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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/304

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MEXICO


262


MEXICO


of the Rriiiit, but ilonatcil to the bishops, dioceses, clergy, churches, and hospitals in the Indies a great part of what was due them from this source.

In so far as the royal patronage in New Spain is concerned, it must be admitted, in deference to the truth, that if in some instances royal decisions were oppressive and little in accorilance with the liberty of tne Church; the royal su|H^rvision in many other re- spects was henehcial. In illustration of the first may be cited the case of the bishop who, without reflecting that he had not the authorization of the Council of the Indies, and thai he out;ht to advise the viceroy, solemnly promulgated the decree which Clement X issued when he ascciidi'd tlie jiontifical throne, grant- ing a general juliilre to all the faitliful who should pray to the Divine Majesty that he might be granted the


Church of San Juan de los Ll.\nc)8. Jalisco, Mexico


light to govern wisely the universal Church. For this the bishop was reproved by the royal decree of 10 June, 1652. As regards the second, it must be ad- mitted that, in the beginning at least, the Spanish monarch made wise selection of the men appointed to the episcopal sees of Mexico. It suffices to mention such men as Fray Julian Garces, first Bishop of Tlax- cala. Fray Juan de Zumdrraga, first Bishop of Mexico, D. Vasco tie Quiroga, first Bishop of Michoacan; in general, with few exceptions, the bishops of New Spain were scholarly men, zealous for the salvation of souls. Notwithstanding the many formalities attending the establishment of religious houses in Mexico, there were very many, both men and women, belonging to the con- templative and active orders who succeeded in secur- ing the necessary authorization. Among the religious orders of men established in Mexico during the Spanish occupat ion may be ment ioned the Franciscans, Domini- cans, Augu.stinians, Carmelites, Brothers of St. James (Dieguinns), Jes\iits, Mcrceilarians, Bethlehemites, Benedictines, Oratorians, and Brothers of .St. John of fiod; among the women, the Poor Clares, Capuchines, Carmelites, Coiiceptionists, Cistercians, Augustinians, Dominicans. In another section of this article an account will be given of all the dioceses erected dur- ing the colonial period. If, aNo, account is taken of the almost inntunerable hospitals, churches, convents,


and monasteries that were built in New Spain, it will be seen that the kings, instead of using their royal prerogatives to hinder these foundations, did all in their power to spread and encourage them.

The much vexed question of alternate rule, which caused much dissension in the religious orders, moved Pope Innocent XI to decree that in the provinces of such religious in America as had Europeans and Creoles in the communities, the prelacies should be con- ferred alt ernat ely, some years on the one and some on the others. When the king heard that the papal order was not being carried out in Mexico, he required the viceroy, D. Antonio Sebastian de Toledo, Marque's de Mancera, by official decree of 2S November, Iti()7, to investigate the matter thoroughly, and to have the orders of the Holy Father carried out. Although at first owing to the scarcity of secular priests, the kings permitted religious to hold parishes, later, learning that it was the cause of relaxed discipline among them, of exemption from episcopal visitation, and sometimes of unfairness and abuse of the Indians, they did everything within their power to have these reli- gious replaced by secular priests. As to the inter- vention of the viceroys in the chapters of the reli- gious orders, it is known that the part taken by the Conde de Revillagigedo, viceroy from 1746-55, in the chapter of the Carmelites, to settle the question of atlmitting a visitor, was most beneficial, as well as other regulations among the Franciscans, Augustin- ians, and Hiinhci's of St. John of God. In the instruc- tions given by Ferdinand VI, in 1755, to D. Agustin de AluHuada y Villak'in, Marques de las Amarillas, who was leaving for his post as Viceroy of New Spain, the following is found : " See that the bishops, the secular and religious clergy, receive all the support they need from the civil courts, to uproot idolatry; that those having Indians, negroes, or mulattoes in their homes as servants send them daily to the Christian doctrine classes, and that those working in the fields be given the same opportunity on Sunday and other days of precept, not occupying them in other things until they have learned the catechism; and if they do not com- ply they shall be fined. All priests who are to work among the Indians should know- their languages, and it is necessary that they should study these languages. The condition of the Indians in all New Spain should Ije investigated to see if they are oppressed by those whose duty it is to teach them, and in case such con- ditions are found to exist, they are to be reported to the lilshop, and with his help measures must be taken to eradicate the evil. "

(6) The Inquisition in New Spain. — Forsome writers the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico has always been a particularly alarming subject, the exaggerated ac- counts of its atrocities and the number of its victims verging on the ridiculous. It has even been said that if the Spaniards abolished the human sacrifices of the ancient Aztec regime, they more than replaced them with the bonfires of the Inquisition. Fray Martin de Valencia, when he arri%ed in Mexico in 1524, bore the title of Commi.ssioner General of the Inquisition in New Spain, but judgment of offences of a grave nature was reserved to the Inquisitor of the Islas y Tierra Firme, who resided in the Island of San Domingo. Fray Martin was to hold this office until some Domini- can on whom the official charge of inquisitor had been conferred should arrive in Mexico. And in fact, when the first Dominicans reached Mexico in 1526, their superior. Fray Tomas Ortiz, became commissioner of the In(juisition. He returned almost immediately to Spain, and Fray Domingo de Betanzos succeeded him. In 1528 the new superior of the Dominicans, Fray Vicente de Santa Maria, succeeded to the title. At the time of the second .\udiencia. of which the eminent D. Seliastian de I'uen Leal was president, a meeting was held, attended by Bishop Zmndrraga, Cortes, and several of the most influential men of the