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MEXICO


261


MEXICO


inces or creating new ones, founding of new convents, and in case he noted disorders, relaxation, monopolies, sending visitors general or provincials, journeys of and partnerships indicative of simony and abuse, and the religious, naming of presidents for chapters, any fraternal correction proved insufficient to restore instructions given lay the superiors not directly con- order, the culpable ones were sent to Spain. Any nected with the ordinary government of the order, as visitor, provincial, prior, guardian, or prelate who might well as the patents which revoked any concessions be named or elected in the Indies, was obliged before previously granted, had to be presented to the Council exercising his office to notify the viceroy, president, of the Indies. All Bulls and Briefs from Rome, in- Audiencia, or governor then in supreme power in the structions from generals and other religious superiors, province, showing hLs letters of nomination and elec- hadtogothroughtheCouncilof the Indies, and without tion, in order to obtain the protection and help neces- its seal no use could be made of them. The records of sary for the exercise of the duties of his office in the provincial councils and synods in the colonies, their province (royal decree, 1 June, 1654). In the same constitutions and decrees, and those of the chapters and decree it was ordered that "the provincials of all assemblies of the regulars, couhl not be published until orrlers residing in the Indies shall each and every one revised and examined by thg Council. The Briefs of have always ready a list of the monasteries and houses the Congregation of the Propaganda appointing mis- under their control and the control of their subjects in sionaries for the Indies carried no weight whatever the province, also all the religious, giving eacn one's if unaccompanied by permission from the king or the name, age, qualifications, the office or ministry each Council of the Indies. one exerci-ses; and this shall be given each year to our

In order to form a new mission, province, or semi- viceroy, Audiencia, or governor, or to the person who nary for missionaries it was nece.3sary to go through all exercises the supreme government of the province, these proceedings. The province or house soliciting this permission appoint- ed a commissioner who personally or through his superi- ors made his request to the viceroy or governor, to the Au- diencia of the place, and to the bishop, all of whom were obliged to submit their re- spective reports. The conmiissioner, sup- plied with the neces- sary permits of the viceroy or governor and of his superiors, sailed for Spain, ana at the Court the mat- ter was laid before the commissioner general of the Indies. When all this was done, and not before.


Style of Franciacaa


building


adding or suljtract- ing the names of the religious who have been added to the communities or who have left. The pro- vincials of the orders, each and every one, shall make a list of tlip religious who are engaged in the work of teaching cate- chism to the Indians, administering the sacraments, anil act- ing as parish priests where the principal monasteries are situ- ated, and this shall be given each year to our viceroy, Au- diencia, or governor, who will give it to the bishop, so that he may know what persons are en- gaged in administer- ing the .sacraments and doing the work of parish

priests "

From this and much more that might be added if space permitted it may be seen that the civil power had almost absolute control in the religious affairs of the colonies, including those of New Spain. Some of these privileges had been usurped by the kings, and others had been granted by the Holy See. To have a selection having been made and the new missionaries proper understanding of the reason of these conces- gathered together, he could now embark with all the sions, which now seem to us excessive, we must bear in necessary authorization of superiors and council, and mind all that the Spanish kings did for the cause of re- go to his destination, whence he was obliged to report to ligion in .\merica. They erected and endowed nearly the authorities who had given him permission to go to all the churches in the New World, defrayed the travel- Spain. If a religious wished to leave the Indies and ling expenses of the religious and bishops until they return to Spain, the permission of the father general, reached their posts; they had assigned different the commissioner general, or of the pope himself amounts, by way of alms, to churches of religious (royal decree of 29 July, 1>')64) did not sutiice, it was orders, in order that these might be supplied with oil, necessary to obtain the consent of the king or the lights, wine, altarbreads, and otherrequisitesforDivine Council of the Indies. Sometimes the permission of worship. The building of new churches and cathe- the bishops of the province was sufficient, the viceroy, drals, the foundation of missions, depended largely on president, or governor having been first consulted; the royal bounty. When some church, especially in they were obliged to report to the council the reasons the Indian towns, needed repairing, the citizens could for giving the permission. easily, on application, be freed from the tribute which

When the chapters of the religious orders were held was paid to the king, in order to devote the money to in places where the viceroys or governors did not re- the needs of the church. Although the Bull of Alex- side, the latter had to w'rite to the assembled religious ander VI conferred the tithes of all the Indies on the admonishing them to the strict observance of their king on condition that he should endow the churches ruleand constitution ; and if the chapter met where the ancl provide an adequate jnaintenance for their minis- viceroy orgovemor lived, he was obliged to be present, ters, the kings nevertheless rarely availed themselves


the petition could be presented to the Supreme Coun- cil of the Indies, together with the documents which certified to the necessity for the new foundation. The permission having been obtained, the Council named the provinces from which the religious should be drawn, and if the Council failed to do so the com- missioner general did it, sometimes leaving it to the choice of the aforesaid religious commissioner. The