation of certain offenses and always widening the scope of the jurisdiction of the crown; these reforms met with great op- position; among those most strenuously opposing them, although in an underground manner were the Jesuits who had succeeded in spread- ing all over the Spanish dominions, having everywhere, more especial- ly in Mexico and Paraguay, acquired a vast amount of wealth and power, to such an extent as to constitute a state within the State. The Jesuits controlled education, as their schools were the most re- sorted to, and as they were besides the spiritual directors of colonial high society; nor were they lacking in connections with the Indians, 31 through the missions supported by them in California, Sonora and Nayarit, nor with other classes of society, due to the enormous in- terests owned by them. For these reasons King Charles III found himself compelled to drive the Society of Jesus from out his domin- ions, the Spanish Crown having taken over their property, not with- out a certain amount of satisfaction on the part of the secular clergy and of some other religious orders, due to the antagonism and rivalry existing, as we have seen, between the various branches of the clergy in the Colony". The Spanish Monarchs enjoyed in Mexico Ecclesiastical Patron- age, a vague and indefinite right, through which the predominance of royal power over the Church was manifested; it is not easy to de- termine the exact nature and extent of this prerogative, but it is known that through it reformation of the clergy, which had sunk down to its greatest moral level, both in the Peninsula and later on, when the clergy established itself in New Spain, in this country, was undertaken. Said Patronage was closely connected with the eccelesias- tical constitution of Mexico and the effects thereof covered nomina- tion to all manner of ecclesiastical benefices. "As far back as June 17, 1717, and before the reign of Charles III (Pallares, op. cit. p. VIII) a Concordat had been entered into between Rome and Spain and the right of patronage over all his dominions was vested in the Spanish Crown for all time; that is to say, rights, duties and pre- eminences, by virtue of which the sovereign appointed the Bishops, filled ecclesiastical benefices and enjoyed other lucrative and pecuni- ary privileges over the income of the Church. It was to Charles III, then, that the most advanced measures were due, such as the expul- sion of the Jesuits by Royal Order, February, 27, 1767 (Law III, Title 26, Book 1. "Novisima Recopilacion") the reforms to the Tri- bunal of the Inquisition, the reduction of the number of churches that enjoyed the right of sanctuary, the foundation of economic societies in which Campomanes and Jovellanos shone, the restriction of the power enjoyed by the courts of the Inquisition to prohibit the printing and circulation of books; the declaration that the Bull in Coena Domini, as being contrary to the rights of the Crown, had not been received in Spain and should be, as it was, stricken from the rituals and other books in which it appeared; the repeated dec- larations to the effect that no Bull or Pontifical Brief could become effective in the kingdom unless first approved by the political author- ities; reforms or measures inspired all of them by the Ministers of Charles III, Pedro Rodriguez de Campomanes (later Conde de 32 Campomanes) and Jose Monino (later Conde de Florida Blanca) and by advanced jurists who by their fiscal opinions opposed the advance of ecclesiastical power. Subsequently, the Royal Decree of October 25, 1795, restricted ecclesiastical jurisdiction in criminal matters and was the subject of petitions and appeals from the Episcopate to the King, but not of protests nor excommunications". "In the Spanish Colony, says Padilla ("Desde la Tribuna de la Revolucion" p. 224) the clergy always showed itself to be an insti- tution submissive and obedient to the will of the King. The "Reco-, pilacion de Leyes de Indias" is clear, conclusive and categorical, on many pages, in regard to that blind obedience to the King of Spain. His rigor not only went so far as to supervise its ecclesiastical activ- ities, but Bishops and Archbishops were, before taking over their Churches, obliged to submit to the Law on Liability and to have an inventory made of their property, just as in the case of civil offi- cials". At the end of the sixteenth century the capital amassed by the Church was very considerable; its income was enormous. The Fran- ciscans had five provinces, including those in Guatemala and Nica- ragua. The Mexican province had ninety monasteries; that of Mi- choacan, with that of New Galicia, had fifty-four; that of Guate- mala twenty-two; that of Yucatan twenty-two; that of Nicaragua twelve; so that the Order of St. Francis alone had two hundred mon- asteries. The Dominicans owned ninety monasteries; the Augustin- es seventy-six, in Mexico, Michoacan and Jalisco alone; the Jesuits had by then founded several houses and colleges and so had the Car- melites and Mercedarians; so that there were, then, in New Spain over four hundred monasteries belonging to sundry religious orders and if to these be added other clerical institutions, there was a to- tal of about eight hundred ecclesiastical establishments. It must be pointed out that every monastery and clerical institution had depend- ent on it many churches in villages and hamlets, an idea as to the number of which may be formed, if the fact be taken into account that there were over a thousand of them, for the province of Mexico alone". And as data showing how great that wealth was, we can furnish the following: in the eighteenth century, when the Jesuits were expelled from Spain and New Spain, the Viceroy, the Mar- quis of Amarillas, who carried the expulsion into effect, reported, although rather vaguely, on the property confiscated from that one order alone. Neither monasteries nor churches, nor their appurte- nant buildings, nor schools and pious works which represented fab- 33 ulous sums, were appraised as they were property devoted to relig- ious purposes, which that Government did not touch; but as an il- lustrative fact, it is sufficient to mention that besides the city real estate that appeared in a lengthy list, as productive investments and besides the respectable amount of money lent on mortgages, the Society of Jesus alone possessed 123 haciendas, of the enormous area usual among great landed estates in colonial times. By the close of the Spanish domination we have the following vague data which will give an idea of the economic power that the clergy had attained in our country. "Under the head of returns from invested capital alone, there is information to the effect that at that time the Arch- bishopric of Mexico received 123,000.00 pesos per annum, the Arch- bishopric of Puebla, 110,000.00 pesos per annum, the Archbishopric of Valladolid, 100,000.00 pesos, and the Archbishopric of Guadalaja- ra, 90,000.00 pesos per annum". Ever since the period of the con- qest had begun, and for good reason, the King of Spain, in virtue the Bull Noverint Universi issued by Alexander VI, that Beatific Pope who had without the slightest scruples undertaken to distrib- ute what did not belong to him, had taken measures to assure for the Crown absolute ownership of tithes; the income therefrom was wasted on the maintenance of religious worship, the care of the churches, the support of the ministers, etc. But Charles V, on February 3, 1541, ordered that the income from tithes was to be divided into four parts, one to go to the Bishop, another to the Ecclesiastical Chapter, while the two remaining parts were divided into nine por- tions and devoted, two to the Royal Treasury, three to the erection of churches and the four remaining to the curates and sextons of the churches. In the Capital of every Diocese there was a Tithes Committee composed of the intendant and Judge, or failing them, of one of the chief treasury officers, a prosecutor, the minor judges and the royal accountant of tithes. Besides the said ninth por- tions, the King collected the income and rents from major and minor vacancies; that is to say, from bishoprics, dignities, canonries and prebends, during the whole of the time such off ices remained un- filled. The ecclesiastical allowance was established in Mexico by vir- tue of a concession made by the Popes in an order issued in 1771. In 1777, by the Royal Decree for, that year, ecclesiastical annates were established. The returns from the Bull of the Crusades were enormous; besides ownership of the churches and other edifices devoted to worship, schools, monasteries and convents and their appurtenenances, that amounted to an enormous sum, the clergy had 34 at its disposal a capital exceeding eighty million pesos, not counting the property confiscated from the Jesuits which made manifest the great financial power wielded by the religious orders. Dr. Mora had already undertaken to set forth the delicate problem constituted by the accumulation of real property and of money lent on mortgage (Jose Maria Luis Mora, Sundry Papers, Paris, 1837, Vol. I, p. CII) which constituted a constant source of anxiety to the Spanish Mon- archs, as is clearly apparent from the Spanish laws themselves, a great number of which were enacted laying down serious prohibi- tions, but unfortunately were never obeyed. Let us see, for example, what Law 10, Title 12, Book 4 of the R. R. de I." provided: "Let the lands be without excess distributed among the discoverers and former inhabitants and their descendants who are to remain on the land, and let those best qualified therefor be preferred, AND THEY SHALL NOT DISPOSE OF THEM TO ANY CHURCH OR MONAS- TERY OR OTHER ECCLESIASTICAL PERSON UNDER PAIN OF FORFEITURE THEREOF, AND SUBSEQUENT DISTRIBUTION AMONG OTHERS". This statute was never obeyed, as the King him- self was wont to defeat its ends, by authorizing the acquisition of property on a large scale by convents, nuns and brotherhoods, and like these there are a number of provisions enacted to curb the ava- rice of religious organizations but which unfortunately were never carried into effect. An immense majority of these provisions were in fact nothing less than the defense of the political power of the King of Spain, the need of counteracting the growth of a power of a spiritual tendency yet greedy for wealth, the growth of a power endowed with gigantic strength which constituted a constant threat hanging over the political department. That same phenomenon was the one combated by the Reform with its great men so deserving of the country's gratitude, and the Mexican Revolution, especially its second stage, which comes down to our own day, and which in its eagerness to reconstruct, cannot permit the existence of a dominat- ing political power that would hinder the development of the national economy, impede the spread of culture and be a constant obstacle in the way of everything signifying progress and social improve- ment. There follow a few quotations documents and comments that il- lustrate with great clearness the ideas hereinabove set forth: "... religious persons leading worthy and exemplary lives are needed be- cause until now only a few or almost none have come to New Spain", wrote Cortez to the Emperor Charles V in the sixteenth century. 35 "... they will have to send persons fitted for the conversion of idolaters. Every time I have written to Your Sacred Majesty I have told Your Highness of the desire evinced by some of the natives of these parts to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith and to be- come Christians, and I have besought Your Caesarean Majesty to that end to provide religious persons of worthy and exemplary life. And until now but few or almost none have come". Letter from Hernan Cortez to the Emperor Charles V, in Mexico, October 15, 1524 (Mendieta, Historia Eclesiastica Indiana". Book 1, Chap. III). "... the clergy driven out of Spain came to New Spain, and all wished to fill their pockets and return to Castile". "... That no clergymen be sent to these parts, unless closely examined as to worthiness of life and sufficient knowledge of let- ters, for as this has not until now been done, and they have been sent out of favoritism or to use them for temporal interests very little spiritual advantage has been gained, inasmuch as it is clear that all wish to fill their pockets and to return to Castile. And for the pillars of a new Church like this we must seek the most honest and virtuous clergymen that may there be found, for in view of the opportunities there are here and the example that must be set to these tender plants in the Faith, other apostles, free from avarice and adorned with virtue, must be brought, as it is a serious offense for a minister of the sacraments to pervert those whom he is to con- vert and among the natives in their paganism such incontinence was prohibited to such a degree that it brought death in its train... let your Majesty specially order that no clergyman who has been a friar shall remain in this land, nor any friar not under a prelate, for as St. Augustine says: he knoweth of nothing better than a good friar, nor worse than a bad one..." "... and Your Majesty should know that in the whole of our Chapter there is no clergyman knowing the order of Cathedral Churches and so far as I can see this is no small drawback, all the more as they who are to govern do not know it". "And if they did not know their own business still less call they have a knowledge of tongues to carry out their duties faithfully". Fray Juan de Zu- marraga, in a letter written to the Emperor Charles V." "...the Indians would be better off without clergymen... "... the clergy who come to these parts are mean persons and all they think of its worldly goods and if it were not, for what Your Majesty has ordered and on account of Baptisms and other sacra- ments, the Indians would be better off without them..." The Vice- 36 roy Mendoza in the instructions left by him for his successor, Luis de Velasco. "... they torture the Indians by hanging them with ropes. These natives have had many excuses, not only for failing to learn the tenets of our Holy Catholic Faith, but for disavowing our faith in view of the great molestations and annoyances they have suf- fered at the bands of the ministers of the Church no less than from the dispensers of justice..." It so happens that as these is no learned man among these priests nor have they the charity and love sufficient to bear with their weakness and frailties, due to I do not know just what backslidings they overhear from some of them, that they returned to their old rites or idolatries, without further inquiry they begin to torture the Indians by hanging them in ropes high off the ground with weights on their feet and in other cases throwing burning wax on their bellies and whipping them unmerci- fully..." Letter from Fray Francisco Toral, Bishop of Yucatan, to Philip II ... The scandalous concubinage of the clergy hinders the administration of justice... " "In order to report to Your Excellency on Ecclesiastical Patron- age, I would have to get information in regard to the debasement of habits existing among individuals belonging to the ecclesiastical state, both regular and irregular, who usually live in such wise that although it is my duty to recount their vices to Your Excellency, yet I at times feel scruples about doing so; they, do not, however, scruple to excuse them by their acts as they are the first to hinder the ad- ministration of justice by their scandalous concubinages, without any attempt at concealment, but rather parading their offspring, being not content to frequent gambling houses but also keeping them, and brewing forbidden beverages therein, same being meeting-places for evildoers". The Viceroy, Marques de Valero in the instructions left to his successor, the Duke of Linares. "... And those not willing to hear the Holy Gospel of Christ of their own accord to be made to hear it by force"... "Your Majesty it is officially advisable to hasten the preaching of the Holy Gospel in all these lands and that those not willing to listen to the Holy Gospel of Christ of their own free will be made to do so by force, as the proverb which says: "good by force is better than evil will- ingly", is here appropriate". Letter from Father Benavente to the King of Spain, 1555. "...and while preaching of Heaven they appropriated the earth". Halle, a most holy father, says that the wealth of these provinces of 37 North America is in the hands of the members of the Society... two colleges alone now own thousands upon thousands of sheep... Ha- ciendas, rich silver mines, everything is in their hands, so that in time, at that rate, ecclesiastics will have to live as beggars on the charity of the Society and secular priests will have to become their tenants and the regular clergy to beg at their gates, and yet with all these vast resources, haciendas and income, sufficient to make any prince powerful enough to recognize no superior, they do not succeed in maintaining more than ten colleges. To the opulence of their landed estates (which is inordinate) follows the industry of their trading, as they have public offices, slaughter-houses and butcher shops, etc. Day by day do they increase their power by that same power, their wealth by their wealth and with it, injury to others... " "The power of these religious in the Universal Church is so great, enormous is their wealth, so unlimited their credit, and the honors aid to them so inordinate, that if they be not reformed they will deem themselves superior to all other ecclesiastical dignities..." From two letters written by the Bishop of Puebla, Don Juan de Pal- afox y Mendoza, to Pope Innocent X, one in December, 1647, and the other in January, 1649. "...The poverty of the servants of the Lord..." My church said that the College of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the novitiate at Tepo- zotlan, which are two houses, have above sixty thousand head of cattle, because it seemed to me that this narration was sufficient as grounds for the suit; but if the truth were to be told, I would have to say three hundred thousand, more or less, in divers places and on sundry ranges in this New Spain and it all belongs to these two houses; and that Your Paternity may see that this my church doth know, and how with what moderation I speak, I shall recount the flocks and herds of this last year, 1646. "About the month of December, one of sheep near the drainage canal containing 34,000 head, all of them black; another hacienda called Santa Ines, which counts 20,000 head, all white; another known as Tepeaca, with 17,000 head of white sheep; another called Teco- mate, counting 16,000 head. Further that College at Tepozotlan has on said haciendas 14,000 castrated sheep, and over 12,000 sheep sent to pasture at Colima. "And the College of St. Peter and St. Paul has in the Santa Lucia tract the following haciendas: one hacienda of white ewes of 30,000 head; another of white and black ewes of 25,000 head; at 38 the same place 5,000 goats; plus another hacienda of yearling rams; another hacienda of castrated sheep; at the same place young black cattle; two thousand mares; three trains of over 70 or 80 mules each, cows, a mill, wheat, barley and bean fields and also the rearing of black cattle which affords very handsome profits. The fathers began here fifty years ago with one very modest hacienda and now they own fourteen large". Letter written by the Bishop of Puebla Don Juan de Palafox y Mendoza to Father Horacio Carochi of the Society of Jesus, 1647. In order to bring this chapter to a close we shall note a few provisions of the "Recopilacion de Indias", which added to the above opinions and historical documents confirm the various opinions set out hereinabove: Book I, Title 1, Law 1, contains an exhortation in favor of the Catholic faith, "and to bring within the fold of the Church the numberless people and nations dwelling in the Western Indies, islands and mainland of the ocean, so that they may enjoy the benefits of redemption, to send them teachers and preachers and that they may fully believe their doctrine; Book I, Title IX, Law III. He orders that any briefs from His Holiness or other despatches not having passed before the Council of the Indies, be taken up and their execution withheld; "Novisima Recopilacion", Book I, Title 13, Law 1, and other provisions of the same Code, forbade aliens to hold bene- fits and Pensions in the Spanish Kingdom; "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title XIV, Law 12. Prohibition on alien religious from proceeding to the Indies "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title VI; Law XXXI that no alien clergyman appear nor be admitted to any benefice without let- ters of naturalization or order from the King. "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title II, Law II. For the construction of churches and expenses to be spread over the Indians in the Archbishopric or Bishopric, among the residents holding "encomiendas" and the Royal Treasury. "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title II, Law 20. That inventories be made of Church property and that no parish priest take them with him when assigned to some other edifice and that he shall return anything he may have taken. "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title VII, Law XXIX. Procedure to be employed by Archbishops and Bishops when making inventories of the property existing when taking over churches; "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title XVI, Law 1. That as ecclesiastical tithes of the churches belong to the King by apostolic concessions of the Supreme Pontiffs, it is provided that royal officers shall collect tithes. "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title XII, Law IX. That certain seditious, turbulent and evil-living members of the clergy be expelled from the 39 dioceses: "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title XII, Law IX, that prelates shall ordain mestizoes as priests after evidence as to their life and habits and provides that any mestizo girls desiring to be nuns be ad- mitted to the convents. "Rec. de Indias", Book I, Title XII, Law V, provides that curates shall by the gentlest methods teach the Spanish language and with it Christian doctrine. "Novisima Recopilacion", Book 1, Title XXVI, Law 111, Prag- matic Sanction of April 2, 1787, which contains the expulsion of the regular members of the Society of Jesus from the whole of the domin- ions of Spain and the Indies and the occupation of their temporal property; Royal Decree of December 26, 1804, in regard to the dis- posal of the property of pious foundations. This has been, in broad outlines (without prejudice to bringing forward further data and documents in fuller support of the matter set out in the memorial of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic) the opprobrious work of the Catholic Clergy, which ex- ercised in New Spain that same intolerant and fanatical influence, as in the Peninsula. The problems of the Colony did not pass un- noticed by the Spanish authorities, and yet, besides the fact that the laws that counteracted the reprehensible activities of the religious orders were allowed to become a dead letter, theological conferences were held at which useless discussions went on as to whether the Indians were human beings, the possibility of their being endowed with reason, the circumstances under which they should be treated with gentleness or kindness, or whether they ought, on the contrary, to be treated as beasts. What cruel times were those, in which people had to struggle with the malignity, immorality, ignorance and greed both of the authorities of the Viceroyalty and of the Church, which bore all the appearances of a peculiarly commercial institution. All this brought along with it as a necessary consequence the economic and moral breakdown of our nation, and the heavy and onerous inheritance be- queathed to us as an independent people. If this constitutes an histor- ical stage, if those evils took root at a given period of our history, we should not any longer bear the approbrious weight of that inher- itance. This has been the task of the Revolutionary Government in its open and resolute campaign against religious fanaticism and the all absorbent power of the Church. 40 CHAPTER THREE Manifest predominance of the Clergy in Colonial Times.--The, higher Clergy persecute and slander the Insurgents.--Com- plaints made by Hidalgo in his manifesto.-Initiative for sepa- ration from the Vatican.-The Clergy rejoices at and favors foreign invasions (American and French)-and supports Maxi- milianos Empire.-Reforms introduced by Gomez Farias, Jua- rez, Ocampo and Lerdo, and protests, rebelliousness and up- risings of the Clergy. The Clergy enriches the Dictator Santa Anna, so as to bleed and enslave the country.-Violent attacks of the Clergy on the Constitution, both orally and by force of arms.-Triumph of liberal, reformative and republican ideas over clerical, conservative and imperialist. A clear conception of a Mexican fatherland, based on experience acquired over centuries, together with the determining necessity of constituting a political organization, was the essential cause of Mexi- can Independence. A phenomenon that took place by reason of the mere march of events, with the enthusiasm of the dispossessed masses, and against the higher Catholic Clergy, which was not only antagonis- tic to, but a bitter enemy of the insurgent hosts. The economic and social inequality fostered by Church and State, had separated the various classes ever since the conquest. All legisla- tion had as its fundamental idea the domination of the natives, sub- mission to the political power and control by the Church, THE PRE- DOMINANCE OF THE CLERGY AND OF THE CHURCH IS ONE OF THE MOST CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF THE COLONY. The influence of the clergy was very great because it was founded on respect for religion, on the recollection of alleged benefits con- stantly proclaimed, and on its vast wealth. When the movement for independence began, the Clergy, as Al- tamirano asserts, split: the higher and wealthier clergy, that which enjoyed the most lucrative benefits in the large towns and admin- 41 istered the great properties of the regular monastic institutions declared against independence from the very outset, while the lower Clergy, the village priests, those of the countryside and of the moun- tains, the friars of certain humble monasteries, sympathized with the movement for independence, and its first and most illustrious leaders sprang from that poor clergy, who had been in close contact with the misery of the people". No one could deny that yearning for something, that unconscious need of some change in the social organization which was reflected in the middle classes, in the village priests and in the lower ranks of army officers. A tortuous inter- pretation of the Gospel had ground down the various classes of society. The ideas of Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Rousseau crossed the Pyrenees and were concealed as forbidden books in the cassocks of the priests. The Colonial organization, plagued with vices and de- fects, threatened to break down. The plague of the Church was the cancer that gnawed at that organization; everything was impregnat- ed by religious ideas, the teaching imparted was full of ignorance and inhibitions. Indian peoples were bound in the chains of prejudice. Only independence could give rise to the establishment of a new organization and open the way to the new ideas of the century. The expulsion of the Jesuits made manifest vices existing and admitted by the Church herself; by the disgraceful happenings at Bayonne, the people realized the falsity of the divine right of kings; the French Revolution was a vibrating clarion blast that reechoed on the con- tinents making ready for freedom; the independence of the United States of America with its constitutional provisions; the imprison- ment of Iturrigaray, the French invasion of Spain, the corruptness of politicians and of the religious, especially of such of the latter as made of their religion an instrument of slavery and oppression. On the fall of Ferdinand VII the separation of New Spain began, and for the first time the words popular "sovereignty" were uttered with a new and courageous meaning. Verdad and Talamantes of- fered up their lives in aspirations for freedom. Then came the fall of Iturrigaray and the imposition of Field-Marshal Pedro Garibay, and after him, Venegas, Calleja and Apodaca, Lieutenant-Generals, undertook a hopeless attempt to shore up the tottering edifice of the colony, until O'Donoju came along to collect the debris. In all these events the Clergy took part in a thousand immoral ways; by declar- ing the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people heretical and anath- ematizing it, or imposing on them the decrepit Garibay, or the sinister Archbishop, Francisco Javier de Lizana. 42 The work done by Miguel Hidalgo was truly splendid. In the hosts led by the illustrious Rector of the College of San Nicolas, the creole priest desirous of promotion, the patriotic and resolute country- man, inspired by his exemplary mission, enlisted, as well as other hosts of the populace athirst for destruction... "They are Catholics out of policy alone, their God,is Mammon, they avail themselves of religion itself to drag it down and destroy it", said Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the liberator and Father of Mexican Nationality. "I find myself under the regrettable necessity of satisfying peo- ple on a point which I had never thought possible could be brought up against me, and far less brand me as suspicious to my fellow- countrymen. I speak of that which to me is above everything, most sacred and most-loved by me; of our holy religion, of that super- natural faith bestowed on me in baptism..." "The origin of all my offenses is to be sought in my desire for our happiness; if this had not compelled me to take up arms, I would be enjoying a calm, pleasant and tranquil existence; I would be considered a true Catholic, which I am and glad to be; there would never have been anyone so bold as to slander me by the infamous accusation of heresy..." "The oppressors have not men nor arms enough to compel me by force to continue in that horrible slavery to which they had condemn- ed us, as what resources had they left? To resort to all manner of means, however unjust, unlawful and stupid they might be, provided they conduced to maintain their despotism and the oppression of America; they have dropped even the last trace of honesty and prob- ity; the worthiest authorities are prostituted, and they launch forth excommunications which none better than they know have no force at all; they attempt to intimidate the unwary and to terrorize the ignorant, so that the latter may, terrified by the word anathema, feel fear where there are no grounds for such fear..." "Who could believe, beloved fellow citizens, that the boldness and effrontery of the Spaniards could reach such lengths? To desecrate the holiest things in order to assure their intolerable domination? To avail themselves of our holy religion herself to drag her down and destroy her? To resort to excommunications contrary to the inten- tion of the Church, to launch them on no religious grounds what- ever? "Open your eyes, Americans; do not allow our enemies to win you over; they are not Catholics except from policy; their God is Mammon and the sole purpose of their threats is oppression; think 43 ye perchance that no one can be a true Catholic unless subject to the Spanish despot? Whence has this new dogma, this new article of faith, come to us?" (manifesto issued to the people by Miguel Hidal- go, Generalissimo of the American arms and chosen by a majority of the towns and villages of the Kingdom, to defend his rights and those of his fellow citizens"). Not in vain did the opprobrious tyran- ny of three centuries crush down the soul of the people. That sin- gular and valiant adventure ended at Acatita de Bajan, but the seed had been sown, and it was no longer possible to check the impetu- ous current of independence; Rayon, Liceaga, Verduzco, Morelos, Guerrero, are names written in so many pages of the effort of a peo- ple to achieve its emancipation. The covenant of Acatempan and the Plan de Iguala became the unstable foundation of party hatred. The personality of Iturbide begins to stand out as the redemption of the people and of the Conservative party. O'Donoju signed at Cordoba, Veracruz, the treaties which bear his name and finally, on September 27, 1821, the liberating army made its triumphal entry into the Capi- tal of the Republic. The Church had not remained inactive during all this time. The Holy Office issued an edict excommunicating Hidalgo as a seditious, schismatic and heretical person; bishops and inquisitors launched excommunications right and left and from pulpits and in religious intrigues the royalist party was supported. The Edict of September 24, 1810, of the Bishop of Michoacan, Miguel Abad y Queipo, by which he excommunicated the Insurgent Chiefs and all who follow- ed them, contains expressions like the following: "A minister of the God of Peace, a minister of Christ and a shepherd of souls (it pains me to have to say so) the Curate of Dolores, Miguel Hidalgo, (who had until now deserved my confidence and friendship) in the company of the Captains of the Queen's Regiment, Ignacio Allende, Juan de Aldama and Jose Maria Abasolo, has raised the standard of rebel- ion and lighted the torch of discord and anarchy, and by winning over a band of ignorant countryfolk, has made them resort to arms and falling with them on the village of Dolores, on the 16th instant, at dawn surprised and arrested the European residents, and looted and robbed their property; and after that at seven o'clock they pro- ceeded to San Miguel el Grande, where they did the same, having in both places seized the reins of authority and of Government"; further on he adds: "that being so and exercising the authority vested in me as Bishop elect and Governor of this Bishopric, I de- clare that the aforesaid Miguel Hidalgo, the Curate of Dolores, and 44 his followers, the three captains aforesaid, are sacrilegious, perjured and have become liable to major excommunication of the canon; si quis suadente diabolo, for that he has made an attempt on the per- son and liberty of the sexton of Dolores, of the Curate of Chamacuero and of several religious of the Carmelite Monastery at Celaya, by seizing them and holding them under arrest. I declare them to be excommunicated persons who must be shunned, and prohibit as I do, that anyone give them succor, aid or comfort, under pain of major excommunication ipso facto incurrenda, this edict to serve as an ad- monition, which I declare any infringers shall henceforward be- come liable to. I further exhort and call upon that portion of the people whom he has led astray, by bestowing on them the title of soldiers and companions in arms, to return to their homes and to abandon him within the third day following that on which this edict shall come to their notice, under the same penalty of major excom- munication, in which I from now on declare they shall fall, and all those who shall voluntarily enlist under his flag or in any way af- ford him aid and comfort". On October 11, 1810, the Archbishop of Mexico, Dr. Francisco de Lizana y Beaumont, issued an edict de- claring the excommunication decreed by the Bishop of Michoacan valid and lawful, on October 13, 1810, the friars of the Apostolic College at Pachuca wrote a letter to the Viceroy proposing to send monks from the community to persuade the villagers that they ought not to embrace the cause of independence; on October 27, 1810, in the City of Puebla, the clergy announced its allegiance to the cause of the King, in a memorable document, and lastly, on March 28, 1811, the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter of Mexico exhorted the clergy of its diocese to continue loyal to the cause of the King. It was indispensable to defend privilege from the insurgent hosts, in order to continue to enjoy the support of the colonial and monarch- ical organization. In the struggle engaged in between the members of the clergy itself, the higher clergy, composed of the Bishops, Canons and Curates of the chief towns loyal to the Viceregal Govern- ment on the one hand, and the lower clergy on the other, the defects of that religious organization were made manifest. This is why there was no hesitation in using drastic methods against priests of such nobility of character as Hidalgo, against whom proceedings were employed in violation of all ecclesiastical rights. The manner in which he and others were executed and all the circumstances attend- ant upon the proceedings from the time of his arrest reveal the de- grading servilism of the clergy of that time. 45 The direct and efficient part played by the clergy in the drawing up of the Plan of Iguala and in the emancipation of Mexico that followed it, due to the lower clergy that had taken part in that rev- olution, gave the former an exaggerated idea of its power, and since it contributed to strengthen Iturbide's position he, due both to his own personal convictions and to the engagements contracted by virtue of those acts, showed himself from the very beginning as en- tirely submissive to the influence and power of the clergy. The promulgation of the Constitution of 1812 marked the begin- ning of a new era for the Church, which threatened to abolish her ancient privileges, since it was a political Code imbued with certain liberal principles that undoubtedly meant progress for the people. Ferdinand VII, on ascending the throne of Spain, disowned that Con- stitution, which did not accord with the absolutism of the Spanish monarchs, but the political events of the time compelled him again to accept it, in March, 1820. The clergy of the metropolis clearly scented the danger impending to their political power, more especial- ly in everything relating to jurisdiction. Iturbide's advent opened out to it a new horizon for the con- tinuation of the old prerogatives enjoyed by it, of respect for its enormous property. The clergy deceived Iturbide, as it did every political power, by means of a false and hypocritical policy, lacking in anything resembling a moral sense, which a number of times constituted treason to the country. On October 19, 1821, the Regency of the Empire addressed the Archbishop of Mexico requesting him to state how many vacancies in Cathedrals should be filled until the Pope should arrange the ques- tion of Patronage. The Archbishop, after hearing the metropolitan chapter, the ecclesiastical Board, (on March 4, 1822, the Board of Diocesans met in the Cathedral of Mexico under the chairmanship of the Doctor Professor, Vicar and Archbishop and Doctoral Canon of the Archbishopric) and the other Bishops, answered: "that by reason of the independence sworn to the Empire, the right of Patronage, which had been granted in its Churches to the King of Spain as King of Castile and Leon, had ceased. That in order that such Patronage might vest in the Government of the Empire without danger of its acts being null and void, it was necessary to await a like concession from the Holy See. That in the meantime the filling of ecclesiastical posts as heretofore practiced according to the Patronage will of right devolve in each diocese upon the respective ordinary thereof, he to proceed in accordance with the canons. That in canonries gained by 46 competition (after the edicts issued by the Bishops with their chap- ters) the place be filled up according to law and as regards curacies, let only the Bishops fix the edicts and appoint the parish priests". The rights in former years vested in the King of Spain were thus recovered by the Mexican clergy by a stroke of boldness. No more splendid triumph could be granted to ultramontanism than thus at one stroke and under the name of right of devolution, to remain in possession of the patronage. The spirit of liberalism was clearly manifested from the first years of independence. In this regard the famous decree of the Con- gress of Tabasco on ecclesiastical matters, February 22, 1829, is worthy of note. ("Correo de la Federacion Mexicana", number of April 29, 1829.) These were the first symptoms of rebellion against the all-embracing power of the clergy. The Bishop of Yucatan, Cres- cencio Carrillo y Ancona, deeply alarmed, said of that stand taken by the Legislature of Tabasco: "those legislators thought that as politi- cal independence had been achieved, ecclesiastical independence could also be declared, without in any way taking into account the Supreme authority of God as deposited in the Roman Pontiff. They arbitrar- ily appointed a private Prelate and made regulations for the Church of Tabasco. (The Bishopric of Yucatan. History of its Foundation and of its Bishops, Merida, Yuc. 1895.) Alfonso Toro, in his book called "La Iglesia y el Estado en Me- xico", on page 78 tells us "We can briefly sum up the situation in which the clergy and the Government were placed. The independence of Mexico paralyzed the reformation that had already begun in Spain in church matters; then the clergy, turning to account the very im- portant part played by it in Mexico's independence, declared itself entirely free of all influence of the civil power, denied the right of the Government to that Patronage that the King of Spain had en- joyed and to which the Government thought that it was entitled, as the heir to the powers over the Church vested in the Government of Spain. The clergy, whenever the civil power attempted to interfere in any way in ecclesiastical matters, faced it boldly and said: "You are not the possessor of the rights that the King of Spain had, and so that Patronage may be vested in you, you must first of all enter into an agreement with the Holy See". That prior agreement was very hard, not to say impossible to obtain, inasmuch as the Pope who was then a temporal and a spiritual sovereign at one and the same time, was not able to break away from those important and close relations that had always bound the Papacy to the Spanish Monar- 47 chy; and both Ferdinand VII and the clerical interests, openly op- posed recognition of the independence of the Spain's former Amer- ican colonies, and actively intrigued so that the Pope might bring his influence, which was at that time almost decisive, to bear, in order to recover lost domination over the countries of Spanish Amer- ica. The activity with which the Court of Spain undertook these negotiations ere long showed practical results; in fact, Pope Leo XII, making common cause with Ferdinand VII, issued an encyclical in which he urged the Archbishops and Bishops of the Americas to ex- plain to their flocks the august and distinguished qualities which char- acterize our well-beloved son Ferdinand, Catholic King of Spain, whose sublime and solid virtues make him prefer to the splendor of his greatness, the luster of religion and the happiness of his sub- jects", and exhorted them "with the necessary zeal to set forth to the consideration of every one, the illustrious and incomparable mer- its of those Spaniards resident in Europe, who have shown proof of their ever constant loyalty by the sacrifice of their interests and of their lives, in behalf and defense of religion, and of lawful power". The Government of the Republic, considering that these words of the Pope had no other purpose than to invite the Bishops to uphold the domination of the King of Spain, which was tantamount to voluntary renunciation by Mexico of that independence, which she had at the cost of such painful sacrifice achieved, ordered that the document in question be made to circulate among all the civil and ecclesiastical authorities throughout the country and instructed its diplomatic Agent in Rome, to make appropriate representations to the Holy See. A unanimous feeling of indignation burst forth in Mexico when the news became known; the country, which had just conquered its in- dependence after a cruel struggle which had lasted for eleven years, and after enduring all the horrors of a war in which no quarter was given, that had seen how its most outstanding insurgent leaders were executed, imprisoned and exiled, all in the name of Ferdinand VII, could not without indignation read that Papal encyclical, which ad- vised It to return to servitude, under the Government of a despot of such unworthy and mean caliber as was the King of Spain. The Min- ister of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Miguel Arizpe Ramos, in addition to ordering Francisco Pablo Vazquez, Mexico's represent- ative at the Holy See, to register a protest against that document which it seemed incredible could have been issued by a Court so cau- tious and so distrustful as that of Rome, made the encyclical circu- late among the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of the country and 48 they all unanimously protested against it. But if one thinks the matter over carefully, a majority of ecclesiastics did not take that stand out of patriotism, but because it suited them to do so, and because under the Republic they found themselves much better off than they had been during the Spanish Government. In fact, they had, during the latter, been subject to the authority of the King of Spain, though his patronage; but once Mexico had achieved her in- dependence, they were only nominally subject to the Pope, for as normal relations no longer existed between the Republic and the Holy See, and as no concordat had been entered into between them, the priests denied the right of the national Government to interfere in the Church, to keep order and discipline; and so, like men knowing no lord, they neither obeyed the orders of the Government of the Republic, nor those of the Pope; that is why we see how the eccle- siastical chapter, and the Governor of the diocese of Mexico, the Bish- op of Puebla de los Angeles, the ecclesiastical chapter of Chiapas and other ecclesiastical corporations protested more or less openly against the encyclical of Leo XII; and more especially (although in his case without ulterior motives, and seeking only the good of his country) Dr. Fray Servando de Teresa y Mier, who wrote a most interesting essay on the subject of said encyclical. In it he stated that the Papal document "was an Italian trick of those with which the Court of Rome was want to avoid the difficulties and obligations to which crowned heads committed it, and which those astute cour- tiers were the first to make a mock of; that "men by dint of ador- ing God through His ministers, and of hearing from the lips of the latter what oracles have managed to adore Him and them, have in course of time reached the point of believing them both equally in- fallible and of confusing their attributes and powers. He then as- sailed Papal infallibility by means of the doctrines of the Gallican Church and expressed himself in the following terms in regard to the universal dominion claimed by the Pope. "Nor can I conceive of any greater absurdity among Christians nor how such a belief can last for so long a time when it is in open contradiction to the doctrin- es of Jesus Christ, His Apostles, the Holy Fathers, and the example set by all of them. Our Saviour said to Pontius Pilate: "My Kingdom is not of this world". "How, then, can His vicar imagine himself to be the owner thereof?" and after reviewing a number of historical events connected with the temporal power of the Popes, he adds that in 1810 the Spaniards would have drawn upon Mexico the Vatican's thunderbolts, had they been able to do so, but that they appealed to 49 bayonets and cannon for victory, though without success. After that, Father Mier boldly propounded a question which has not yet, down to our own time, been solved: this was that of the National Catholic Church, and he said the following words: "Catholics as always and glorying in that fact, we have changed no dogmas, morality, nor dis- cipline, as set forth by its nature, modifications and amendments. Even on certain points thereof, in regard to which we might well do without Rome, because it is a case rather of usurpation by the latter than of rights belonging to it, we have preferred to sacrifice our own for the sake of peace and union with the Supreme Pontiff. Our Government announced by means of circulars, the advent of Leo XII as the successor of Pius VII, whose obsequies it also order- ed to be solemnized all over the Republic. Our Constitution autho- rizes its President to enter into concordats with the Apostolic See (although unheard-of, for good reason, over fifteen centuries of the life of the Church) and for this purpose a Minister Plenipotentiary is already on his way across the seas". "If he should not receive him as he did the minister from Colombia, we have in any case done what was right, the fault will not be our own and the Pope will be responsible to God. So long as we ourselves shall believe everything that is believed by the Universal Church, which is what the word Catholic means, as a dogma necessary for salvation, our own is in no danger; in this regard we are within the ark; even thousands of unjust anathemas would not succeed in driving us out of it. The religion of Jesus Christ, which is heavenly and universal by nature, is not subject to the whims of a minister, to political interests nor to juggling by Cabinets. Still less is it dependent on particular locali- ties, and the crossing of vast oceans. Each Church within itself, so long as it has bishops and priests, has the elements required for its preservation. We shall, should Rome insist, resort to the same methods that all Catholic nations have resorted to in similar cir- cumstances. We shall return to the primitive and holy discipline of the Church, we shall once more be governed by those true and lawful canons, which as Pope St. Leo the Great says, cannot, as being made with the spirit of God and consecrated by the reverence of the whole Universe, be abolished by any authority whatever, nor lapse due to the passage of any period of time. Would that I could in my old age see those splendid days of the youth of the Church come back once more; the unfortunate thing is that the more threat of resort- ing to this legal means (which would once for all do away with all those modern pretentions of the Court of Rome, which rest only on 50 the decretals of Isidore, the falsity of which is today notorious) makes the proud Tiber desist from its course. He does not threaten to overflow his banks except against those who, not aware of the limits set to his waves, fear when there is no need for fear. Ibi trepidaverunt timori ubi non erat timor". The Mexican Clergy took very good care not to make use of the papal encyclical against in- dependence. On the one hand, this was an accomplished fact, and the Mexican people took but scant notice of ecclesiastical censure and did not wish to return to the dominion of the autocratic King of Spain; on the other hand, the clergy understood that the de facto situation in which it had remained when patronage had actually come to an end, was much more advantageous for it and that it would be absurd to sacrifice that almost entire independence which it had itself acquired, of subjection neither to the king of Spain, nor to the Government of the Republic, and that there would be no sense in sacrificing this actually existing situation to the contingencies of a restoration of the impossible domination of Ferdinand VII over Spain's former Colonies in America". As far back as the year 1833, that illustrious and liberal dem- ocrat, Valentin Gomez Farias, the real forerunner of reform, was given the opportunity of turning his elevation to the Vice Presi- dency of the Republic to good account for taking the first step to- wards the reduction of the abuses, privileges and prerogatives of the clergy, by enacting the highly moderate Law of October 18 of that year. The policy begun by him was one of improvement and above all of house-cleaning in the administrative regime he was going to preside over. In the collection of laws of Dublan y Lozano, "Leg- islacion Mexicana", at page 1200, we may read the circular of the Ministry of Justice of June 6, 1833, and that of June 8 following, in which members of the clergy were ordered to behave quietly and not to interfere in political matters; the former reminding the eccle- siastical authorities that they should see to it that the secular and regular clergy should not deal with nor preach on political matters. In that same year was issued another circular, over the signature of Andres Quintana Roo: "It has been noted" -he added- "that the perversion of consciences by abuse of the pulpit and of secrecy of confession is the most fruitful source of wrong ideas in political matters, and the means most successfully resorted to in order to set subjects against the political authorities". Assuredly one of the most important documents of that period that which relates to the University, and established the General 51 Bureau of Public Instruction for the Federal District and Territories, promulgated on October 21, 1833 (Dublan, op. cit. p. 1234). All these provisions brought about discontent on the part of the Church, which could not assent to any efficient action by a Government to begin destruction of all those obstacles that impeded the onward march of the Government itself. This first and justifiable measure was sufficient to provoke the letting loose of a scandalous protest and sectarian propaganda that never contented itself with the print- ed word, nor with speeches, nor prayers nor sermons, but which went so far as actively to foment rebellion among the troops, at times when hunger, misery and fanaticism were the loyal servants of the Church. Another document of great value is surely the Circular of the Ministry of Justice of October 27, 1833, Dublan, op. cit. p. 1273, which provided that the civil obligation to pay tithes ceased. Article one: The obligation to pay Church tithes ceases all over the Republic, and every citizen is left entirely free to act in this matter in ac- cordance with the dictates of his conscience. Article two: From the amounts which the States must contribute towards the expenses of the Federation, an amount shall be deducted equal to that which they shall cease to receive from decimal income in virtue of the provisions of the preceding article, and article three, the last, provid- ed that the proceeds from the tithes computed for the last five-year period will serve the general Government for computation of the compensation to which article two hereof refers. Another interest- ing provision is the Law of December' 17, 1833, article one of which ordered: All curacies now vacant or which may become vacant of the secular clergy shall be filled by regular incumbents in the time and form prescribed by Laws XXIV, XXXV, XLVII, title VI, Book 1 of the "Recopilacion de Indias". By means of this Law the Nation exercised the right of patronage which the Roman Pontiff, involved in the petty intrigues of a blundering European policy, had never wished to grant, a situation which the clergy of the Republic fostered for its own benefit. There were Governors like that of Michoacan, who attempted to expel certain seditious bishops, but he found himself directly opposed by the Archbishop of that diocese, who openly combated that provision, none the less humbly protesting his respect for and submission to the constitu- tional authorities, which was no ground for continuing to foment revolutions, as did the clergy throughout the country, engaging the Mexicans. in a fratricidal struggle, and Gomez Farias' amendment would assuredly have triumphed, had it not been for General Santa 52 Anna's interference, who, under the Plan of Cuernavaca, May 25, 1834, hailed by catholicism as one of its greatest victories was called upon as being the only authority in a position to impart protection to the clergy of the Republic. The task set himself by that ruler was to destroy the amendment above referred to. "The reforms of a religious nature introduced", says Lucas Alaman, a Catholic writer, "approved by Congress in 1833, have continued to stand except as regards exercise of patronage, for as just stated, the plan for studies was annulled, and the University reopened, another plan was drawn up on the same basis of exclusion of the Clergy in virtue of the extraordinary powers vested in General Santa Anna as a con- sequence of the Revolution of 1841, and the property of the Church and of pious foundations has frequently been threatened by absolute destruction and has been considerably reduced by the portions thereof from time to time taken by the Government, so that the main purpose for which the Clergy so resolutely supported the Plan of Iguala has to a great extent been frustrated". In the first period of the Federation, the Church in the face of the dangers that began to threaten her property, undertook to dispose of such property without any account or record having been kept or made of the use to which the proceeds of such sales were put. The Government put a stop to these sales by issuing provisions like the circular of November 18 and December 3, 1833, and January 23, 1834. The Clergy endeavored to justify such sales and alleged the property rights of the religious. After that Santa Anna "the most terrible scourge of impiety", on August 31, 1834, issued a decree prohibiting, under penalty of nullity, all sales of jewels, precious stones and any other articles of gold or silver existing in the churches and manufactured for the service or adornment of images or churches. Such sales were usually made to aliens and depleted the artistic resources of the country and called for direct intervention by the Government. This decree did not please the Clergy, and the haughty protest of the Bishop of Michoacan, Juan Cayetano Portugal, breathed clerical absolutism, and advocated the absolute elimination of the civil power in matters so closely affect- ing public order, a theory that would eventually have made any sort of society impossible. The matter having been referred to Justices Manuel de la Pena y Pena and Jose M. Jauregui for study, they decid- ed the question, in an interesting opinion, against the Church. The Conservative party enjoyed times of great splendor and the clergy felt highly satisfied, in view of the efficient protection 53 received by it from the dominant political regime. The country had fallen into the centralism sanctioned on October 10, 1835, and with it its loftiest aspirations. History records with authentic documents that even the Conservative Government could not carry out its work without taking indispensable measures against the property of the Church and of the political power of the latter, as it continued to hang as a dead weight on the life of the country; and Conservative Governments, without going to the same lengths of radicalism as the Liberals, took the first measures against the property of the clergy. By was of confirmation of the above, we shall quote from a message of the President of the Republic, Anastasio Bustamante, who was supported by the clergy; "The evils that afflict the Nation are notorious as well as serious; an exhausted Treasury, habits and customs day by day more depraved, insecurity for life and prop- erty in a land overrun by bandits and side by side with these calam- ities, universal misery; confusion, disagreement in everything and an ever growing spirit of disunion and discord, are almost typical of the unfortunate society we at present live in". Such was the state of society in complete disorganization, caused by the intrigues of the Catholic clergy, which should nowadays, when it claims its rights, be answered history book in hand: in those terrible days when it ruled the Nation which was in a state of absolute ruin in the midst of the most utter misery of the various classes of society, what time the Church enjoyed her enormous wealth amassed out of the blood of the people and everything that signified a measure tending to counteract its improper action served to spread, from the pulpit or by means of broad sheets or other methods, the idea that the Government was a bitter enemy of the Church, as happened to Santa Anna when he for the purpose of meeting public expenses applied to the clergy for a loan; and both this decree and the circular of October 13, 1841, which forbade sales of property belonging to the clergy without prior permission from the Government, and that vendors and purchasers infringing this provision be reported, made the clergy raise an outcry against these insignificant measures, in its insatiable greed and mean desire not to contribute to the welfare of a people that had bestowed on it so many benefits. The draft of constitution of August 26, 1842 could not but pro- duce a natural uneasiness in the conservative milieu of those times, and after that the clergy of the Republic fostered uprisings and conspiracies; a whole historical period in which the ill faith of the 54 religious threw Mexican homes into mourning. General Santa Anna himself undertakes to depict the treason of the Conservatives and of the Clergy to the country. In this connection Santa Anna's mani- festo should be read. Of those times the selfish and unpatriotic conduct of the clergy in connection with the war with the United States, should be re- membered. In the "Diario de Gobierno", in 1846, the following statements were made: "General Santa Anna, as we have previously stated, during the few days he has resided in Tacubaya, and not- withstanding that he is ill, has unceasingly from his couch busied himself with taking all the measures necessary for organizing the two brigades that have marched. Subsequently commissioned by the Supreme Government to apply for the necessary financial resources, he urged the venerable clergy and convened, by requesting their attend- ance, a meeting of capitalists. The clergy, through Messrs. Patino and Irizarri, capitular vicar, and archdeacon of this Holy Church, consented specially to mortgage real estate to the value of two million pesos; the capitalists appointed a committee that drew up a scheme for loans and it seemed to be highly probable that a million pesos in cash would promptly be raised. But the usurers, those worms that continually gnaw the country's entrails, converted into usury and speculation what was merely a matter of help and assistance, and distorted the good intentions by which all were animated; the proposed lenders began to suggest giving one million pesos in cash and another million in credits, paper! when actual cash was needed! and exacted the condition that they were to select the properties to be mortgaged, and that if not paid within two years they were to foreclose on the properties without option to extend the deeds. In order to carry on the war with the United States, the Civil Govern- ment found itself compelled to apply to the clergy, whether the latter wished it or not. The protest of the metropolitan chapter against this was virtually an act of rebellion; it said that the Church was sovereign and that she could not be deprived of her property by any authority; that only by force could her property be taken from the Church". On January 14 the Vice-president of the Republic, through the Ministry of Justice, informed the Chapter: "That it was attempt- ing to incite the people to rebellion and that although the Govern- ment was strong enough to suppress any revolt inasmuch as it had on its side armed forces as well as public opinion, he thought it his duty to see that such alarms did not occur again and ended with these wise words: "History will pass judgement on this resistance 55 which would not, even in the Middle Ages, have attracted proselytes and will also judge the Government of the Republic which cannot sustain itself if lacking the means to satisfy the urgent needs of its army, and this at a time when most required (the American Inva- sion), inasmuch as our soil has been desecrated by the foot of a foreign foe who threatens to destroy our altars. His Excellency the Vice-President does not fear the decision and both as a Christian and as a ruler, considers that he is strictly obliged to comply with and to order to be complied with, in all its parts, a law intended to save both our territory and our beliefs; and he therefore instructs me to tell your Honor that if the Holy Cathedral Church should not open its doors at the usual hour and that if for this reason or oil account of any other change effected under pretext of the law in question, the public peace should be disturbed, he will find himself compelled to take such severe and efficient measures of repression as circumstances may require". It is quite interesting to study what was going on at that time, a period so critical for the life of the Republic, and particularly the bill submitted on January 28th, 1847, by Deputy Vicente Romero proposing to Congress: I. The Mexican Nation does not recognize that the ecclesiastical power has any jurisdiction other that spiritual. II. Every ecclesiastic, whatever his degree, belonging to the Mex- ican Church, is a subject of the Government of the Nation. III. The property known as property held in mortmain is a collection of alms and the Government may make use of same by undertaking to re- lieve the needs for which they were intended. Every inhabitant of the Republic, without any exceptions as to jurisdiction, rank or sex, denying or opposing the right of Congress to dispose of ecclesiasti- cal property pursuant to the foregoing Articles, shall be declared guilty of sedition and shall be tried by the Courts in accordance with the laws of the "Recopilacion de Castilla". During all that time the noble stand adopted by Valentin Go- mez Farias stood out prominently. No threat had been sufficient to make him waver. In view of this attitude of the Vice President the clergy did not hesitate to foment the infamous rebellion of the "polkas", in those painful circumstances in which the Mexican people gave eloquent proof of its great patriotism, they were the ones chosen to start that Civil War that they had been preparing for so many years. It was an absurd plan (Notes on the War between Mexico and the United States, Chap. 7) which was to destroy the form of Government established in August, and the sole tendency 56 of which was to secure the property of the clergy and to introduce anew the monarchical ideas of the administration of General Paredes. The unpatriotic tumult of the "polkos" came to an end on the 20th of March, on the arrival of Santa Anna, it having been found nec- essary to suppress the Vice-Presidency in order to get rid of Go- mez Farias. The decree of March 28th, 1847, conferred extraor- dinary powers on the executive to raise any amount up to twenty million pesos, on the least onerous conditions possible and in such manner as he might deem advisable. Jose Fernando Ramirez makes the following comment on the preceding decree: "The clergy, which had in its protests repeated ad nauseam that it would resist for conscientious reasons alone, out of fear of the tremendous censure of ancient and new councils, and that it fought to defend the integrity of the canons of the Church and of ecclesiastical immunities; the clergy, finally, that said that it did not oppose the quotas but only the principles and stated that it would not give a single cent by way of subsidy, unless with prior permission from Rome, submitted to a charge heavier than that originally exacted, and at the same time recognized the legitimacy of that power on which it had previously called down the curse of God and of men; a curse that dyed the pavement of our streets in blood and at the same time opened wide the doors of the Republic to an alien enemy". How unpatriotic is the conduct of the Church in Mexico at the time of the invasion of 1847, when it resolutely supported a foreign Government which it likewise surreptitiously deceived. These pages of the history of Mexico are perhaps to Mexicans the most painful, and it is exceedingly grievous to see how political passions overrode all interest in favor of the Nation. In order to form an idea of the power and influence of the Church at that time, we take the principal data from the report submitted by Secretary Castaneda in 1857: "The Republic is divid- ed into eleven bishoprics, of which seven are filled, two are about to be filled while those of Sonora and California are vacant. The nine Cathedral Churches and the Collegiate Church of Guadalupe possessed one hundred and eighty-three canonries, of which one hundred and four were filled and seventy-nine were vacant. The secular clergy was composed of 3232 members, who served 1222 par- ishes, 828 as regular incumbents and the others provisionally; its numbers had that year been increased by 65 persons, not counting 57 the diocese of Durango, 166 ecclesiastics having fallen victims to the cholera morbus. There were ten seminaries, with 858 boarders, 2361 day pupils, 26 chairs of theology, 5 of canon law, 15 civil and natural law, 2 of Church history, 27 of philosophy, 23 of Latinity and Spanish grammar, one of Greek and two of French. It seemed that in comparison with the preceding year the number of pupils who boarded and of day pupils had increased; but the scant progress achieved by education in the establishments under the charge of the clergy is likewise obvious. As regards the regulars there were thir- teen provinces with 144 monasteries, 32 curacies, 40 missions and 1043 members, which compared to the figures for the preceding years, showed a diminution of 101. The six colleges for propaganda fide included 252 members, including 22 novices and 82 lay brothers. The eight oratories of St. Philip Neri had 43 members, and the mon- astery of San Camilo in the Capital 16. There were in addition 58 convents for nuns, 48 subject to ordinary ecclesiastical jurisdic- tion and 10 to that of the regulars, with 1474 nuns, 533 children and 1266 maidservants. And lastly, there were 5 establishments of Sisters of Charity with 37 sisters and 41 novices". Subsequently to the above happenings, the Government came under the control of the Moderate Party, which treated the clergy with every consideration. "The Moderate Party", asserts Toro "not only refrained from attacking the clergy but treated it with the greatest consideration, and the opinions of those high dignitaries of the Church so obstinate, ignorant and prejudiced, was listened to with respect by the members of the administration, but no nobility of conduct could be expected from the clergy. With the Governments of Pena, Herrera and Arista, begins the period of work and con- spiracy on behalf of a monarchy, after fomenting, as always, constant clerical revolution until the Conservatives should again compass their own mean interests. Under the Government of Arista, and from his hacienda known as "Pomoca", Ocampo, as we shall set forth in greater detail hereinafter, submitted a petition to the Congress of the State of Michoacan in regard to tariff reform and parochial perquisites. The revolution of Ayutla presaged a period of such great importance to the destinies of the Republic that it made Fon- seca, the Minister of Justice exclaim in 1852, "The natural course of events, the lengthy time during which the metropolitan diocese was without a shepherd in the early years of independence and the agitations throughout the country which have to so great a degree contributed to demoralize the great mass of the people and to relax 58 all the resources of power and authority, have exercised a pernicious influence on the secular and regular clergy; the former, although with many and honorable exceptions, is far from possessing the knowledge, doctrine and virtues inherent in its sacred ministry, which qualities exercise on human society an influence as beneficial as it is powerful. The latter, from the two standpoints of habits and knowl- edge, is in a still more deplorable condition, and one is aghast if one considers the enormous gap existing between monastic institutions at this date and those which at the time of the Conquest, by display- ing truly generous and evangelical, zeal, converted the natives and defended them from military oppression". The revolt at Puebla was financed by the money of the clergy, and this was why the Government, after putting it down, decided to use the property of that diocese in order to pay the expenses of the campaign and compensation to the widows and orphans of the soldiers killed. On September 24, 1855, Juan Alvarez arrived at Iguala, where he convened a National Junta that was to meet on October 4 in the city of Cuernavaca, in order to appoint a provisional president pur- suant to the Plan of Ayutla. Said Junta appointed General Alvarez himself, and he in that capacity called an extraordinary Congress to constitute the Nation under the form of a democratic and representa- tive republic, to meet on February 14th, 1856, at Dolores; but a subsequent decree designated the Capital as the seat of that Congress. Once President Alvarez had appointed all the members of his Cabinet, disagreements began to show themselves as a consequence of differing opinions, especially between the Minister for War, Co- monfort, a partisan of a policy of temporizing, and Melchor Ocampo, whose ideas were radical. The Revolution of Ayutla that raised General Alvarez to power was an eminently popular and well engineered movement. The clear- minded liberal spirits who cooperated with the elderly President stood for a hope of progress for the future of the Republic. But the clergy, as always, continued its obstinate opposition, and circum- stances compelled the President to resign, probably on account of the crime of having enacted the Law of November 23, 1855, usually called the Juarez Law. In fact, the passing of that Law was due to the great man of Reform, the distinguished patriot, Benito Juarez, one of the eminent men of our country, a former Governor of Oaxa- ca, who was virulently persecuted by the dictator Santa Anna, on account of his advanced liberal ideas, and who joined the Revolution 59 of Ayutla. In the Cabinet of General Alvarez he was appointed to be Minister of Justice, and from this post he began his offensive against the clergy. As a result of the promulgation of the Laws of Disentailment active opposition began again. All these circumstances did not, on the other hand, constitute a reason why the clergy themselves should not avail itself of those law; a Spanish writer, Anselmo de la Por- tilla, in his book entitled "Gobierno del General Comonfort" narrates the following: "Listen to something that meant the culmination of the scandals of the time; the Archbishop suspended the dean of the Metropolitan Church and two other canons that were highly respect- ed by the Chapter and by the City, because they had obtained the award to themselves of the house in which they lived, by availing themselves of the rights granted to them by the Law of Disentail- ment. Each one of them pleaded in defense that the award had not been made to him, but to his sisters; the case became notorious because everyone understood what there really was at the bottom; the liberal journals pointed to the case as evidence of the fact that that Law was not, after all, so very impious. "On this same subject, the French historian, Lefevre, states that the Archbishop of Mex- ico, while on the one hand he excommunicated the persons to whom the property of the Church was awarded, did not fail privately to advise his own good friends, to hasten to acquire such property". The territory of the Nation was again drenched in blood at the instigation of the clergy. A priest, Ortega y Garcia, at Zacapoaxtla, under the war cry of "Religion and privileges" began a revolt, An- tonio Haro y Tamariz having later been named as the leader of the movement, and having entered Puebla on January 22, 1856, only to be defeated by Comonfort at Ocotlan. Al these happenings did not prevent the holding of the Congress of 1856. Said Congress began its work by appointing Arriaga, Ya- nez, Olvera, Romero, Diaz, Cardenas, Guzman, Escudero and Echa- nove to draw up a draft for a Constitution. In the meantime, Con- gress revised the acts of Santa Anna and the campaign against the reactionaries of Puebla, at the session of April 15. (Zarco, "Historia del Congreso Constituyente"). The discussion began of the political reforms proposed by the Liberal Party. A study was made of the Juarez Law which was ratified in the face of Castaneda's opposition. The moderate ideas of Comonfort threatened to disturb harmonious relations with Congress. The Minister of Finance, Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, submitted to Congress of its approval a bill which stated 60 that as one of the greatest obstacles in the way of the prosperity and progress of the Nation was the stagnation or want of free circu- lation of a great part of its real property, the fundamental basis of public wealth, the President had in the exercise of the powers con- ferred upon him by the Plan of Ayutla, decreed the following, 1.-All rural and urban real property at present owned or administered by any civil or ecclesiastical corporations in the Republic as the owners thereof, shall be awarded in fee to the persons holding them under lease at a value corresponding to the rents at present paid by them, computed at the rate of 6% per annum. 2.-Similar awards shall be made to those who at present possess rural or urban real property belonging to such corporations, on an annuity basis, the payments made by them to be capitalized at 6% in order to determine the value of such property. 3.-Under the denomination of corporations are included all religious communities of both sexes, brotherhoods and privileged brotherhoods, congregations, confraternities, parishes, city councils, colleges and in general all establishments or foundations the character of which is of perpetual or indefinite duration. 4.-Any city real estate directly leased by such corporations to a number of tenants, shall be awarded by capitalizing the sum total of the rents paid in favor of the present tenant paying the highest rent, and in the case of there being two or more of such tenants, to the oldest. As regards farming property in the same situation, to each lease- holder shall be awarded the portion leased by him. These first ar- ticles of the Lerdo Bill made the Archbishop of Mexico state that this Congress would not allow him to comply with the law, and he proposed that the matter be referred to the Pope for settlement, to which Ezequiel Montes replied that the Government recognized no one as superior to it to arrange the purely temporal matters of the nation, but that the Archbishop could apply to the Pope in order to set his conscience at rest. The law was passed by 84 votes to 8. The draft of Constitution had been read out on July 4, discussion thereof began, and great surprise was caused when the eminent Ignacio Ramirez, whose nom de plume was "El Nigromante" (the Magician) objected to the preamble of the constitution in which the name of God was invoked. Those are never to be forgotten words of that eminent master destined to be a subject of meditation by many generations of Mexicans. "The charge of drawing up a Con- stitution is too worthy of respect for me to begin my work with a lie". And so in each one of the provisions of that immortal body of law were incorporated each one of the chief gains of the liberal 61 belief. The Constitution was issued on February 5 and proclaimed on March 17, and orders given that it be sworn by the whole of the authorities and public servants of the Republic. Dr. Parra, in his essay on "Reform in Mexico", cites the deplor- able, nay scandalous fact that in Colima, where the Governor Man- uel Alvarez, was murdered (one of his very last acts having been his public acceptance of and taking the oath to respect the new Constitution) "he was not interred until after his body had been whipped and his family made to pay two thousand pesos for his burial". Another fact also cited by Dr. Parra is likewise worthy of mention, if only for the maniac fury which it reveals: that same Manuel Alvarez "who was noted for his intelligent devotion to re- ligion and for his great virtues and unexceptionable conduct, merely because he wrote in moderate terms in defense of the Constitution, had insults heaped on him by the representatives of the clergy, they having among other names, called him a heretic and impious and excommunicated him, after they had tried to make him look ridicu- lous and affected him to despise him as insane". Among the bishops who were most exasperated by the proclamation of the Constitution and who in open rebellion refused to recognize it, alleging that it contained attacks on the freedom of the Church, the irascible bishop of Michoacan Clemente de Jesus Murguia, drew on himself unfor- tunate celebrity by his writings and due to the way in which he registered a protest with the Minister of Justice, refusing to accept the Constitution "because it was in opposition to the sovereignty, in- dependence and dignity of our Holy Church", and due to the violence and virulence of the sarcastic attacks in which he gave free rein to his bitterness, calling the new Code the apple of discord and many other things. He subsequently retracted those opinions, which he had expressed without that thought and discretion that were nec- essary. The clergy then launched a fresh attack on the Laws of the Republic. Comonfort indulged in dreams of reconciliation, an im- possibility from every point of view. His envoy to Rome, Ezequiel Montes, was not even received by the Roman Pontiff. It was nec- essary that in the midst of the confusion of political events, a man should arise who would have the courage required to face all the ills afflicting the Mexican State, and that man was Benito Juarez. That notable patriot, as Vice-President lent moral strength to the wavering Government of Comonfort. The clergy was on the lookout for and awaited the turn of political events and its work was crown- 62 ed by obtaining control of the conscience and will of President Co- monfort, whom the clergy supposed to be entirely dominated by the so-called Plan of Tacubaya, a coup d'etat the consequences of which were greatly reflected on Mexico's progress and for which the obsti- nacy and pertinacity of the Mexican clergy were alone responsible. Zuloaga under the aegis of Comonfort seized the capital and disown- ed the constitution of 1857. Juarez was imprisoned. The Plan of Tacubaya seemed to be about to bear its first fruits. On abandoning the Capital of the Republic he released Juarez who began his plan for reorganization. As the patriot from Oaxaca found himself unable to make resistance to Osorio and Miramon, he left Guadalajara and later on Colima also, and proceeded to Veracruz, having previously appointed General Santos Degollado as Commander in Chief of the Constitutionalist forces. On April 14, 1858, he boarded a ship at Manzanillo in the company of Ocampo, Ruiz, Guzman and Prieto, and arrived in Veracruz on May 4 of that same year, due to the scarcity of means of communication. Miramon, who had previously written from Guadalajara announc- ing his refusal to acknowledge the established order of things, in what was designated the "Plan de Navidad" (Christmas) arrived in Mexico on January 21st, and reinstated Zuloaga in the Presidency. Zuloaga was an insignificant person, for which reason Miramon had himself appointed as substitute President and formed a cabinet com- posed of moderate elements that did not meet with the clergy's approval. On July 12th Miramon issued a manifesto reading as follows: "The arms of the Supreme Government have invariably been victorious in battle and yet no one submits and the revolution is not stamped out-- why is this? because the force of armies is not sufficient to bring a revolution to a successful close, because its prin- ciples must be unfolded, and the needs that gave rise to it must be relieved; and after certain vague undertakings he promised to settle the question of the secularization of the property of the Church, and appealed to the sense of probity, and wisdom of the venerable clergy of Mexico. On that same day Juarez issued one of the most important laws of the Reform movement: 1.-All the property which the secular and regular clergy have been administering under divers heads shall become the property of the Nation, whatever be the kind of tenements, rights and choses in action they may consist of, or the name or use to which they may have been put. In the preamble to the said law is set forth with absolute clearness the cause of the evils afflicting the Republic, and the illustrious patriot referred to 63 the criminal interference of the clergy, "that if on other occasions some few persons might doubt the fact that the clergy was one of the constant hindrances in the way of the establishment of public peace, to-day everyone admits that it is in open rebellion against the sovereign" An eminent Mexican jurist, Jacinto Pallares, says (op. cit. p. XLI) "As the clergy owned capital yielding 8 million pesos annually, with dignitaries enjoying emoluments amounting to 130,000 pesos in the case of the Bishop of Mexico, 110,000 in that of the Bishop of Puebla, 110,000 for Michoacan, 90,000 pesos for the Bishop of Jalisco, 35,000 pesos for the Bishop of Durango, etc., with an organization of its own and enjoying a privileged jurisdiction that withdrew it from the national sovereignty, it was not possible for the Mexican Government to exact obedience from so powerful a class, when its annual (federal) budget only amounted to 24,000,000 pesos and its Presidents or Chief Magistrates have never earned more than 36,000 pesos. Nationalization of Church property was then an economic as well as political achievement; economic, because it threw back into circulation and into the fruitful stream of individ- ual ownership 200 million pesos worth of real property and money lent on mortgage the returns from which were devoted to superfluous expenses such as processions, solemnities, the support of useless mon- asteries, etc.; and political because it deprived the clergy of its weapons, whose tendencies, from their very nature contrary to the progressive tendencies of any civil government had impelled it to spend the funds it held in its hands on continual political intrigues and revolutions, from that of Escalada, in 1833, on behalf of privi- leges, up to that at Puebla, in 1856, contrary to the program of Ayutla. "The disorder provoked by the religious started up again, but the faith of Juarez is immense, his activity is prodigious, his understanding of the great work he is carrying out clear and precise. Al last, he entered the City of Mexico on January 11, 1861, appoint- ed his Cabinet and proclaimed his program which said: "the Reform law are not, as stated by party spirit, an act of hostility to the re- ligion professed by a majority of the Mexicans; far, from being so, they grant to the Church the fullest liberty, and leave it free to carry on its work in the spirit and conscience of the people; they separate it from the unworthy influences of politics and put an end to that fatal partnership of two powers that gave rise to such scan- dalous situations as that the Governments abused the name of re- ligion by oppressing it, and at others by the clergy's becoming an 64 instrument of domination. The Government is firmly resolved to carry into effect the reforms; to introduce them throughout the Re- public and to make their benefits felt by spreading them over all classes of society, from those at the top to the most destitute". He had previously issued an enactment with absolute reason, suppressing the Mexican Legation at Rome as being useless, thus replying with dignity to the slights suffered by the Mexican Nation at the hands of the Vatican. He then proceeded to dispose of the vast property belonging to the clergy. At that time the clerical party which, as later graphically expressed in a letter from the Empress Carlota to the Empress Eu- genie "Would with pleasure abandon its place of honor and its cross, but not its income", attempted to make a supreme effort to overthrow Juarez and to save that property for which it had a hundred times, betrayed the country. Its hatred of Juarez is cleverly described by Emile Ollivier in his book on the French intervention; "The Mexicans rallied round him on account of his personal honesty and the strength of his convictions; all the creoles professing modern ideas followed him. On the other hand, the hatred felt by the reactionary classes and the clergy for that incorruptible and invincible little man, who had risen from such humble origin, was unbounded". A committee of reactionaries headed by Juan N. Almonte and inspired by the turbulent Archbishop of Mexico, Labastida, set out for Europe and their machinations did not constitute a source of pride even for the reactionaries themselves. Napoleon the Third was induced to believe that the saner element in Mexico was desirous of alien intervention to restore peace disturbed by factions described in dismal terms. The same historian quoted above, who came to Mex- ico with the French Army, in Chap. I, p. 8 of his work, describes the clerical party as follows, after praising and describing Juarez, per- sonality in vivid terms: "the conduct of the conservatives was very different they treated their unfortunate land like a country conquer- ed by blood and fire". On the arrival of the invading troops and after they had violated the agreements concluded at La Soledad, the French marched on Mexico, and gradually came to realize the misapprehension into which they had been led, which induced Gen- eral Lorencez to write down the following words, that had already been uttered by Prim and by Wyke; "we have no one on our side here". The reactionary party, now almost destroyed, is abhorred. The liberals have seized the property of the clergy, which property constitutes the greater part of Mexico". Notwithstanding the indi- 65 cations received by the French to the effect that they were not welcome, there was one moment (when the Metropolitan Chapter welcomed the invading army headed by General Forey, the insolent Almonte and the traitor Marquez, with a solemn Te Deum in the Cathedral) when Forey was able to believe that only an insignificant faction actually opposed the plans of the conservatives, and that the latter did represent the popular will, and for some time he led the Emperor to believe this, all the more as General Forey did not see things through his own eyes but through those of Dubois de Saligny, whom the Emperor had charged him to take for his guide and leader as having a through knowledge of the Mexican people and polities. The clerical commission stayed in Europe and their activities were only evinced by the measures taken by Napoleon and the man- ner in which he controlled the tactics of the French Army, as said Committee, the organ and instrument of the clerical party, served as a glass through which the Emperor gazed at the Mexican question, and construed the varied information received by him. Thus it was that although he wished, before taking the Archduke Maximilian's candidacy seriously, that the vote of all the inhabitants of Mexico be taken, he succeeded in convincing himself that even if the vote was not absolutely representative yet that it was sufficient to constitute good grounds for awaiting the consolidation of Maximilian's throne. Saligny was a politician allied to the clergy, the one who worked the manoeuver for the benefit of the army; and when the provisional Gov- ernment or Regency was established, and the Archduke accepted the throne, Saligny was able to boast that he had raised to power the "retrograde clerical party" as Ollivier called it. This is how that writer describes the moment when the reactionary party achieved the vic- tory it thought would be final: "the victors wished to profit by their triumph; they intimated to the holders of nationalized property that they did not look upon them as the owners.. Lessees were warned not to pay their rent, because they would run the risk of having to pay twice over. The last sacraments and Christian burial were denied to those who declined to make restitution. An official provision forbade work on Sundays. Another provided that all must kneel when the Holy Sacrament passed by and that they should remain kneeling until it disappeared from sight. Records relating to civil status were re- turned to the clergy and titles of nobility re-established, as was the ancient Order of Guadalupe; like vultures that have scented a dead body, the leaders of the retrograde party hastened back; Santa Anna's 66 son landed at Veracruz to prepare the way for his father, and Mi- ramon arrived in Mexico". They were ready for a spectacular and fi- nal victory; the Emperor would soon arrive, the Laws or Reform would be repealed, the coveted property of the Church, which cons- tituted the true motive of the reactionaries for bringing about inter- vention, would return to the possession of the clergy, and the latter would receive the reward for its treason, by again becoming the lord of all it surveyed. Their illusions, however, were short-lived. The Emperor came and was received with a specious show of solemnity organized by the clerical party, and he was given to understand that he had come to subserve the interests of the Conservative Party. How great must the surprise of the clericals have been when they found that the Emperor was not disposed to make the protection of the clergy's interests one of his aims, but to pursue a policy of concilia- tion by ratifying the laws providing for secularization of Church property. This change of course was perhaps not wholly spontaneous, but may have been dictated by Napoleon the Third, as the following quotations from Ollivier would seem to make this point clear: "A complete change had come over the Emperor's mind. He had succeed- ed in seeing through the cloud of lies in which he had been enwrap- ped; he had guessed just what kind of reactionary work they want- ed to make him a tool of; he had decided on a change of course and on calling Saligny he discarded the conservative party, that had pro- moted the adventure". And elsewhere: "Bazaine proceeded to carry out the new instructions received from the Emperor. He annulled the decree on sequestration and all the other reactionary measures adopt- ed by the Regency; and although he postponed the time of giving security to holders of Church property, until Monseigneur Labastida should arrive... The latter told him that he had come back for the purpose of reconstructing the domain seized from the clergy". Ba- zaine, nonplussed, answered that his instructions were to the contrary. The Prelate replied that he had laid his views before His Majesty, who had seemed to approve them; and that his dignity and his con- science forbade him to accept any solution until authorized therefor by the Holy Father". "There are several other passages in which Marshal Bazaine himself had acrimonious encounters with the Arch- bishop, who, he said, had become unbearable on account of his resis- tance". Ollivier adds that "seven Bishops joined the Archbishop in a protest against what they called the spoliation of the Church, and threatened any one cooperating therein with major excommunication alluding of course to the Emperor himself as well; they reached the 67 point of revealing their true attitude so very clearly, by saying with- out circumlocution that if he recognized. the validity of the secular- ization of the property of the Church, what was the good of Inter- vention? That the Emperor had by them been called to repeal the Laws of Juarez, not to ratify and execute them". From the foregoing quotations, and especially from the last which contains statements made by the clergy, no one can have any further doubts as to what was the true meaning of intervention, nor as to who those guilty thereof were, nor as to the responsibility ac- cruing to that baneful and ambitious clergy in the bitterest period of the history of our country. "The tragedy of 1867", says Dr. Parra, "consummated and made the triumph of liberal and reformist ideas final and national. In 1861 the Conservative Party had only been conquered and disarmed; but it existed, and agitated and was a constant menace to peace, and to its intrigues were due the fatal tendency towards the establishment in Mexico of an Empire; but after the frightful breakdown of the latter, the Conservative Party became totally disorganized and ceased to play any part whatsoever on the political stage, to occupy its place in the realms of history". The second Congress opened its session on May 9, 1861, and shortly afterward declared Licenciado Benito Juarez Constitutional President for the 1862 term, he being the true representative, prop- erly speaking, and the hero par excellence and champion not only of reform, but of the integrity of the Republic in the face of invasion and during the Empire. Let us hark back a few years to exalt one of the martyrs of reform; we refer to Melcher Ocampo. One of the special grounds on which the clergy hated so fair-minded a man as Ocampo, was his deep knowledge of theological matters and canon law, as shown in the brilliant polemic carried on with a Catholic priest who concealed his identity under the pseudonym of a "A Parish priest in Michoacan", and in his celebrated memorial to the Congress of the State in which he proposed amendment's to parochial exemp- tions and perquisites, March, 1859. In order to give an idea as to how prompt the parish priests of those times were in exacting pay- ment for all religious services, it will be sufficient to remember, on account of its significance the actual fact that afforded the upright reformer his opportunity and gave rise to his famous representation to Congress; a poor Women of the humble class went to see the parish priest of Marivatio, the Rev. Agustin Duenas, to ask him what she should do to bury her dead husband's body, as she had no money for 68 the funeral expenses, being entirely destitute. The priest answered: "well if you have no money for his funeral, salt him own and eat him, as I cannot feed the vicars, the sexton and the bell-ring on charity". The unfortunate widow, knowing that Ocampo often passed through Maravatio, went and told him, weeping, what had happened, and then Ocampo paid for the funeral, not without taking note of the occur- rence to which he very clearly alludes in the memorial to Congress. When the lawful Government of Benito Juarez as Provisional President of the Republic, was restored, he addressed to the Nation a vigorous and optimistic manifesto: "Mexicans", said he, "I con- gratulate you on the reestablishment of peace and on the rich fruits of the victories achieved by our valiant hosts... Thanks to you who learnt to undertake and carry through the gigantic enterprise of democracy in Mexico, an armed oligarchy no longer exists in the land of Hidalgo and Morelos, nor that other more terrible oligarchy of the clergy which seemed to be unconquerable due to the influence of time, interests and prestige. Reform was the champion of democ- racy and the People has spilt its blood profusely in order to make it victorious over all its enemies. Neither freedom, nor constitutional order nor progress, nor peace, nor the independence of the Nation, would have been possible without Reform". On December 8, 1867, the IVth Congress declared that Juarez had been elected to the Presidency of the Republic and Lerdo de Tejada to the Supreme Court of Justice. The unexpected death of Juarez threw the Republic into consternation on July 18, 1872, and Licenciado Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada replaced him in the Presi- dency, first provisionally and after that as constitutional President. "The conservatives", says Dr. Nicolas Leon in his History of Mexico", p. 481; ... thought that they would have in Lerdo, it not a protector, at least one who would connive at their ideas; that was why they were tremendously surprised when in May the police received orders to dissolve the clandestine convents of nuns existing in the Capital of the Republic, and also the houses of the Jesuits, who were expelled from the country as undesirable aliens. The Sev- enth Constitutional Congress began its work on September 16, 1863, and one of the first things it did was to write into the Constitution the Reform Laws enacted by Juarez as far back as 1859. We shall return to these additions later on. The importance of the legislative work of President Lerdo, a li- beral from every angle and an intelligent and energetic collaborator of Juarez consisted in the important decrees of September, No- 69 vember and December, 1874, which clarified and specifically stated the principles of reform such as the separation of Church and State, the civil nature of the marriage contract, the prohibition for all religious institutions from acquiring real property or money lent on mortgage thereon; the replacement of the taking of oaths by a formal affirmation as to speaking the truth or performing any obli- gations contracted; the refusal to recognize or to permit the erection or establishment of any monastic orders; the creation of a Chamber of Senators; the establishment of freedom of the press with no bounds other than respect for private life, good morals and the pub- lic peace; the prohibition or religious teaching and of the official practice of any religious worship of any denomination whatsoever in all the establishments of the Federation, and of the State and Mu- nicipalities, the public performance of any religious acts outside the Churches and the use of any special and distinctive dress by the ministers of any religion; the nullity of the designation of any min- isters of religion as heirs or legatees, and also the final denial of any privileges that might have been enjoyed by them, under the Law; the capacity of the States of the Union to legislate on the civil status of persons and the creation of the Offices of the Civil Register. **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended -- The Free Market-Place of Ideas. 70 CHAPTER FOUR Licenciado Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada raises the Laws of Re- form to constitutional precepts and issues the organic law re- lating thereto.-Frank opposition on the part of the Catholic clergy to abide by these laws.-The plan of Tuxtepec.-Assis- tance rendered by the clergy to General Diaz in order to de- pose Lerdo de Tejada.-President Diaz and his political ad- ministration.-His conciliatory policy.-The activities economic, political and social of the clergy during that period.-Results of the Creelman Conference.-The Plan of San Luis Potosi.- Part played by the clergy in the elections of 1910.-Part played by the clergy in the rebellion of Pascual Orozco, in that of Gen- eral Feliz Diaz and in the tragic occurrences of February 1913. Licenciado Benito Juirez, President of the Republic, died on July 18th, 1872, after a life of services to his country, having proved the savior of the republican principles embodied in the Constitution of February 5th, 1857, and after having issued and put into force the Laws of Reform. At his death, the Catholic clergy of Mexico had been almost completely defeated, this clergy that had shown itself the bitter enemy of those precepts, and whose representative, the Conservative Party had suffered two tremendous setbacks in the struggle; the first, an economic one, consisting in the nationaliza- tion of a great part of its property, real estate and moneys lent on mortgages, destined to carry on indefinitely the Civil War, in the hope that victory would imply the abrogation of the Constitution and of the laws above mentioned; the second, a political and a social one, since the Government of the Republic had by act of law taken con- trol of all acts pertaining to the civil status of the people, making these acts legally valid without reference to any religious creeds, and definitely establishing complete freedom of worship. The country appointed as President Don Sebastian Lerdo de Te- jada, who had ably assisted Don Benito Juarez in the bitter struggle 71 against the Conservative Party, and who in order that the Laws of Reform should not be easily abrogated and to confirm their enforce- ment, raised them to the rank of constitutional precepts on Septem- ber 25th, 1873 in accordance with the following amendment: "The Constitution shall be amended as follows: "Art. 1-The State and the Church shall be independent one from the other. Congress shall not issue laws either establishing or prohibiting any religion whatsoever. "Art. 2-Matrimony is a civil contract. This and any other act pertaining to the civil status of the people shall be vested ex- clusively in the civil authorities, in the terms by law provided, and shall have the force and validity which these laws bestow on them. "Art. 3-No religious institution shall acquire real estate nor moneys lent on mortgages with the sole exception established by Article 27 of the Constitution. "Art. 4-A simple promise to speak the truth and to carry out the obligations assumed, shall substitute the religious oath with its effects and penalties. "Art. 5-No one shall be compelled to render personal services without just compensation and without his full consent. The State shall not permit any contract, covenant or agreement to be carried out having for its object the abridgment, loss or irrevocable sacrifice of the liberty of man, whether by reason of labor, education or re- ligious vows. The law therefore does not recognize the establish- ment of monastic orders nor shall it countenance their existence, whatever be their denomination, or for whatever purpose they be contemplated. Nor shall the law countenance any covenant in virtue of which any person agree to his own proscription or exile". Somewhat later, on December 14th, 1874, the organic law re- lating to the above amendment and reforms to the Constitution was issued and as Article 21 of the same provides word for word that "a simple promise to speak the truth and to carry out the obliga- tions assumed substitutes the religious oath with its effects and penalties, but one and the other are only legal requisites when it be a question of asserting a fact before the courts, in which case the first shall be given, and the second on entering upon an appointment or post. In this last case the oath will take the form of a formal promise without any reservation whatsoever, to keep and cause to be kept the political constitution of the United Mexican States with its additions and reforms and the laws emanating from the same. This oath shall be taken by everybody entering upon an appoint- 72 ment or public post whether these depend from the Federal Govern- ment, from the State Governments or from the Municipalities. In all other cases where according to the law the oath produces civil effects, the affirmation shall not produce them even though it should be taken". It become indispensable that all officers and employees of the Federal Government, of the State Governments, and of the Municipalities should make that affirmation as by law provided in order to continue or to enter upon, as the case might be, the discharge of their respective posts. With the purpose of disobeying the Constitution and the Laws of Reform, and of preventing the Catholics who held office under the administration from making the affirmation by law provided, the clergy decreed that all those who should make the affirmation would be excommunicated, declaring by means of pastorals of the Bishops and by sermons publicly preached by the priests that those persons, that is to say the Catholics, should not obey the Constitu- tion of the Republic and the laws above mentioned. But the clergy was not content with these measures and after inciting the Catholic masses to rebellion they provoked various uprisings led by priests in person, especially in the States of Michoacan and Mexico, in the course of which all kinds of crimes were committed against private persons and against the authorities. The rebels who were known by the nickname of "Cristeros" attacked defenseless villages murdering, violating and sacking and the atrocities they committed reached to such a point that at An- gangueo they captured the Mayor, tarred him and set fire to him, merely because he had sworn allegiance to the Constitution; at Zinaca- tepee they murdered the public employees who had also sworn their allegiance substituting them by others who had not done so. But the rebels went further yet with the pretensions of legalizing the rebellious attitude, for on November the 31st 1875, at Urecho they proclaimed a revolutionary political plan with the sole object of call- ing together a constituent assembly to abrogate the Constitution and the Laws of Reform, of recognizing as the sole religion of State the Catholic Apostolic religion, and of a settlement of the re- ligious question in Mexico by means of a Concordat to be entered into with the Pope. The enemies of the President of the Republic don Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, were very numerous and among them appeared General Porfirio Diaz who had aspired to the presidential office from the time of Juarez; uprisings succeeded each other and taking advantage of these circumstances, in January 1876 General 73 Diaz proclaimed the Plan of Tuxtepec in the town of Ojitlan, Dis- trict of Tuxtepec, State of Oaxaca. Article 1 of this plan declared as supreme laws of the Nation the Constitution of 1857, the Act of Reform dated September 25th, 1873 and the Law of December 14th, 1874; Article 2 established as a fundamental principle that the President and the Governors of the States shall not be reelected; the third disowns all allegiance to the authority of Lerdo de Tejada and to the authorities of his Government; the fourth established that such Governors as supported the plan would be recognized and that those who did not support the plan would be replaced by the military authorities; the fifth provided that the supreme powers be elected two months after the occupation of the Capital; the sixth provided that the person appointed by the majority of the Govern- ors would hold the office of provisional president; and the ninth pro- vided that the military ranks of the members of the Army who sup- ported the plan would be recognized. Prior to the publication of this revolutionary plan, General Diaz went to Brownsville and after having published it, he amended it at Palo Blanco, within the national territory. By this amendment the Constitution of February 5th, 1857, is recognized and in general all the fundamental points of the amended plan but it was decreed that the President of the Supreme Court with his character of Vice President should be provisional president of the Republic, in case he should support the plan within one month after the date of publica- tion of the plan in the papers of the Capital; and appointing General Diaz as chief of the movement. Not only the partisans of General Diaz but also the discontented followers of Lerdo contributed to the downfall of the President of the Republic and as Article 8 of the revolutionary plan provided that the ranks of the military men would be recognized, many of- ficers who served at the time of the Empire, joined the ranks of the rebellion; but what is more yet the Catholic clergy contributed with its wealth since they were the only sector of the community that possessed it in the hope of obtaining from the new administration the realization of their aims. The part directly played by the clergy in the Revolution of Tux- tepec can be gathered authoritatively from various publications al- luded to by the author above named, among others the following: "...The connivance of the Porfiristas with the clergy can be de- duced from the tone of `El Constitutional', a clerical newspaper which said: `The situation of the country cannot be worse. Uprisings are 74 occurring on every side, armed bands exist in various States of the Republic, public opinion is unsettled, all the symptoms of a coming revolution make themselves felt. Unto the present the plan sup- ported by the rebels has not been issued and the chief who has led them has not yet appeared on the scene; but what appears most credible is that these uprisings proceed from conservative sources; that we are threatened by a religious struggle provoked by the Gov- ernnment who will be responsible for all the evils that this struggle will entail to the country". "This connivance of the Porfiristas with the clergy has now been made perfectly clear. The Catholic journalist Don Jose Joaquin Terrazas declared in 1885, in his paper `El Reino Guadalupano' that General Porfirio Diaz had agreed with the clergy in 1876 to enter into a Concordat with the Pope and to abrogate the Laws of Reform provided that the clergy should lend him all assistance in order to bring about the downfall of Lerdo de Tejada's Government, and if this Concordat was not carried out it was due to the energetic op- position of Lic. don Manuel Dublan and other liberal politicians whose arguments made an impression on the mind of General Diaz". The Plan of Tuxtepec having triumphed, General Diaz at the fall of Lerdo, proclaimed himself President of the Republic without regard to the terms of the plan which placed him in power, and dur- ing his term of office he busied himself preparing his first election, naturally without neglecting the urgent and important matters of his administration and the quelling of a number of uprisings. At the end of Diaz' first term of office, General Manuel Gonza- les became President, and at the end of the last name's term of of- fice General Diaz was elected President. During this second period of General Diaz, his first aim be- came to lay the foundation of his continuous rule, and in order to do so, he amended the Constitution as often as he thought fit, according to the needs of his policy, with the assistance of the Governors of the States, appointed by him and chosen among his friends, partisans and followers who also perpetuated their rules in those governments; the remaining offices of the administration, of the judicature and of the legislative power were also filled by followers of his without regard to their political or religious conviction, the only requisite demanded being submission and partisanship; in order to surround himself with friends and followers he used great tact and prudence calling to his side those persons who owing to their wealth or intelligence might have censur- 75 ed or attacked in any way his administration; if the person called upon accepted the blandishments he was given an appointment in accordance with his ability. It might have been well if those men had been raised to posts in the administration, judicature and in the legislative power, by the popular vote for then there would have been no objection, since they would have been raised to those posts by the will of the people, and in a nation where the popular vote is the decisive factor, they would have been consistent with their dem- ocratic and constitutional ideals; but nothing of the sort happened when the existing situation depended solely on the will of the Pres- ident. This policy consistently applied during the whole administrative period had for its aim the indefinite continuance in power, the actual establishment of a dictature and unquestioning compliance with the will of the President, without regard to original partisanship or friendship and thus he was able by violent means, condemned by society and historical criticism, to rid himself of Generals Corona and de la Cadena and of a group of liberals in the State of Veracruz. The majority of his cabinet ministers remained in office for lengthy periods but at the same time General Diaz created certain divergences between them with the object of preventing any one of them from rising too much to the fore in the public opinion or from aiming at the presidential office. With respect to his policy of conciliation we have the words of an author of the time who was much addicted to him: "General Diaz during his life as a revolutionary recognized the material and moral power of the clergy, the social power of the wealthy classes, the poli- tical force wielded by the Catholics, and realized that a tendency to exclusiveness is the shroud of Governments", and further on this same author expressed himself in the following terms: "He entered into personal relations with the higher clergy, accepted the insinua- tions to appoint Catholics, put a stop to persecution, and shut his eyes to the existence of conventicles, just as Juarez had done, though less openly". On this account it is easily understood that the princi- pal members of the clergy were represented in the three branches of the administration, holding posts in the Chambers, in the federal and local courts, in the ministries and in, the local governments. So conciliatory was the policy adopted at the time, so close the rela- tion between the government of Diaz and the Catholic clergy, that it was said insistently that it was owing to the suggestion of the 76 President of the Republic that the Vatican appointed as Archbishop of Oaxaca the Doctor in Theology, don Eulogio Gregorio Gillow". The members of the clergy of all denominations profited from so favorable a situation but the Catholic clergy did so in a greater measure, in open violation of the Constitution of 1857 and Laws of Reform. This was but natural and obvious seeing that the President was the first to violate the Constitution and the Laws of Reform and thus it came about that through influences put into play by the Clergy the last part of Article 27 of the Constitution was amended as follows: "Art. 27 ... The religious bodies and institutions, regard- less of their character, denomination, duration and purpose and the civil bodies or institutions when these be under the patronage, direct- ion, or administration of the first mentioned or of some minister of any religion whatsoever shall have no legal capacity to acquire in fee, or to administrate other real property than the buildings destined immediately and directly to the service or purposes of said bodies or institutions, nor shall they have legal capacity to acquire and administer money invested in mortgages". "The civil bodies or institutions finding themselves in the case above mentioned shall be able to acquire and administer in addi- tion to the above mentioned buildings, such real property and moneys invested in mortgages on the security of these, as may be required for the maintenance and purposes of the same, in accordance with the requisites and limitations prescribed by the Federal Law which to that effect shall be issued by Congress". In accordance with this amendment the clergy was able to acquire real property intended for the purposes of the institutions according to the interpretation given to the above mentioned consti- tutional precept. This real property consisted in presbyteries, arch- bishop's residences and bishop's residences to be used for the re- ligious practices of the clergy; but the clergy could not make these acquisitions in accordance with the Law issued by don Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada on December 14th, 1874, which only granted the beneficial use of said property, paramount ownership over which was reserved to the Nation. In view of this policy of conciliation and of the twisted inter- pretation given to the above mentioned constitutional amendment, the clergy let slip no opportunity offered to it of acquiring real prop- erty; and accordingly immediately acquired the presbyteries and annexes of the churches and of the archbishop's and bishop's resi- dences, under the pretext, in accordance with the constitutional pre- 77 cept as amended, that such property was directly intended for the purposes of the institution; other acquisitions of real property were carried out through the agency of the archbishops, bishops and priests and even through the agency of private persons related to the former, in whom the clergy had complete confidence, as a result of the constant proof they had given of their fidelity, and thus one can understand that archbishops, bishops, deacons, priests and other ministers of religion appeared as great landholders, owning estates, sumptuous residences, etc., as well as carrying out loans of every nature, generally guaranteed by real property as security; the clergy also carried out commercial transactions, forming limited companies with considerable capital in which appeared as principal shareholders archbishops, bishops, canons, deacons and priests, and in which the private members appeared as contributing ridiculously small sums; in these companies the Boards of Directors were formed by the prin- cipal lawyers of clerical opinion. Among these companies may be mentioned "La Esperanza, S. A.", formed on August 20th, 1907 in the city of Aguascalientes by Bishop Fray Jose Maria de Jesus Por- tugal, Vicar don Jose Maria Martinez, fathers don Francisco Ruiz y Guzman, don Francisco F. Diaz, don Ramon C. Gutierrez and Vicar don Ignacio B. Ricarbary, with a capital of $80,000.'00; "La Inmobil- iaria Michoacana" formed in November 1911, before Notary Lic. Francisco Barroso with a capital of $5,000,000.00, which capital was subscribed by an office called "Haceduria" which administered all the property of the clergy in Michoacan; "La Compania Compradora y Explotadora de Bienes Raices, S. A." incorporated on April 30th, 1909 before Notary Jesus Apolonio Vasquez in the city of Oaxaca, and in which appeared as shareholders don Eulogio Gregorio Gillow, Archbishop of Oaxaca, don Anastasio Santaella, Dean of the Cathe- dral of Oaxaca, don Jose Othon Nunez, Archdeacon and Doctor in Theology, canon don Manuel Aguirreolea, father Jesus Ochoa and father Luis G. Santaella; "La Piedad" formed on October 29th, 1902 in the city of Puebla counting amongst its founders canon Jose Vic- toriano Covarrubias, dean of the Chapter of the Diocese of Puebla, canon Joaquin Vargas and some private persons, with a capital of $300,000.00 which later was increased to $1,000,000.00. But the clergy did not limit itself to these transactions, but also tried to exploit the people by means of their education and to that end it founded rural schools in the Indian villages, as well as primary, superior and preparatory schools in various centers, in the capitals of the States and in the Federal District. As was to be expected the 78 education imparted in these schools was deficient as a consequence of their religious sectarianism, the text books used being in accord- ance with their religious ideas and practices, and in those establish- ments the pupils were obliged to carry out their religious practices including auricular confession. The State of Mexico was one of the States of the Republic in which those educational centers were established in the form of eight colleges, forty of these were established in the State of Michoa- can, forty in the Federal District, eight in the State of Oaxaca, twelve in the State of Guanajuato, eighteen in the State of Jalisco and thir- teen in the State of Puebla. Seminaries with the sole object of train- ing youths for the priesthood were established in those States also and in other States of the Republic. In the matter of public charity the clergy took charge for the purpose of speculation, of asylums, hospitals and foundations placing these institutions in charge of nuns and members of different orders and thus we find two of these institutions in the State of Puebla, a hospital and an orphanage in the State of Mexico, eighteen asy- lums, a lying-in hospital and two poor-houses; in the Federal Dis- trict; twelve asylums and an orphanage in the State of Michoacan; nine asylums, three hospitals and a lying-in hospital in the State of Jalisco and two hospitals in the State of Oaxaca. With the purpose of exerting direct influence in the election, thereby securing for its members seats in the Federal Chambers and in the Chambers in order to defend the interests of religion and in order to spread the teaching of the Catholic creed, the clergy ran a number of newspapers in the capital of the Republic and in the States; these newspapers in addition to the purposes above mention- ed showered fulsome praise on the President. Among the papers published in the Capital we find "El Pais", "La Nacion" and "La Voz de Mexico", in the State of Puebla "El Amigo de la Verdad" and in the city of Oaxaca circulated "La Voz de la Verdad". Owing to this policy of Conciliation the Laws of Reform also be- came a mockery for socially speaking they fell into complete oblivion and were applied with such laxity that Catholic processions took place almost everywhere in the country with great public display, sermons were preached in all the cemeteries, in those under the control of the authorities as well as those belonging to private in- dividuals and religious practices were carried out in public under the eyes of the authorities. Convents, monasteries and religious com- munities of both sexes existed openly and were winked at by the 79 authorities and the policy of conciliation with, and tolerance of the clergy was carried to such lengths that when the existence of a re- ligious congregation was reported the respective authorities ordered that it should be closed, but before carrying out the order the very same authorities gave official notice to the congregation in order to allow them to disappear of their own accord so that when the Agent appeared to carry out the order they usually found nothing and declared the report to have been made without foundation. It mattered little if the agents who came to carry out the closing order found that the building which had been reported as harboring a re- ligious congregation showed all the characteristics of a religious community such as cells, chapels and private oratories, the mere fact of not finding the actual nuns or monks and their belongings was sufficient to put an end to the matter. Convents, buildings for the carrying out of religious practices and rescue homes were very numerous in the Republic, it may be said that these establishments were in greater number than the, schools founded by the clergy and the seminaries intended for train- ing of priests and thus we may say that there existed twenty-four convents in the State of Puebla, eight houses for religious exercises and twenty-four convents and monasteries in Jalisco, seventeen con- vents, six houses for religious exercises and two rescue homes in Michoacan and fifteen convents and monasteries in the Federal Dis- trict. The wealth accumulated by the clergy during the Government of General Diaz may be reckoned at over eight hundred million pesos. This fabulous sum was made up as follows: a) by the balance re- maining after the enforcement of the Laws of Nationalization, of the properties owned by the clergy at the time of the enactment of said Laws, because not all those properties came under the disposi- tions of the Laws mentioned; b) by the sums produced by the "con- tentas" that is to say moneys demanded of private individuals by the clergy as a consequence of the adjudication of property which came under the disposition of the Law of Nationalization; as a matter of fact by virtue of the enforcement of these laws a great amount of property owned by the Church passed into the hands of the Nation and private individuals; the Church prohibited the acquisition by private persons of such property and also prohibited the sale thereof by the purchasers and to third parties that had played no part in the adjudication, it prohibited the acquisition of said property, but as in spite of prohibition, excommunications and anathemas thunder- 80 ed by the clergy against the private individuals who disobeyed these prohibitions, those same properties were purchased, the clergy con- tented itself with demanding of the people to whom the properties had been adjudicated or who had purchased them small sums to be paid in installments and which were known as "contentas" the paying of which freed the title from any conscientious objection; c) by the sums left by will by private persons to the Church or to priests in representation of the Church, in virtue of the freedom of disposing of one's property by will; d) by real property also left by will to the high ecclesiastical authorities, to priests and to persons appointed by them, especially if these were under their spiritual direction, with the circumstance that in many of these cases the relatives of the testators were left out of the will, thereby losing the rights that the Laws granted them; e) by the donations of private persons in favor of religious congregations and of the Church; f) by the dowries of the nuns before entering the Convents and taking religious vows; g) by the alms collected in the churches and other establishments exclusively intended for this purpose; h) by the sums produced by urban real property; i) by the proceeds of the estates, farms and lands of all kinds; j) by the interest of the capital invested in mort- gages and by the interest produced on money lent on personal prop- erty; k) by the tithes contributed by the Indian population specially in the States of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Jalisco, Durango and Oaxaca. It may safely be said that in the State of Puebla the clergy owned two hundred rural properties between estates, farms and lands; in the State of Michoacan the clergy owned twenty-six estates and farms; seven in the Federal District; eighteen in the State of Oaxaca, thirty-seven in the State of Guanajuato and no less than twenty-five establishments for the collection of tithes, and twenty- eight in Jalisco. All the statistical data above mentioned has been taken from the archives of the office of the Attorney General of the Republic, in a cursory manner, without including such data corres- ponding to the other States of the Republic. The famous Conference between the President of the Republic, General Porfirio Diaz and the American newspaperman, Creelman, afforded the Mexican people an opportunity for political organization in order effectively to exercise the free right of vote in the elections of the President of the Republic, deputies and senators, and magis- trates of the Supreme Court of Justice, elections which were to take place during the month of June 1910. It would be irrelevant to give an account of the diverse phases of this political campaigns such 81 a thing would fall outside the scope of this work, but the parties opposing the official candidacy appointed as their candidate for the Presidency don Francisco I. Madero and for the vice-presidency Dr. Francisco Vazquez Gomez. The official element formed by the party called "Cientifico" and the militant clericals opposed these candidacies with the result that in the elections of the month of June owing to official pressure, president Diaz was again elected. The political party headed by the popular Candidate urged Congress to declare the Presidential elections void, a demand which Congress ignored, and accordingly in the month of October of the year 1910, senor Madero proclaimed his revolutionary program known as "Plan de San Luis Potosi". Article I of this Plan declared void the election of President and Vice-President of the Republic, of deputies and senators and of magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice. Article II disclaims allegiance to the Government of General Diaz and to all the author- ities appointed by him; the final paragraph of Article III reads as follows: "Owing to unfair application of the law on vacant lands a great number of small holders, mostly Indians, have been deprived of their lands by order of the Ministry of Fomento or by sentence of the Courts, and it being an act of justice to restore to their former owners the lands of which they had been deprived in so arbitrary a manner, those orders and sentences are declared subject to revision and those individuals and their heirs who acquired those properties in so immoral a fashion would be obliged to restore them to their original owners in addition to an indemnity for the damages caused. Only in the case that such property should have passed into the hands of third parties before the proclamation of this Plan, the form- er owners should receive an indemnity from those in whose benefit the properties had been awarded; Article IV prescribed as supreme law the principle of No Reelection and in virtue of the fifth senor Madero assumed the provisional presidency of the Republic. As it has been made clear before, from the very beginning of the struggle the clergy sided openly with the dictatorship, the press subsidized by the clergy attacked the new champion of freedom, but when the clergy took cognizance of the clear and precise terms of the Plan de San Luis and especially of the contents of the last paragraph of Article III, it become alarmed and prepared itself for action. Such an attitude, was natural on its part since the final paragraph of Article III of the Plan of San Luis prescribed the revi- sion of the decisions given by the Ministries in the matter of vacant lands and also the revision of the sentences pronounced by the author- 82 ities in the matter of land; and as the clergy owned large holdings that would fall under these dispositions, it became a relentless enemy of the new regime. But the Revolution triumphed and took over the Government, and its enemies, formed by the partisans of Diaz regime and of the clerical element, kept on conspiring against it in spite of the fact that a great number of them, taking advantage of the opportunity afforded them by the principle of Effective Suffrage and No Reelec- tion were able to hold seats in Congress and posts in the adminis- tration against which they conspired openly. As a result of the connection between the followers of the past regime and the clerical element, General Pascual Orozco in July 1912 raised the standard of rebellion in the State of Chihuahua, a rebel- lion which fortunately was put down in a short time owing to its lack of popularity and prestige. The same causes gave rise to a rebellion in the port of Vera- cruz led by General Felix Diaz in October of the same year aided by the same elements who contributed materially to the movement. The outcome of this rebellion was the capture of General Felix Diaz who was court-martialled and condemned to death, whereupon Ig- nacio Munoz, a deputy belonging to the Catholic group of the Cham- ber, applied by telegraph for an injunction and the protection of Fe- deral justice before the District Judge of Veracruz, and not content with that, applied to the Supreme Court of Justice in order that the District Judge be ordered to suspend the act complained of, which was done immediately. On the other hand, a Committee of Catholic ladies in this City addressed the President, Francisco I. Madero, ask- ing that the rebel chief be pardoned and with that same purpose had a personal interview with the President on October 26th of the same year; finally, the newspaper "El Pais" on the 25th of that same month showered praise on the conduct of the clerical deputy and on that of the Catholic ladies whilst it censured bitterly the attitude of the Government. Lastly, the enemies of the Revolution were respon- sible for the happenings of February 1913, happenings which cul- minated in the murder of the President and Vice-President of the Republic. It is clear that the individuals who were charged with the execution of these monstrous acts were connected with the clerical reaction for their principal ally was the very General Diaz and other leaders of the rebellion of Veracruz and in the speech of Licenciado Francisco Leon de la Barra, made in Congress on February 23rd of that year, he expressed himself as follows: "The Government of the 83 Republic harbors a most sincere desire to follow a policy of concord" so as not to say a policy of conciliation. What was the attitude of the Catholic Deputy Ignacio Munoz, of the Catholic ladies, of "El Pais" during the imprisonment of the Pres- ident and of the Vice-President of the Republic? Did they apply for an injunction? Did they approach the usurper in order to obtain the pardon in order to save the true representative of the law as they did in the case of the rebel? No, undoubtedly, because it was neces- sary to overcome the enemy taking advantage of his goodness and sense of justice. What was the attitude of the clergy at the death of the Presi- dent? The clergy gave vent to unrestrained rejoicing as proved by the public manifestations held in different towns in the Republic on the 24th and 25th of February, 1913, with the assistance of the priv- ileged classes which in those times looked upon themselves as aris- tocrats. This, in broad outlines, represents the attitude of the Mexican clergy from 1874 to 1913, an attitude which can certainly be regard- ed as censurable, unpatriotic, uneconomic, unsocial and to a great extent immoral for the whole Republic. **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. This disk, its printout, or copies of either are to be copied and given away, but NOT sold. Bank of Wisdom, Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 **** **** 84 CHAPTER FIVE Recovery achieved by the Clergy in the time of Diaz.-Its atti- tude during the Madero and the Huerta Revolutions.-Carranza Revolution.-Problems to be solved by the new movement, The DE FACTO situation established by the Clergy.-Constitu- tion of 1917.-Its enforcement by succeeding Governments.- Systematic opposition on the part of the Clergy.-Its rebellious attitude towards the carrying out of the program of the Revo- lution.-Stand taken in the case of amendment to Article 3 of the Constitution. When General Porfirio Diaz took over the reins of Government he found in existence a legal situation well consolidated, along the lines set by the Constitution of 1857 and the Reform Laws which he had, himself, as a soldier, helped to maintain. The problem before him, then, was not a legislative but a merely executive one. But as the Clerical Party was still very powerful and wealthy, it gradually worked its way into the administration and, by peaceful methods, obtained control of the situation anew, until Mexico became the land graphically described in a phrase which was often repeated among the Spanish Clergy during the last decade of General Diaz' Govern- ment: "Mexico is the paradise of Religious Orders". This situation alone will afford an idea as to how completely they succeeded in re- covering their former predominance with the complicity of those au- thorities whose duty it was to enforce the laws, and to see that they were enforced. That complicity reached to such a degree, that, at that time, stories like these were current: Certain Franciscan Friars once undertook to establish a Novitiate to train new members for their order, but as they saw that tolerance had by then become so great that no one remained in ignorance of the state of affairs, they wished to see whether it would be possible for them to carry out their plans with the express consent of the President of the Repub- lic, and for that purpose, they requested him, through certain per- 85 sons enjoying influence, to grant permission, even though unofficial- ly. His answer was verbal and was as follows": Tell them not to be stupid, to do what the Jesuits did when they installed. a sugar mill at San Simon, State of Michoacan, where they trained over a gene- ration of Members of their Society, and when the authorities, due to some report that could not be ignored, found themselves compelled to make them a visit, the Jesuits were given timely warning, and the authorities found the seminarists poorly disguised as farm laborers, cutting cane in the fields. The clergy had no real cause for complaint at that time; it is it is true that instruction in Government schools was non-religious, but only the poor attended them, and the poor yield nothing, unless it be their work. Those able to pay were all placed in the numberless private schools of the Marist Brothers, Theresians, Jesuits, etc.... where they were not only given a Catholic education but were more- over imbued with a hatred for the Government schools. The Clergy had hit upon a very simple way of evading the law; all those religious associations known as churches were debarred from owning property, but the members of such associations could, individually, possess prop- erty, it was sufficient, then, in that very tolerant atmosphere, to register such property in the name of some given person, even that of the Archbishop himself, unless out of greater caution it was though better to do so in the name of foreign or Mexican companies, the civil character of which appeared to be beyond question. And as regards provisions placing restrictions on public manifestations of worship, this was in reality the least of the problems that engaged the at- tention of the clergy; what it was chiefly concerned with was its property and income; worship in itself was something to it quite secondary. The Madero Revolution had as its aims the destruction of all the abuses that had grown up during the regime of General Diaz, the restoration of the Constitution and of the Reform Laws, and the solution of the country's problems, which had been entirely overlook- ed by the censurable policy of conciliation followed by the previous President. But on Madero's triumph, he found urgent problems demanding instant solution; the situation of those who possessed nothing, of the Indians, of the peasants, in fine, problems of a political nature. He found that he had nothing to work with except the poorly prepared men who had assisted him to carry on his Revolution, and the re- 86 mains of the old regime, and he was of necessity compelled to resort to the services of many of the latter in order not to fall into a chaotic condition. Very soon, however, they betrayed him, before he had time even to begin the task of restoring observance of the Consti- tution. The Clergy had not suffered any perceptible modification of the de facto situation enjoyed by it during the long years of Diaz's Gov- ernment, for the simple reason that there had not been time to at- tend to it. Then came the usurpation of Victoriano Huerta, that bar- barous and Catholic murderer of the President, who cast a black blot on our History, an unscrupulous and unprincipled man, whose ascent to power was not due to any ideals nor obeyed any program, other than his own interest and his own personal ambition. He pre- tended to favor the cause of the Clergy, invoked the name of God in Congress and if he failed to receive from that Clergy any very great number of demonstrations of attachment, yet it is true that it looked upon him as a hope and accepted his Government as the lawful one. Carranza's Revolution, from the very start assumed a well de- fined Constitutionalist aspect, and, in fact, this was the name bes- towed on the Army led by him, which consisted of the proletarian masses formerly led by Madero. The struggle could not but be both bitter and bloody, and as the "Constitutionalists" clearly evinced in those places they entered, their anti-clerical tendency, this explains why the clergy viewed the advance of that army with the greatest terror, and why a great number of priests sought refuge in the port of Veracruz under the protection of the American invader. Once victory had been achieved by the Constitutionalist Revolu- tion, its leader realized the need of drawing up a new Constitution. that would, on the one hand, eliminate the facilities of which the reactionary Party had availed itself for counteracting, on every ground, the enforcement of nearly all those principles that had in- spired the Constitution of 1857 and the Reform Laws, and on the other, bring those principles into closer accord with the historical moment then being lived by Mexico, and adjust them to the times for the purpose of meeting the present needs of the Mexican people. The framers of the Constitution met in 1917. We may here appropriately analyze what that new Constitution was going to provide with respect to the clergy. It was no longer enough that the principle of legal incapacity to own real property mortgages thereon should continue to stand, as it had, during that 87 lengthy period of tolerance and dissimulation organized its property on a legal footing, by purchasing it through outsiders, to whom such property was deeded. Companies and Corporations were formed like "LA PIEDAD", at Puebla, the "INMOBILIARIA MICHOACANA", "LA ESPERANZA", at Aguascalientes, and others like them, the plan for which had been drawn up by a priest and was found among the papers belonging to the archives of the Archbishopric of More- lia. The shares being to bearer, the clergy, could, without difficulty, be the holders thereof. As the object aimed at by the Constitution of 1857 in depriving the Clergy of its property was still, at the time of the new Constitu- tion, a problem as urgent as on the former occasion, inasmuch as the Clergy had regained its material prosperity, its influence and its property, the need was equally pressing to take measures approp- riate for attaining that object, and as it would no longer be suffi- cient to declare the Church incapable of owning property, nor that such property was transferred to the Nation, as it was all secretly possessed through outsiders, it was found necessary to go still fur- ther, to act in accordance with realities as they existed at the time and to provide for nationalization of that property even though in the possession of third parties. The situation, however, involved diffi- culties of fact of an almost unsurmountable nature. Proof had to be shown that property purporting to have been purchased by a given person or corporation, in reality belonged to the Clergy. That which became known to the public, in spite of appearances, and which could be discerned through legal documents had to be taken as proof suffi- cient of the true situation, When dealing with this question, however, we must again insist on that, which we have at such great length analyzed in regard to the conduct of the clergy throughout the history of Mexico. Why, it will be asked, should the possession of such interests by the Clergy not be lawful? Why should it be condemned to possess nothing at all? Because in Mexico the Clergy never has had any legitimate in- terests, and because it is not, and never will be, capable of modifying its attitude. We have already furnished proof of this, but shall again briefly review that proof: The Catholic Church has created round about herself and her dogmas, a complete philosophy which embraces every branch not only of human wisdom, but also of all human activity. She maintains 88 that she is the vicar of Christ on earth, that she is in possession of absolute and incontrovertible truth in regard to the ultimate destiny of man, and of the means of achieving it, that the Pope stands in the place and stead of God in his relation with mankind, and that the words of the Pontiff are infallible in matters of dogma and morals. These postulates certainly do lead to a series of conclusions, by means of which the Church, as was natural, gradually possessed herself, first of the whole of mankind, and after that of everything belong- ing to man. That being so, it was to be inferred as a necessary con- sequence that the ends of the Church as being connected with the ultimate destiny of man, were the most perfect of all, and therefore that the State, the action of which is confined to matters connected with the temporal welfare of man, is to a certain extent inferior to the Church and must be subordinate to it. The conclusion thus drawn is quite a logical one; those acts which are directly conducive to a more immediate purpose, such as temporal welfare, must be subordinated to those others, so that if man as a member or as the head of the State, is about to do this or that, be- cause according to his understanding it is the best way of compass- ing temporal welfare, and such action is not the best fitted for ob- taining the ultimate purpose, he must sacrifice temporal welfare and act in accord with the rules relating to the ultimate purpose. Thus do we see that the power is alleged, by Divine Right, of directing the State and that the Church has laid down the proposi- tion that in it is vested authority to govern the world, by Divine Right direct from God. The above statements are neither false nor exaggerated; they may be read in the propositions taught in all philosophical and theological seminaries for professional Catholic teaching, and this same principle began to be put in practice by the Pope when he crowned Charlemagne as Emperor, thus proclaiming that his sanc- tion was necessary in order that an emperor or king might be recog- nized as such. And so much so is this the case, that after that followed what was logical: the power to unmake. One need do no more than read the serious works of the Catho- lics of that time to be convinced that in this regard it was entirely unnecessary to resort to slander to describe the most shameful acts, the most unrestrained simony, absolute impudence, levity and hy- pocrisy. And were they not ashamed to do such things and to make such statements, in the name of God, no less? This is something belonging to another time, to a different period of human civiliza- 89 tion. And yet they constitute doctrines and practices at present in use by the Catholic Church. The rates may have been reduced, but the foundation of the doctrine continued to be the same. And is this the doctrine which they desire to teach children before they reach the age of reason? Is this what they want the conscience of child-- hood to be turned over to them for, to imbue them with prejudices, premature fears, and inability to criticize and analyze serenely? The Clergy continues to be the same; its doctrines and its ten- dencies have not changed an iota. This they know themselves better than anyone else, and the proof is that they honor and exalt the memory of the men of the Inquisition. The Clergy will not admit that any errors were committed in times past. In its seminaries at this day they read about the exploits of Philip II, the lamentations of heretics burnt alive because they thought, said or wrote some- thing that differed from what the Catholic Church thought, believed or preached; they are infallible and have always been so, and there- fore have never made a mistake and consequently have nothing to regret. We have already seen what stand was taken by the Clergy when Mexico's Independence was proclaimed. Hidalgo was a clergyman, he knew them better than anyone else, but when he attempted to devote himself to his country and to save his brethren instead of subserving the interests of the Clergy, which was always foreign to the notion of a Fatherland, they immediately launched upon him all manner of excommunications and unfrocked him, and one may, from the bitter lamentations contained in his "Manifesto", understand what a cleric who knew whereof he spoke and who did so with sin- cerity, could feel about them. And when President Gomez Farias proclaimed his decree on the subject of tithes, we see that the Church not only registered a pro- test, but even as stated hereinabove, provoked an uprising and induced Santa Ana to declare himself dictator. We have already seen what the attitude of the Church was at the time of the American Invasion; it refused to furnish funds for carrying on the war and threatened to suspend worship should any such be exacted from them by force. That refusal was not surprising. Jose Fernando Ramirez states that the attitude of the higher dignitaries of the Clergy could be summed up in the following declaration: "If the Americans respect the wor- ship and the property of the Church, nothing will he lost by the Invasion. And consistently with their own ideas they sallied forth to receive them under a canopy, as they were to do later in the case 90 of the French invaders, as they ushered in Maximilian of Austria, and as they had always upheld the Spaniards. And thus will they support any invasion, any iniquity, or any treason if favorable to their interests, as they have no Fatherland nor God nor religion but money. They are not willing to yield an inch of ground and what they have yielded in Mexico, and everywhere else in the world has been wrung from them by force. When the Constitution of 1857 was proclaimed, to which all parties contributed and which was drawn up by the most eminent men of that time, the clergy made Comon- fort totter and induced him to strike his famous coup d'Etat. It let loose the dogs of war and Benito Juarez found himself, at Vera- cruz, compelled to proclaim the Reform Laws, directly aimed at the avowed enemy; the preamble of that Law specifically sums up the situation and everything said on the subject. The chief motive of the present war, instigated and supported by the Clergy, is to endeavor to withdraw itself from subjection to civil authority. If on former occasions any doubts have been felt that the Clergy is an obstacle in the way of reestablishment of public peace, today everyone admits the fact that it is openly rebellious... "That they squander the funds entrusted to them by the faithful for pious purposes, expend them on general destruction, and foment and day by day make bitterer the fratricidal struggle provoked by dis- avowal of legitimate authority and denial of the right of the Republic to constitute itself as it may deem most advisable"... etc., etc. Then the Clergy made one last and desperate effort and all but won out. It provoked and kindled the War of Reform, one of our most ruinous and bloody civil wars; it brought about French Inter- vention, set up the Empire of the Archduke of Austria, and in time, resorted to every possible means. The Abbe Testory, chaplain gen- eral of the French Army that invaded Mexico, said the following: "When in 1856 the Law for the sale of the Clergy's property was proclaimed, the amount of that property was already enormous. The fortune owned by the Clergy and the religious orders reached the sum of $200,000,000.00; the income from that property plus the tithes, voluntary contributions, fees, the proceeds from dispensations, altar offerings, etc., gave the Clergy every year a revenue greater by far than that of the State itself. It is not then, to be wondered at that the State looked upon this vast wealth as an obstacle in the path of public prosperity... Consequently, we may assert without hesitation that the State was strictly within its rights when it ex- propriated the property of the Clergy on the ground of the public 91 welfare..." and it wonders at and cannot understand the stand taken by the Clergy, which instigated scandals and protests on account of the establishment of the Civil Register, which it tried to make out was the manifestation of a schism. And the arrogance and pretentions of the Clergy are not found- ed on any mean tradition, It was the owner of Mexico, it owned the country morally and materially. By its doctrines it reduced men's minds to subjection; by controlling the very sources of all enlighten- ment, owing to its grip on consciences. From the confessional it ruled the land in the time of the Viceroys, as all, from the Viceroy him- self down to the lowest public official and the last one of the sub- jects submitted all their acts, both public and private, to the opinion of their confessor. And as regards temporal power, Lucas Alaman, a Catholic historian and a fanatical defender of the Clergy, estimates the property of the latter at more than half the total value of all property on the territory of the Colony. No government anywhere the in the world has ever possessed wealth so great in proportion to that of a country. This is the formidable enemy which the Constitution of 1857 had to face. But in 1914 it found itself again facing that same enemy, and to show this we have had to review anew its attitude through- out the past. In our review we have shown that the stand taken by it against the Law and against the civil authority is exactly the same as in Colonial times, just as in 1810, 1822, 1833, 1836, and 1865; and that after the lengthy period enjoyed by it for recovery it has again adopted exactly the same attitude, in 1913, 1914, 1917, 1926 and 1934. In the Constitution of 1917, as stated above, it was found neces- sary to extend non-religious education to private primary schools and to exclude priests therefrom, as the first step taken in 1857 had not from the start achieved its purpose, as already stated, inasmuch as private schools monopolized primary instruction almost in toto and continued to be a nursery for future allies of the Clergy in its task of retarding and hindering the work of freeing the conscience and mind of the people. It was found necessary to take drastic and ef- ficient measures to effect actual nationalization of the Clergy's prop- erty, as they continued to hold it through outsiders, and to acquire still more property through the latter. It was found necessary to stop the flow of legacies obtained by confessors and spiritual direct- ors (a practice as ancient as the Clergy itself) by rendering the members thereof incapable of inheriting from anyone not related to 92 them within the fourth degree. It was also found necessary to re- duce their status to that of mere ministers of religion and not of autonomous managers thereof, as churches were declared national property, and also buildings used in the administration of religion. And how did the Clergy receive the new Constitution? The first thing it did was to publish a protest in the United States as soon as it was proclaimed, which protest was reproduced in 1926, when the Constitutional principles bearing on those matters in which the Clergy was interested, began to be carried out in a regular manner. As the protest of 1917 was not issued within the country, nor offi- cially by the Mexican Episcopate, and as it so happened that in Car- ranza's time the question of the Clergy and of the nationalization of its property was not touched, the status quo ante having practic- ally been maintained the Clergy consequently adopted a waiting at- titude. During the period of General Alvaro Obregon the above ten- dency to gradual and dissimulated recovery of the former situation for its benefit, was easily perceptible. When it loses ground it has in fact the habit of stopping dead; and when violence prevents it from regaining that ground which it has lost, it pretends to submit, but we all know that even after the lapse of centuries, it never ceases to work for the recovery of its privileges. When General Obregon was President, Monsignor Filippi and Monsignor Caruana came to Mexico as Papal Delegates. These gentle- men thought that as they had come as visitors, they were not oblig- ed to submit to the restrictions the Law imposed. They broke it by illegally officiating at religious ceremonies in public, and the ad- ministration found itself compelled to decree their expulsion from the national territory under Article 33 of the Constitution. There is no doubt that the intention was to test how far the Government's tolera- tion extended, and the latter was therefore compelled to make a show of firmness and to treat those Papal Delegates as mere un- desirable aliens. In order that one may realize the good faith and good sense of General Obregon, who was at that time responsible for the guidance in a revolutionary sense of the administration, we shall quote the following paragraphs from the reply to the note addressed to him requesting the cancellation of the decree of expulsion: "Messrs. the Archbishops: The executive under my charge has read the document that you were pleased to address to him, on the fif- teenth instant in connection with the expulsion of Monsignor Filippi. The Mexican Government considers that the repetition of these un- 93 fortunate incidents and of this constant friction between Mexico's traditional Liberal Party and certain members of the Catholic Church could be avoided, if you on your side would show a little good will... The principles which inspire the work being done by my Govern- ment are fundamentally Christian and our program cannot be the cause of the slightest injury to the fundamental program of the Catholic Church. A little sincerity and good faith on the part of the dignitaries of the Church whose duty it is to carry out that Catholic program would be sufficient for the existence of the fullest harmony between the work of the religious administration and that of the revolutionary administration, which likewise is of a wholly pious character. The fundamental program of the Catholic Church, as pre- sented by its theorists consists above all in leading souls along the path of virtue, of morality and of brotherhood in the widest sense of the word... The fundamental postulates of the present Govern- ment can be summed up in these words: To lead all the citizens of Mexico along the path of morality, virtue and brotherhood, and to attempt to bestow upon them a greater sum of well-being in this life. If both these programs could be realized, it is obvious that we would achieve the maximum well-being for all the inhabitants of this country, as we would have definitely obtained for them happiness in this life and in the next... I very sincerely regret the fact that the members of the higher Catholic Clergy have not understood the transformation which has taken place in a community with modern tendencies... I invite you, for the good of humanity, not to distort nor to hinder the carrying out of the essentially Christian and humane program which we are endeavoring to unfold in our country, where the oppressed classes have over so many long years suffered the hardships of injustice of every kind and from an absolute absence of anything like a spirit of brotherhood and of equity..." This firm yet conciliatory appeal was neither listened to nor ac- cepted. We are, besides, sure that the Clergy never will understand it. It was then that the work of searching for, reporting and secular- izing the property of the Clergy began, but it took a long time to establish the necessary jurisprudence. Too much insistence was laid on proof; it is always difficult to prove the interposition of a third party... Aside from this, Catholic schools succeeded in having themselves incorporated into the category of official schools, by sub- mitting, outwardly at least, to the courses of study imposed by the Government. The rights of the Nation to the buildings used as places of worship continued to be a mere principle of law, and the Clergy 94 continued to administer the churches with absolute freedom and with- out any official supervision. It availed itself of this state of affairs to effect the disappearance of a number of artistic objects of great historical and aesthetic value. It was during the Government of General Plutarco Elias Calles that the work of enforcing strictly the provisions of the Constitu- tion was begun. Regulations were enacted for Article 130, which compels members of the Clergy to enter their names in an official register and to draw up inventories. This seemed sufficient to the Clergy to justify it to incite public- ly Mexican Catholics to disobedience and rebellion. If we analyze the above provision impartially we shall see that in exacting compulsory registration of the persons in charge of churches it was really a very mild measure and did not in any way affect worship. No conditions were imposed on persons in charge of the churches. There was no attempt, as might have been expect- ed, made to appoint them, although this would have been very natural because after all it was a case of a public official in charge of prop- erty belonging to the Nation... All that was desired was that the owner of the property --in this particular instance the Mexican Government-- should be informed who was the person entrusted with the administration of that property and what were the articles mak- ing up that property. And this without proof of any kind, by accept- ing without question the inventory submitted by the administrator and the appointment made by Bishop. The rage shown by the Clergy was therefore unfounded... The Clergy did not accept the Constitu- tion but this the Government, which had accepted it, could not ad- mit... It would have been unheard of, in fact, if a properly consti- tuted State should govern each citizen in accordance only with such laws as he might accept, and should release him from obedience to any provisions of the laws that were not to his liking!... The Mex- ican Church was not satisfied with making opposition, but further enjoined disobedience of the laws and that the priests leave the churches. The circular from the Archbishop of Mexico addressed in Latin to all parish priests, chaplains and clergymen in general, con- tains paragraphs like the following, which we have translated from the Latin: "We forbid priests to communicate to the civil authorities the churches administered by them and we likewise forbid them to enter their names in the civil register..." Thus do we see the Clergy as always in a rebellious attitude. The protest published in the United States against the Constitution of 1917 was reproduced in Mexico 95 and was on this occasion signed by the whole of the Bishops and Archbishops. This document dated February 8, 1926, is full of errors; it asserts, among other things, that the tendency of the Constitution was to destroy religion, culture and tradition. This is absolutely false... The Clergy confuses religion with its own privileges which are all that we are attacking. The Catholic religion, according to its own definition, comprises four elements: faith, the Commandments, pray- ers and sacraments. Which one of these elements is attacked by the Constitution? Not a single one; It was the Clergy who, by way of reprisals, suppressed all of them when it decreed suspension of wor- ship. Culture? Does this perchance consist in allowing the Clergy to develop its activities regardless of all the country's Laws; to dis- obey them, to assail them and to consider itself entitled to order as it pleases in the name of a spiritual power? Tradition? Perhaps yes. The meaning of this word is so vague that we are unable to reply categorically, but this we can say that the only tradition assailed by us is that of systematic hostility of the Clergy to the law... The Clergy constitutes a unique case. If any other association, no matter what, banks let us say, dissatisfied because the laws of the country restrain their activities, dared to send to all their branches and employees a circular ordering them to disobey the law and to adopt a rebellious attitude, what would we say then? Would we not appeal to the authorities to compel such rebels to obey or to leave? Why then should we be more tolerant towards the Clergy? This the more as its offense is more serious. It distributes in other countries protests designed to create an atmosphere hostile to Mexico. It sets in motion alien elements and societies and instigates them to attack this country as in the case of the Knights of Columbus (at their Philadelphia Convention) when they endorsed paragraphs like the following: "We request the President of the Republic (the United States) and the State Department to put an end to that ignomin- ious contempt shown by Calles for American demands..." There are no grounds for the hope that the Clergy may modify its pretentions. This is clearly apparent from the statements made by the Archbishop of Mexico, Mora y del Rio in 1926: "The doctrine of the Church is unvarying because it is divine truth. The protest registered by the Mexican prelates against the Constitution of 1917 continues to stand. It has not been modified, rather has it been strengthened, because it emanates from the doctrine of the Church". The Church in 1926 contended for that same ideal which she pursues today and which she has always pursued. The enemy has 96 not fallen back a single step. The declarations made by General Plu- tarco Elias Calles in regard to the Clergy's attitude set forth the firmness of the Government: "I will ask you what can and what should the Government of a country do when any association whatso- ever, whether its tendencies be religious or otherwise, publicly re- fuses to acknowledge the Constitution, announces its intention of fighting it and incites the people to disobey it?" Any association no matter what, that carried on the work of sedition the Clergy has been guilty of, would be outlawed and de- clared a traitor to the country. Its leaders would consequently be severely punished. This has not been done in the cause of the Catho- lic Church. And yet she has committed that offense in 1926, and again in 1934. In 1926, after vacating the churches and carrying out the threat of Archbishop Mora she provoked an armed uprising which, although far from endangering the stability of the Government, yet cost the country a great deal of blood and losses, without leading to anything whatever". It is entirely illogical to expect that the Mexican Government will consider the privileges claimed by the Clergy as inviolable. The Mexican State does not admit the principle of Divine Right claimed by the Clergy. If that Government has until now shown too much indulgence to those traditional rebels, this is doubtless due to the fact that even the Government has not been able to escape the influence of ancient prejudices. But it has now firmly resolved to carry out the plan outlined by the Revolution. Fanaticism, which has not stopped short at crime, as shown by the murder of General Obregon and which has not, either, stopped at treason to the country, as history records and as we have pointed out in the course of our narration, now asserts that we are attempt- ing to pervert youth, by means of the new constitutional program of education. By making this assertion, the Clergy pursues its old tactics of misleading public opinion and of creating a stifling atmos- phere that hinders the onward march of the Government... Nothing shall, however, make us pause in our desire to make childhood under- stand that it constitutes an organic element of society, and that it will only be able to achieve individual well-being if collective well- being be achieved as well. We shall likewise teach childhood how dangerous is that belief taught by the Clergy over so many centuries, according to which the poor and downtrodden have nothing to expect in this world and can but await their redemption in the next.Mexico does not desire such teaching; it rejects it, the more as it is 97 presented by the Clergy to suit its own ends. If the children of Mex- ico are to be Christians, let them learn Christian doctrine from the very founts, and lips of the Master, as taught by the Gospel... How is it possible that the disciples of such a Master could fight for cen- turies to recover unjust privileges enjoyed by them? Mexico applauds the doctrine, making for equality of all, of Him who treated the rich with harshness and the poor and weak with tenderness and brotherly love. We applaud Him who yielded the first place to the humblest; He who exposed the maneuvers of the priests called by Him a "race of vipers" and "whited sepulchers" and we likewise applaud Him because He was able to drive out of the temple, whip in hand, both pharisees and merchants. It is absolutely necessary that children should hear in specific and simple words the principles on which rests our non-conformity with our present social organization, which sanctions a disastrous distribution of wealth, in our case aggravated to an extraordinary degree by the policy of organizations which, like the Catholic Clergy, have retarded our economic and intellectual development, because they enjoyed a monopoly of wealth and culture. We believe, furthermore, that the new methods are certainly better than those of the past, and preferable to those of religious associations; first and foremost because they are not nourished on prejudices and lies but on the contrary study the phenomena of the Universe from a scientific standpoint, and because these rational methods of today will serve to lay the foundations of a strictly social- istic and vital concept of life. The Constitution of the country states that: "Mexican national- ity is lost by the mere fact of officially serving under a foreign Government". Now, the Clergy tells us that whether the Mexican Congress wishes it or not, we only obey the Pope". The Constitution adds: "National sovereignty rests essentially and originally in the people". The Clergy answers: "The Pope has decreed that this prin- ciple is heresy". In the face of that constant and systematic oppo- sition we do not ask why the members of the Clergy cannot be elect- ed to Congress, but we do wonder why they are tolerated in the Re- public?" These are words uttered more than fifty years ago by a great Mexican orator, Ignacio Ramirez, but we can say that today especially, they find an answering echo in the conscience of the people. The members of the Clergy do not feel themselves subjects of the Mexican State but of the Pope. Now, the Pope since he has gain- 98 ed temporal dominion over the Vatican State, has become the Chief of a State. He has his Kingdom, his Court, his Senate, his Cabinet, his Ambassadors, etc., why should he not be looked upon as the head of a foreign Government? And if the members of the Clergy are mere subjects of that Chief of State, and refuse to obey the administra- tion of our country and even make opposition to our laws, what is there wanting to warrant us in Considering them purely and simply as undesirable aliens? **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended -- The Free Market-Place of Ideas. The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old, hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts and information for today. If you have such books please contact us, we need to give them back to America. 99 FINAL CONSIDERATIONS The action of the Public Power aiming at restricting, repressing and diminishing the temporal functions of the Church in Mexico, is explicable and justifiable on legal and political grounds, which are completed by reasons of constitutional biology, of present and living social reality, which allow of penetration to the inmost recesses of the problem. The age-old struggle of the Church against the State in Mexico is fundamentally due to radical and deep-seated incongruity between their respective functions in the Nation's social existence. The concepts that serve as a basis for a study of the conflict between the Civil Power and the Clergy, are fundamentally two in number: 1. The issue as joined and not yet decided, refers exclusively to the Church in Mexico, as an Entity rooted and evolved in our country, and supported and fed by the resources and forces of our own soil. 2. The defensive and repressive policy of the Mexican State has always tended to solve the material, temporal and political conflict, by attacking personal and collective interference by the clergy in the political, juridical and economic fields, and today in the social field. It is advisable to insist on the first conception in order to avoid a cause of frequent misunderstanding; the life of the Church in Mexico has been very different to its life in other countries, and for that reason the conflicts and opposition raised possess specific char- acters that are diverse, due to the fact that although it is a branch directly attached to the pontifical authority of Rome, it has since its inception had a character of its own, molded by the unique cir- 101 cumstances of our territory, of our country with those geographical and human features that are peculiar to it. The Church in Mexico, with its secular and regular clergy, had at one time the character of a true caste, which composed the civil power together with the nobility and the dynasty, both monarchs and statesmen having found themselves compelled to restrain the ex- pansionist tendency that characterizes its history. It preserved that character of a caste that enabled it to accum- ulate wealth, to draw to itself civil functions, fiscal and economic perogatives and the control of consciences, to become, after Mexico achieved her independence, a faction more or less openly rebellious to the civil power, and which resolutely opposed the State in the lat- ter's movement for reform. The Crown of Spain found itself compelled to limit the temporal power of the Church, the State likewise found itself compelled, when Mexico threw off the Spanish yoke, and found herself lacking in resources and burdened with obligations, to fight against a rich and powerful clergy with all its resources intact and ever increasing; out of necessity and as a patriotic duty the men of the Reform, with the support of the proletarian masses, had to combat the clergy while suffering the pressure of political, economic and social forces brought to bear from abroad, and struggled to establish an integral State and to seek a new alignment of the former dominating classes. In the same manner, and for identical reasons, the Revolution that began in 1910, when it found the Church and the clergy in full activity and reunited with the conservative class, composed of those remains of feudalism not yet totally eliminated, of elements of the bourgeoisie in disintegration, and high finance, has found it neces- sary to restrain and repress its temporal functions so that the Civil Power on its onward march might achieve the formation of nation- ality. And at the present time, the Government born of the Revolution, like all its predecessors in the history of the country, finds it neces- sary in order to carry out its plans for social and economic action, to repress the clergy, which if it at one time fought as a caste shar- ing power with the exploiting class, and later became a rebel faction, now as a party, surreptitiously attempts to hold those positions, that are difficult to discover and to destroy by reason of their being con- cealed, dissimulated and clandestine, which it succeeded in occupying during the regime of General Diaz, which allowed the Church a com- fortable position in a de facto association with high finance, by a 102 tacit agreement for conciliation and tolerance to evade the laws and adapt itself to new standards, through companies and corporations and the possession of incomes and property administered by third parties. We thus find always in the history of Mexico that same effort on the part of the Civil Power to impede the existence of the Church as a temporal power, that is, the State preventing, on grounds of social reality, of biological defense almost, the existence of another State. The Mexican State is not now, as it was early in the last cen- tury, in a position of material inferiority opposite the Catholic Clergy, but it does occupy the same defensive and repressive attitude, in order to diminish or destroy that adverse force that attempts to lessen its power, to maintain the restrictions already sanctioned by the laws, which must prevent a development that would be danger- ous and liable to upset the proper balance and to strengthen man- dates and legal rules in accordance with the needs of the times. At moments like the ones the world is passing through at pre- sent, of social and economic change, and of crises in the forces of production and political and juridical institutions, and when the Gov- ernment has decided to give education definite orientation and guid- ance in the sense of socialism, and to abandon as sterile and anti- quated the standard of laical education in order to make youth acquainted with the vices of the capitalistic regime, and more partic- ularly the true economic and social condition of Mexico, as the basis of its endeavor to achieve the moral and economic emancipation of the country, the necessity on the part of the Public Power to repress and if possible to suppress altogether the temporal activities of the Clergy of Mexico, becomes imperative. If the effort towards social renovation, in a proletarian sense, of the institutions created by the Revolution, clashes with the efforts of the Clergy to keep its sources of income from educational establishments and to hold its economic position in turn founded on spiritual and sentimental advantages, the Mexican Government assumes the responsibility of its action against the temporal functions of the Church, with the conviction that it is for the country's good and with the satisfaction flowing from the performance of a serious duty. And as the Government has and should have the Law as the standard for its action, it has a perfect right to require of the Church ABSOLUTE SUBMISSION TO THE LAWS IN FORCE. 103 When faced by the present conflict the attitude of the State can- not be clearer nor more definite, in requiring that both rulers and ruled strictly comply with legal provisions, both those contained in the Constitution and in the laws enacted pursuant thereto. Strict compliance with the law by means of unremitting and persevering action by federal and local authorities, without the in- dulgence of other times, which due to allowing things to be done that duty required be prevented, amounted to complicity. To see to it, firmly and constantly, that the Law be strictly com- plied with, and to respect and obey that Law, is what characterizes the institutional existence of a People. **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. This disk, its printout, or copies of either are to be copied and given away, but NOT sold. Bank of Wisdom, Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 **** **** 104 TITLE SECOND SOLE CHAPTER To the Hon. President of the United Mexican States, C i t y. Your letter number 19707 dated October 30 of the current year, by which the documents relating to the acts committed both by Mr. Jose de Jesus Manrique y Zarate, Bishop of Huejutla, and by Mr. Leo- poldo Ruiz y Flores, Archbishop of Morelia and Apostolic Delegate, are made the subject of an information, has been turned over to this Attorney General's office. From the study of said documents it appears that the Bishop of Huejutla, under date of August, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-four, gave publicity to a document which he calls his "Third Message to the Civilized World" from which the following para- graphs are transcribed: "Mr. Calles calls upon all the Governments of the States of the Republic, on all the authorities and on all revolutionary elements, to go to any lengths that may be necessary, because childhood and youth must belong to the Revolution". "By these words Mr. Calles launches a challenge to the whole Mexican people, and we accept his challenge, and in our turn do now, with all the fervor of our soul, call upon all the catholics of the Republic, on all honest men, on all those in whom the feeling of human dignity is not yet extinguished to take it up likewise and to oppose by all means in their power the achievement of that judaical-masonic plan of which Mr. Calles is the worthy bearer". "Will ye, O fathers of families, allow your children to become, after all, the prey of the Revolution? Will ye allow the offspring 105 of your loins to be devoured by that hellish pack that has dug its claws into the bosom of your country? Will ye even allow the bol- shevik monster to make his way into the temple of the conscience of your children, to destroy the religion of your fathers and to plant, therein the devil's own flag? Will ye not proudly, and overflowing with holy rage, stand up against the men who would corrupt your children and profane their virginal innocence? Will ye be so selfish and so cowardly that ye will, so as not to expose your lives or worldly interests, permit those innocents to perish in the clutches of men so perverse and degenerate?" "And shall we, true Mexicans, champions of the Catholic Church, the victors in so many and such glorious battles, the favored children of Christ the King and of St. Mary of Guadalupe shall we --I say-- surrender unconditionally to our eternal enemies, the corrupters of childhood and the sworn enemies of religion and of our country?" "Ask me not in what wise ye shall combat those infamous men; they themselves tell us how in their insolent challenge: "LET US GO TO ANY LENGTHS THAT MAY BE NECESSARY". The enemy's attack must be repulsed on the same ground as launched. If the bolshevist revolution attacks us in the field of letters, let us set up newspaper against newspaper, teaching against teaching, school against school. If it attacks us by violence, on that ground we must also defend ourselves and defend our children, in spite of the scanty force at our disposal. Let fathers of families become, even as lions, and let every home be a fortress, and every Mexican breast a bulwark of our dignity and independence. In this tremendous struggle not only Catholics, but also all reasonably honest men, and all those in whom feelings of honor have not been extinguished, must take part". "No man may evade the fight, nor remain indifferent without betraying his country; because the issue is the defense of the future of our nationality, which rests upon the purity of our children, the morals of our young people and, in a word, on the conscience of the rising generation". "We have reached such a pitch of indulgence towards our ene- mies, that a single step further would mean the abjuring of our beliefs and that we ourselves would by a positive act contribute to the corruption of Mexican childhood and youth". "And ye, ye civilized peoples of the earth! will ye again view with impassibility the apocalyptic struggle about to be engaged in between truth and error, between civilization and barbarism, between 106 unarmed justice and armed crime, between the real people of Mexico and its bloodthirsty oppressors?" "...Will ye not on this occasion achieve some gallant deed worthy of the noble traditions of your forefathers, one that will rehabilitate you before the eyes of honest men of all countries? And will ye, above all, continue to extend a friendship hand to those who trample on all rights and who are the sworn enemies of everything in the way of progress and civilization?" --------- If the whole of the manifesto were transcribed, one would find on every page paragraphs like the foregoing, some of them contain- ing criticisms of the proceedings of the Mexican Government. There is also a letter signed by the Bishop of Huejutla and written to the Rev. Rafael Divila Vilchis and the Rev. Luis Bel- tran y Mendoza, the President and Secretary respectively, of the Central Board of Catholic Action, in which there is a paragraph reading as follows: "Having very carefully noted your courteous communication dated August 27 last, in which you were pleased to inform me as to the program of religious instruction that said Board has been applying and will continue to apply, I must state by way of answer that said program seems to me a splendid one in every way, although I must, since you ask me to do so, express my opinion to the effect that I consider that in view of the present circumstances of the struggle we are engaged in, all the items of the program should more espe- cially refer to better preparation of Catholics so that they may be true champions of the right in the defense of their most sacred civil and religious rights; as one cannot understand how they will, when the time comes, perform those duties, if they have not received sufficient rapid and above all practical instruction, in order to make such defense more effective, as required by the historical interests it has fallen to our share to witness". ------- From the same set of documents received the activities of the Apostolic Delegate in Mexico, Mr. Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores, are ap- parent, and so that the attitude of this Prelate may be seen more clearly, and the acts liable to constitute an offence may be inferred therefrom, I beg to transcribe herein the most outstanding para- graphs, both of the protest issued by said Apostolic Delegate, and 107 of a circular sent out by him, and also from letters written both to Mr. Pascual Diaz, Archbishop of Mexico, and to several other per- sons, some of them belonging to the laity, but strongly fanatical, and others belonging to the Church. LEOPOLDO RUIZ Y FLORES, APOSTOLIC DELEGATE Message of protest from the Apostolic Delegate, Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores to the Catholics of Mexico. "I had remained silent in the presence of all the outrages which the Mexican authorities have been committing against the Catholic Church... My hopes have been vain, inasmuch as nothing seems to be able to restrain the overflowing tide of their hatred of religion, and I can no longer remain dumb, because I would fail in my duty as the representative of his Holiness the Pope, and as a Bishop and a Mexican. This is the reason why I now make public my protest against those acts, and my exhortation to all of ye, so that ye may unite for the defense of the rights of your Church, which are your own rights as well". "The Revolution relying on force, has turned every problem to the advantage of its antireligious policy; and in order to seize possession of the conscience of the people it now attempts to destroy all religion and even to blot out the name of God, and declares itself to be the infallible teacher of dogma and of morality, all this with an unbearable display of tyranny and despotism". "The Federal laws enacted in 1926 and those that have succeeded them have, by trampling on their Constitution of 1917 itself, Ar- ticle 24 of which recognizes the fact that every man is free to profess and practice the religion he desires, rendered it impossible for the Catholic population to make use of said liberty, by despoiling it of its churches and limiting the number of priests to absurd figures, a single priest being in several States allowed for every one hundred thousand inhabitants, scattered over hundreds of square kilometers". "But no one can be surprised at all this, who has heard from the lips of General Lazaro Cardenas in his campaign speeches, that the people of Mexico are no longer misled by empty phrases such as "freedom of conscience", "freedom of teaching" and "economic liberty", because they know that the first stands for clerical dicta- torship, the second for reactionary tyranny, which endeavors to op- 108 pose revolutionary work on behalf of the culture of the people, and the third for capitalist dictatorship which continues to oppose in- creases in salaries and intervention by the State in the distribution of the public wealth for the benefit of the principal producers thereof, who are the workers themselves". "...Unfortunately the experience of the last five years has served to demonstrate the insincerity of the Government in regard to the obligations contracted by it towards the Church; as without even performing all that was promised, a series of new laws was instituted in the State of Veracruz, many other States having follow- ed suit at the public instigation of the Federal Congress, which in turn enacted the unconstitutional law reducing the number of priests and fixing the number of churches to be open in the Federal District and territories". "If to this be added the proposed introduction into the schools of so-called sex education which should rather be termed "the cor- ruption of childhood" the trampling down of the holiest rights will become evident. To what tyranny will that repudiation of freedom of education proclaimed by General Cardenas not lead us, when he pretends to speak on behalf of the people of Mexico, although the latter has in a very manifest manner made known its diametrically opposite opinion?" "In the presence of such tyranny, unworthy of every free man, who in any way esteems the rights of, his God, of Jesus Christ, of the Church, of his conscience, of the family, I now come in my ca- pacity as Apostolic Delegate, to register a protest, and expressly state that former protests made by his Holiness the Pope and the Mexican Bishops, are still, as they always have been, in force, and that we Bishops, priests and faithful reserve our rights in order to assert them when there shall be authorities that respect the Consti- tution that now governs the country". "The intolerable present situation must open the eyes of all persons interested in the real well-being of our country and lead them to recognize the errors from which these evils flow and after, praying God for relief, not to rest in working by all lawful means for the recovery of liberty". "In spite of the fact that the Mexican Revolution owes its victory to the open and decided protection of the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, and its support to the protection of the Government of the United States..." 109 "But however this may have been, we must remember that there are rights prior and superior to any Constitution, rights which the latter should respect and uphold, such as religious rights, the right to educate one's children, the right to life, the right of private prop- erty and all the other natural rights. Any law impairing those rights is unjust and null and void". "No Catholic can be a socialist without seriously falling short of his duties, nor can he either be a member of the P. N. R. in view of the fact that the latter has declared itself to be openly socialistic and what is worse atheistic". "And as the P. N. R. with unheard-of despotism compels teachers and employees to adopt its theories and to approve its policy, it is not allowable for any Catholic to subscribe to such declarations, which are tantamount to denying his religion". "It is a serious duty imposed by conscience, and an urgent one under present circumstances, that all Catholics should, on realizing their rights, join in all brotherly love and organize with the most perfect discipline in order to assert those rights. Such organization must be the work of the citizens themselves without awaiting orders from their ecclesiastical superiors". "Let every Catholic become a source of Christian doctrine, let every Catholic become a true apostle, who shall, after glowing with the love of God, endeavor to instill it into everyone he may meet, whether a friend or an enemy, and we shall see how persecution will become a blessing from heaven". CIRCULAR OF THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE This circular was issued at San Antonio, Texas, bears the signa- ture of Leopoldo Ruiz and is addressed to Vicente Camacho, the Bishop of Tabasco; its second paragraph reads as follows: "There is ready in Mexico a protest to be published over my signature as Apostolic Delegate, as soon as the proposed amendment to Article 3 of the Constitution is adopted. We must be on our guard against any reprisals that may be taken by the Government". The last paragraph reads as follows: "What would be required would undoubtedly be an imposing or- ganization composed of all Catholics, that should make its power felt in the Government of the people. Let us be satisfied with rec- ommending it to the faithful and praying God that someone may appear to lead such a movement". 110 The paragraph preceding the above, insofar as relevant reads as follows: "...They grumble at the neglected condition of many priests, and say nothing about the care which the Bishops, fellow priests and the faithful themselves take of those in need; they assert that resort must be had to arms, a matter with which we must not and cannot have anything to do..." LETTER FROM LEOPOLDO RUIZ TO PASCUAL DIAZ, DATED SEPTEMBER 7, 1934, forwarded to the Archbishop through Pedro Benavides. "And in regard to that beautiful letter from Your Grace, what can I say about it? That I appreciated it due to the confidence which it shows in me. As I said in a former letter, in my opinion it cer- tainly is necessary that there should be some leadership so that or- ganization may be effected and discipline be preserved. As regards its relations with the Church it is obvious that it would be a thousand times better that such relations should come from them to us and not from us to them; what I mean is that the leader or chief should have the good sense to allow himself to be guided in regard to the principles according to which they should be taught and defended, but he and his to be left perfectly free in regard to everything known as policy". "I have received complaints from several politicians who state that they have met with the absolute disapproval of certain prelates, of their resorting to force in the defense of their liberties. At this time I think that it would be highly inadvisable to talk of this and I do not venture to say a single word. Your Grace might perhaps say something to the effect that it is not our task either to approve or to disapprove. That belongs to the politicians". "I have today read in `La Prensa' that Congress is hastening to proceed to amend Article 3 in the sense by them called socialistic but which everyone well knows what it means. We must, then, have, the document ready and publish it as Your Grace indicates". LETTER FROM LEOPOLDO RUIZ to Raquel Salinas, in which he mentions her uncle, who must surely be the Apostolic Delegate. Page 3.--We must desire, advise, and pray God that Catholics may not engage in the adventure of a revolution; much more will be attained by means of a compact, numerous and disciplined organ- 111 nization; in this sense I praise the idea in the newspaper you sent to Me..." "Who shall not sigh for peace and liberty? And what Christian will not sigh for the reign of Jesus? There is a peace and liberty that flourish within us and which no one can take away from us because they are the fruits of love. That other public peace and liberty, that reign of Christ over society will come at the time appointed by our Father in heaven". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE written to Manuel Noriega, 32 Dinamarca, and bearing the words "A dechirer" underlined, and the salutation: My son in Christ. "What Andres says is a good symptom, I would to God that he may benefit from this lesson. There is no doubt that our victory in this struggle depends to a great extent on the organization. Once the various groups of fathers of families, of students, of teachers, of children, of workers, etc. are organized, they will need a real chief, a leader who will be at the head of all of them and this is what we must pray God for because He wishes to avail himself of us and we must say unto Him with the man stricken with the palsy in the pool: "There is no man amongst us, but He will give us one, let us ask Him for one". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE, dated September 2, 1934 addressed to Raquel Salinas. "My daughter in Christ: This P. S. is for your uncle rather than for you. There is no doubt that `il faut le peuple se defendre' but without leadership, time is lost, energy is wasted and there is the danger of discord as we have just seen. I think that what is very necessary is a board that will pull the strings from behind the scenes, such a board would have to be composed of lay persons and perhaps have a priest as its ecclesiastical adviser, for which purpose the friend of the idea we are studying would be a splendid choice". "As regards funds the board itself would have to look after, their collection and administration, and it would be sufficient for the board to report with prudence to the prelates the work it was doing. I think that this is an auspicious moment". "With regard to my protest, I think it still more necessary now that the Bishop of Huejutla has just published what he calls a `Third Manifesto to the Civilized World' in which he handles Mr. Calles very roughly and calls him very hard names. He lets himself go 112 against the United States and ends up with an apocalyptic threat. My protest would, to a certain extent at least, counteract the effect of that message, the more so if the note I sent to him afterwards, in which mention is made of the United States, were added to it". "The messenger your uncle refers to came through here and told me all he has succeeded in doing, the self-sacrifice of this gen- tleman is worthy of admiration and I think that what has been done will be of great use as part of the activities of the A. C.; but as regards action to defend violated rights, I think that those undertak- ing or organizing it (as the work has already been undertaken and it is only a case of joining resources and organizing them) will be able to count on all intelligent Catholics whether they belong to the A. C. or not". "I am sending you copies of my letter in duplicate but tell your uncle to please tear it up. I enclose another copy of the Saltillo tel- egram which must be inserted in the protest..." LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE to Pascual Diaz, dated October 4, 1934. "Jose Antonio has moved in the matter with the greatest ac- tivity and has written to me from the road telling me the impressions gathered from our brothers, favorable all of them, thanks be to God, and has made a few slight observations in regard to the project and to the program that are very much to the point, and Your Grace will give them the finishing touch with that skill of his which is a gift of God". "I think myself that just as fathers of families have joined together and the students also, other classes could do the same and make their dissatisfaction felt. American newspapers say today that the Yaquis have revolted against the son of the big chief on account of his anti-clerical policy". "Although I should like to add something to my protest or modify it in some way, yet if those parties should rush matters and adopt the amendment to Article 3, I would beg you to publish it there at once, for that purpose the original which you sent me will do, and I will get out another here". "P. S.--I had time to send you the additions and corrections I mentioned". "Page 4.--In the paragraph which begins: The Catholic Church etc., add: When the Church condemned liberalism it did not attempt 113 to defend the abuses that provoked it, but to rebuke the absurd and evil principles and remedies which it resorted to". "Page 4.--At the end of the paragraph beginning: "That same Church", add: When the Church condemns socialism it does not defend the very serious abuses which the Church itself has been the first to predict, denounce and recognize, what it does disapprove of is that which is irreligious, immoral and antisocial, contained in socialism". "Page 4.--In the paragraph beginning: "It is our duty etc." instead of saying: "to assert their rights", say "to assert them". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE to J. A. Romero dated October 9, 1934. "Your chief has written to me upbraiding me in very polite terms for the duty that I have laid upon you... I answered him saying that it was not a duty but a charge in this sense, that as it was your idea and as Mr. Diaz thought that you ought to come here to explain everything to me, you were the right person to put it into practice and as soon as we had got it going you could withdraw and continue to assist us from your retirement as best you could". "... The most important thing is the question of who they are to be and I agree as to the three brothers who are to constitute it and three little brothers who are to carry it out, Cervantes and Mo- ran are doing very well, who is to be the third? I have no one from my own part of the country to recommend; you must discuss a suitable person with Mr. Diaz. When thinking over the triumvirate, although that at Durango did not seem to me suitable on account of the distance, yet I thought it would do after all, in view of every- thing that has gone before; we would have to see whether Mr. Diaz thinks it advisable..." "I have already commissioned my Cirineo to see how much more he can help us with each month. The man at Chihiuahua has already replied agreeing and tells me to write to you on the same subject". "May God reward you for your flights, hurried trips and efforts, and also for the talking you have had to do at all these conferences". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE to Pascual Diaz, dated October 16, 1934. "Article 3 as finally worded deserves just as much disapproval as before, as its meaning and tendencies are the very same ones which it has had since the beginning". 114 "In my opinion it will be enough that the Senate approve it for us to proceed to publish the protest, because the States in a ma- jority have already signified their approval in advance, as they have announced, in order to curry favor". "As regards the construction that may be put on the protest by the Government and any more or less beneficial effect that it may produce on the attitude, of those who have opposed the measure in such a praiseworthy manner, I think that we should not worry be- cause a duty is involved of saving principles from injury and of stopping the mouth of those who think that our silence is habitual or due to fear". "To Your Grace I leave the task of getting it out there and of seeing to its circulating as widely as possible". "Coming now to the matter of the committee we have thought that as we now can count on the approval of a majority or of all, a final decision can be come to in regard to the character, principles and composition of the same; for this purpose Mr. Jose Antonio is at this moment drawing up a declaration". "I have written to the REV. FATHER PROVINCIAL a latter so that he may assent to the assistance that we must ask of the society, in regard to those two men who will doubtless be of the greatest use to us in the matter... As the point is that the Society shall help us as efficiently as possible at this critical time, I think that the Father Provincial will not refuse to allow and will even send his priests to assist with all discretion not only as advisers but also as organizers and with their guidance, etc." LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE to the Father Provincial, dated October 16, 1934. "I have just had the pleasure of a visit from Father Romero and of giving my final approval to the establishment of the Execu- tive Committee of the Episcopate, and have appointed the prelates, etc. who are to compose it". "... Taking into account everything that the prelates tell me and the excellent preparation and goodwill always shown by the Society of Jesus in Mexico, towards the Venerable Episcopate, I take the liberty of stating, beloved father, that your body more than anyone else must help us to defend the sacred rights of the Church, more persecuted now than ever in our country". "So that I sincerely believe that the fathers of the Society should advise, organize and assist in every way they can, either by sitting 115 on the boards of established associations, either as advisers, assis- tants, counsellors, etc. on those established or on new ones as they are created, by which they will render a great service to the Church". "As regards Fathers Romero and Iglesias, I would beg you as a favor to allow them to form part of the auxiliary committee of the Episcopate, as I think that Your Reverence will not have any objections to letting us have those priests in view of the new shape taken by the committee". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE to Pascual Diaz, dated August 23, 1934. "I see that those gentlemen are going to rush the amendment to Article 3, by forcing on us their socialist education which in their own opinion and that of everyone else, will be positively atheistic". "I think that any petition or representation made by the episco- pate before the Article is amended, would defeat its own ends; but I do think that once the Article is amended a real protest signed by all the prelates or by those wishing to sign it, will be indispen- sable. In that protest there could be included all the outrages com- mitted by the authorities in the last few years and a definite exhor- tation to the faithful to defend their violated rights". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE. Dated Sept- ember 6, 1934. "MY BELOVED DAUGHTER IN CHRIST: It has occurred to me that in this, St. Michael's month, we should apply to that Holy Archangel, not only for the purpose of praying him to sanctify more and more our communion on his day, but also that he may train us for the part which we must of necessity take in this battle, one of so many that God must wage against the attacks of Satan". "... Guidance is lacking `-say certain persons-' and yet they do not see or do not wish to see that they do have it and in very precise terms, in the instructions from the Pope of January 1, 1931, and in the letters of the Episcopate... and they do not wish to do without direction of the Bishop and of the priest, which direction will doubtless help them greatly to increase their supporters, but which would be more hurtful due to the tendencies that would be assumed by the party and by the pretext we would furnish the Gov- ernment for further persecution of the Church". "... they are wont to say that if no agreement had been enter- ed into, that if the armed contest had continued, that if this or that 116 or the other had or had not been done, things would have been very different. And all this is merely wasting time on suppositions and surmises, and a failure to realize that what is past is over and done with; and that we must make a fresh start and not attempt to revive what is dead". "... others delude themselves with the idea that everything depends on an armed movement that will overthrow the revolution, and fail to see that two wrongs do not make a right, and that no Government, however good, can be established unless founded on an educated, respectful and righteous people. If to this we add self- conceit, a desire to criticize everybody the belief that we alone are infallible and necessary, too much talk and too little action, selfishness and lack of courage and disinterestedness, etc., you will understand what I have told you in former letters". "In strict confidence I will tell you that I suspected that the originator of that program wanted to go to Mexico to place himself at the head; but as he possesses gifts and qualities not easily found in others there would be reasons for allowing him to realize his purpose, if that is how the spirit moves him. From certain indica- tions I take it that he favors the sword and although citizens are perfectly free to resort to force in given circumstances, it would be very difficult for a person in a position like the one he would occupy not to interfere and his doing so would involve serious complications". "... My own part in the work and toil of your uncle was that I brought him along as my Secretary in 1929 and recommended him to the Holy Father to be Archbishop of Mexico; the former by advice of the Washington Delegation, the latter was my own idea..." LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE, date September 12, 1934, written to Julia Fragoso, 32 Dinamarca. "MY DAUGHTER IN CHRIST: In regard to that dissatisfaction felt by many on account of our saying nothing, we would have to point out to them that to say anything at this particular moment would do harm rather than good. To the partisans of the sword we would have to show that they are free to do whatever they please so long as they do not drag in the clergy or the Church and it might be just as well to tell them that wisdom requires that they must not take a step of that kind unless they feel very sure of their ground and that they must seriously consider the fact that they might, it they embarked on an adventure of that kind, settle the present in- cumbents firmer in power..." It is only natural that people general- 117 ly, in the midst of their affliction, and lacking organization or lead- ership, should find a cry of that kind very comforting and encourag- ing. Let them organize and obey whomsoever assumes leadership, in a disciplined manner, and they will soon learn how to work without the direction of a cassock". "Such direction should be limited to humbly receiving the ad- monitions of the Bishops whenever the latter shall draw their atten- tion to some point apt to depart from morals or dogma. In other matters, such direction would be harmful rather than helpful". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE, to Raquel Salinas, dated October 22, 1934. "... The papers said yesterday that the Senate had passed the bill so that I surmise that the document we wrote of will come out at any time now". LETTER FROM THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE, dated October 24, presumably written to Raquel Salinas. "I am awaiting news of the publication of my document down there so as to publish it here". From the facts recited, and from the paragraphs transcribed the following is apparent: I. From the manifesto and letter of Jose de Jesus Manrique y Zarate it appears that he makes a formal and direct incitement to the commission of the offense of rebellion and this act comes within section one of article 135 of the Criminal Code, and is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to said provision. Such incitement is inferred from the following paragraphs of the manifesto: "Will ye be so selfish and so cowardly that ye will, so as not to expose your lives or worldly interests, permit those innocents to perish in the clutches of men so perverse and degenerate?" "... Ask me not how ye are to combat those infamous men: ... If it attacks us by violence, on that ground must we also defend ourselves and defend our children, in spite of the scanty forces at our disposal". The above is completed by the paragraph of the letter sent by said Bishop to the Rev. Rafael Davila Vilchis and to the Rev. Luis Beltran, President and Secretary respectively, of the Central Board of Catholic Action. 118 It must, then, be considered that the Bishop of Huejutla formally and directly incites Catholics, who are non-military persons, to rise in arms against the Government of the Republic to prevent the free exercise of the institutions emanating from the Political Constitu- tion of the United Mexican States. ------ Aside from the above, in the manifesto last mentioned, which is a written declaration, he publicly incites to defiance of political insti- tutions and disobedience of the Mexican laws and authorities, and Mr. Manrique y Zarate must therefore be held to have infringed article 8 of the Law of June 21, 1926, amending the Criminal Code for the Federal District and Territories, on Common Law offenses and offenses against the Federation in matters of religious worship and external discipline, and said article 8 punishes the acts referred to by imprisonment. -------- Furthermore, Mr. Manrique y Zarate being a minister of the Catholic religion, has, in an act of propaganda, which is what the aforesaid manifesto is, criticized the authorities and Government of Mexico, and he has thereby infringed article 10 of the said Law, which punishes such acts with imprisonment. ------- To sum up: the fact of the existence of a certain act which the Law punishes with imprisonment, has been established, and there is information which makes it likely that Mr. Jose de Jesus Manri- que y Zarate, Bishop of Huejutla, is guilty thereof; therefore, the requirements of article 16 of the Constitution being met, these facts should be reported to the Courts, criminal action being taken and a warrant for the arrest of the said Mr. Jose de Jesus Manrique y Za- rate applied for, pursuant to articles 134 and 195 of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure. ---------- II. With regard to Mr. Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores, the message forming part of the record must be considered authentic, as this is apparent from the letters exchanged between Mr. Ruiz y Flores and Mr. Pascual Diaz, and also between the former and Raquel Salinas. 119 In the aforesaid message, the Apostolic Delegate censures the attitude of the Government, and it contains paragraphs openly tend- ing to incite people to make opposition to said Government in order to prevent the free exercise of the Legislative Power, which is an institution emanating from the Constitution. There is likewise an invitation to disobey the Fundamental law of the Nation. "Any Law impairing those rights (religious rights, the right to educate one's children, to life and private property) is unjust and null and void". From the message it is apparent, then, that the Apostolic Dele- gate has made formal and direct incitement to commit the crime of rebellion, which is furthermore inferred by supplementing the mes- sage by the letters addressed both to Mr. Pascual Diaz, Archbishop of Mexico, and to Raquel Salinas, and therefore the provisions of ar- ticle 135, section I of the Criminal Code, which punishes by imprison- ment any one formally and directly inciting to rebellion are applicable in the premises. -------- Mr. Ruiz y Flores, in his capacity as a Minister of the Catholic religion, has in a public manner and by means of written declarations incited to disavowal of political institutions and to disobedience of the laws and it must therefore be considered that he has infringed article 8 of the Law of June 21, 1926, mentioned above, which pun- ishes such acts by imprisonment. ------- Furthermore, the aforesaid Archbishop Ruiz y Flores in his man- ifest, which is an act of religious propaganda, criticizes the Mex- ican authorities and Government, and must on this account be held to have infringed article 10 of the aforesaid law, and to have ipso facto become liable to the penalties which said law provides. -------- To sum up, the existence of acts classified as offenses and pun- ishable by imprisonment has been established, and there are facts leading to presumption of the guilt of Mr. Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores, Apostolic Delegate to Mexico and Archbishop of Morelia, in the com- mission of said acts; as the requirements of article 16 of the Con- stitution are met, the matter must be turned over to the Courts, by 120 exercising criminal action, and applying for the necessary warrant for the arrest of the aforesaid Mr. Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores, pursuant to articles 134 and 195 of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure. ------- In connection with this indictment, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic expressly states that these judicial proceed- ings are due to a desire to prevent, in accordance with the laws, any acts contrary to public order and to the integrity of the social and political institutions of the land, but not to persecution of or reprisals against any religious belief or sentiments, these constituting problems of a social and educational nature, which the Government is solving by other methods, such judicial action and the use of public forces being limited to those cases in which the laws that safeguard order, peace and the respect due to institutions, shall be menaced or violated. -------- In view of the whole of the foregoing, there may properly be made the following O R D E R The record made up in connection with the indictment made by the Hon. President of the Republic, in his letter number 19707, dated October 30 of the current year, having been examined, and it appear- ing from the documents transmitted that the requirements of article 16 of the Constitution are met, for the purpose of requesting a war- rant for the arrest of Mr. Jose de Jesus Manrique y Zarate, Bishop of Huejutla, and Mr. Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores, Apostolic Delegate to Mex- ico, for the offenses provided for and punished by article 135, sec- tion I, of the Criminal Code, and articles 8 and 10 of the Law of June 21, 1926, amending the Criminal Code for the Federal District and Territories, on Common Law offenses and offenses against the Federation in matters of religious worship and external discipline, and in accordance with articles 134 and 195 of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure, let the facts be reported to the District Court sitting by rotation in the Criminal Branch, in this City, by exercis- ing criminal action, and forthwith requesting that a warrant be is- sued for the arrest of Jose de Jesus Manrique y Zarate and Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores. Let instructions be issued to the Public Attorney attached to said District Court sitting by rotation, so that he may 121 in this matter take the intervention legally appertaining to him. On the understanding that the investigation remains open against all persons who may prove to be guilty. As Messrs. Ruiz y Flores and Manrique y Zarate are at present out of the country, let instructions be issued to the Immigration Delegates of the Republic, through the Department of the Interior, so that they may, should the above- named gentlemen attempt to enter the national territory, proceed to arrest them and place them at the disposal of the authorities taking cognizance of the case. I beg to renew assurances of my high and distinguished consid- eration.--Effective Suffrage. No Reelection.--Mexico, D. F., No- vember 7, 1934.--E. PORTES GIL, Attorney General of the Republic. **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended -- The Free Market-Place of Ideas. The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old, hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts and information for today. If you have such books please contact us, we need to give them back to America. 122


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