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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/302

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MEXICO


260


MEXICO


advisability of adding to the stiitutos of the university a clause to the etTect tliat the decree of theology should not 1k' oonferred on those wlio did not know the Mexican languafie, and fixing a special hour for its study l>y the students of pliilosophy, either Ijefore or while they were studying classics.

In the famous instruction which the second Conde de Revillagigedo left to his successor the Marqu^'-s de Branciforte, we find that by a royal decree of 1 1 June, 1792. all members of the university wore obliged to obtain the viceroy's permission to marry. The vice- roy, who was the vice-patron of the university, was to appoint the rector in case the election did not give a decisive plurality to any candidate. Towards the end of the eighteenth century a course of botany was in- troduced. The viceroy, Conde de Revillagigedo, de-


Jesuit Church, Tepotzotlan (XVII or XVIII Century)

clared that reforms were needed in the methods of study and in the manner of conferring degrees, that little attention was given to the classics, that there was no apparatus for the study of modern experimen- tal physics, and that there were few modern works in the library. We know, however, that D. Manuel Ignacio Beye de Cisneros, who was rector in 1760, built the lilirary and drew up regulations for it, which were confirmed by the king in 1761. It contained more than 10,000 volumes, many of them rare and val- uable, esix'cially regarding the history of Mexico, and it was open to the public morning and afternoon, two librarians with tlur degree of doctor Ix'ing in charge.

At first the university was governed by provisional statutes drawn up by the viceroy and the Audiencia, modifying those of Salamanca as the circumstances of the country required. The Auditor Farfan amended these in 1580, and in 1583 still further revision was made by Archbishop Moya de Contreras. In 1645, D. Juan de Palafox, wlio was appointed visitor, com- piled new statutes which, when approved by the king, were to supersede all previous enactments. Never-


theless, in the instructions left liy the viceroy D. An- tonio Scbaslian de Toledo, Marqu(s de Manccra, to his succ<'.ss()r. 1). Pedro Nuno dcColun, l)u(|uede Vera- gua, 22 Oct., l(>7;i, we find the following: "The royal University of Mexico. Iliough richly en<lowed with brilliant and learned professors in all the branches, was greatly hampered by the multiplicity of statutes by which it was governed. I was informed that the viceroy D. Juan de Palafox had overcome this diffi- culty liv compiling new statutes, and that these were being withheld by some malicious person interested in continuing the disorder. I took the necessary means to ha\e these traced and brought to light, together with the royal decree of 1 May, 1649, confirming them. These were laid Ijefore the university, 26 Sept., 1668, were accepted without any difficulty, and since then have been observed with signal benefit to the schools, securing the approbation of his majesty (decree of 17 Jan., 1671), and affording relief to the viceroys who were frequently confronted by doubts and disputes which it was difficult to settle. "

The university continued its work until 1833, when it was closed by President Gomez Farias. President Santa Anna re-established it in 1834, with some modi- fications of the statutes; but during the following years it began gradually to deteriorate, owing chiefly to the instability of its laws, and to the fact that pub- lic sentiment was against it. President Comonfort suppressed it in 1857. Zuloaga reopened it on 5 May, 1858, but it was once more closed on 23 Jan., 1861, by Juarez. During the regency of 1863 it revived for a time until the Emperor Maximilian suppressed it de- finitively on .30 November, 1865.

(5) The Royal Patronage and the Clergy. — It is not po.ssible to proceed very far in the history of New Spain, whether civil or ecclesiastical, without taking into account what has been called the royal patron- age of the Spanish monarchs. In fact it is hardly possible to conceive a more absolute system of control than that exercised by the kings of Spain, whether in person or through the Council of the Indies and the viceroys and governors in all the ecclesiastical affairs of the Indies. A detailed account of these privileges, which were general throughout all Spanish America, will licfiiven with examples of tlie practical application of the /Kj/ny/m?() theory in the colony of New Spain. By the provisions of the Bull of 4 July, 1508, " Universalis Ecclesiie regimini", no churches, monasteries, or re- ligious foundations could be erected, in territory al- ready discovered or that should be subsequently dis- covered, without the con.sent of the Spanish monarch. It conferred also on the Spanish monarch the power of nominating suitable candidates for the metropolitan and other sees, and any that might be erected in the future. Bishops were obliged to confer canonical institution to ecclesiastical benefices ten days after the royal notification had been made, and in case opposition w-ere offered without legitimate cause any other bishop chosen by the candidate could and should confer such canonical institution. The Bull also conferred the right to present candidates for all the abbacies and prelacies of the regulars and, indeed for every ecclesiastical benefice, large or small.

Besides these privileges the king also had the right of designating the boundaries of all new dioceses, of sending religious to the Indies, of determining their stay there and their removal from one province to another. Religious establishments were under the supervision of the Council of the Indies, and, in order that this might be exercised with all possible thorough- ness, the office of commissioner general, for which Father Mendieta worked so earnestly, was established. The provincial or custodian of the regulars was named by their general, but he had to notify the commissioner general of Spain, who communicated with the Council of the Indies, and without its permission the nomina- tion was suspended. All decrees suppressing prov-