Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/310

This page needs to be proofread.


MEXICO


268


MEXICO


(C) Church Propcrti/.— Law o{\2Ju\y. IS.W, Art. 1.— All pro|HTty whicli iinilor dift'crciit titles has Ih'cm inl- ininistcri'il by the siH'ular and ri'Kulai- ilirfjy, wliati'vrr kiiiil of proixTty it iimy be, taxes, shares, or slocks, or the iiaiiic or purpose it niay have had, l«'eoiiies the pro[H'rty of the State. Lawof 5 Kebruary, isiil, Ait. 100. — The Government hands over all paroehial resi- dences, episcopal palaces, and dwellings of the heads of any denomination, declaring them inalienable and free from taxation as long as they are reserved for their own specific purpose. Law of 25 September, 1873, Art. 3. — No religious institution may accjuire property nor the re venue derived from property. Law of 10 Oct., 1874, Art. 16. — The direct ownership of the churches nationalized aocording to the law of 12 .luly, 1859, and left for the maintenance of Catholic wor.ship, as well as tho.se which liave since l)een turned over to any other institution, continues to reside in the nation; but their exclusive use, preservation, and improvement, as long as no decree of consolidation is issued, remains with the religious institutions to which they have been granted. Art.. 17. — The buildings mentioned in the preceding article will Ix; exempt from taxation, ex- cept when they have actually or nominally passed into the hands of one or more private individuals who hold the title without transmitting it to a religious society; in such cases the property shall te subject to the common law.

(D) Legacies and Wills. — Law of 14 December, 1874. Art. 8. — Legacies made in favour of ministere of religion, of their relatives to the fourth degree, or of persons living with said ministers when they have rendered any spiritual aid to the testators in their last illness, or when they have been their spiritual direc- tors, are null and void.

(E) Civil Marriage and Divorce. — Law of 23 July, 1859, Art. 1. — Marriage is a ci\il contract that can licitly and validly be contracted before the ci\il author- ity. It suffices for its validity that the contracting parties, having complied with the formalities of the law, present themselves before the proper authority, and freely express their desire of being united in mar- riage. Law of 4 December, 1860, Art. 20. — The civil authorities shall not interfere in the religious rites and practices concerning marriage, but the contract from which this union proceetls remains exclusively subject to the laws. Any other marriage that is contracted in the republic without observing the formalities prc- scrited by these laws is null, and therefore ineffectual to produce any of the civil ends which the law grants only to a lawfully contracted marriage. Law of 10 I)ecenib<T, 1874, Art. 23. — All decisions regarding nullity, validity, divorce, and other questions relative to the marriage state, must Ix! tried tefore the civil tribunals which will determine the law without taking into consideration any resolutions on this subject tliat may liave been provided by the ministers of religion.

(F) Cemeteries and Graves. — Law of 31 July, 1859, Art. 1. — The intervention of the clergy, secular or regular, in the management of cemeteries, vaults, and crypts, which up to the present time has teen in force, ceases throughout the republic. Law of 4 Decemlier, 1860, Art. 21.— The governors of states, districts, and territories sliall exercise the .strictest vigibnce for the enforcement of the laws in regard to cemeteries and burial grounds, and in no place shall decent burial be refused the dead no matter what may be the decision of the priests or their respective churches.

(G) Hospitals and Charitable Institutions. — Law of 2 February, 1861, Art. 1.— All hospitals and chari- table institutions which up to the present time have been under ecclesiastical authority and managed by religious corporations are secularized. Law of 5 Feb- ruarv-, 1861, Art 67.— Charitable institutions that were managed by ecclesiastical corporations or committees independent of the Government are secularized and


placed under the immediate supervision of the civil authorities. Law of 28 February, 1861, Art. 1.— All hospitals, a.sylums, houses of correction, and charitable institutions which exist at. the present time, and which shall lie founded in the Federal District, shall be under the prcitcriidn of the Government. Law of 27 August, 19U1, Art. 2.'). -Till' ministers of any form of religion cannot act as the directors, administrators, or patrons of private charity; neither can officials, dignitaries, or religious corporations, nor anyone, delegated by them, act in the same capacity.

(H) Oaths.— haw of 25 September, 1873, Art. 21.— The simple promise to speak the truth and to fulfil the obligations it entails, shall take the place of the reli- gious oath with its e(inse(|Ueiices and penalties.

(I) Instruction.~l,a\v of 4 December, 1874, Art. 4.— Religious instruction and the exercises of any form of religion are prohibited in all federal, state, and muni- cipal schools. Morality will be taught in any of tlie schools when the nature of their constitutions permits it, but without reference to any form of religion. The infraction of this article will be punished by a fine of from 25 to 200 pesos, and dismissal from office if the offence is repeated.

(J) Military Service. — Law of 4 December, 1860, Art. 19. — The ministers of all forms of religion are exempt from military and coercive personal service, but not from the taxes which the law imposes for this privilege of exemption.

(K) Public Office. — Constitution of 1857, Art. 56.— No member of the ecclesiastical body can be elected a congressman. Law of 13 November, 1874, Art. 58. — Nominations for senator are subject to the same con- ditions as those for congressman.

Ecclesiastical Organizatiox. — There is no doubt that the See of Yucatan, with the title of Carolensis, under the patronage of Nuestra Sefiora de los Reme- dios, was the first bishopric erected in Mexico; the Bull of Leo X, " Sacri Apostolatus ministerio ", issued January, 1518, proves this. The erection of this diocese followed the first reports of the discovery of the peninsula, and by the Bull we see that Yucatan was still thought to be an island. However, as soon as more definite information was received concerning Mexico after the conquest, establishing the fact that Yucatan was part of the mainland, the proceedings for the erection of the diocese were suspended, especially as the Spaniards, diverted by other enterprises, gave little thought to Yucatan, and when it was abandoned by D. Francisco de Montejo, in 1527, they did not re- turn until 1542. It may also be noted that when Clement VII named Fray Julian de Garces first Bishop of New Spain in 1526, the title Episcopus Carolensis was still used, and the Emperor Charles V, using the faculties granted him by the popes of assigning the limits of new dioceses, says in the royal decree which accompanied the Bull: "We declare, assign, and determine as the limits of the Bishopric of Yucatanand Santa Maria de los Remedies the following lands and provinces; first, the Province of Tlaxcala, inclusive, and S. Juan de Ulua", etc. As Tlaxcala had a greater population and was nearer the capital, Bishop Garces established the episcopal residence there, from whence it was afterwards moved to Puebla.

Up to 1544 the dioceses in New Spain were: — Puebla, erected in 1526 at Tlaxcala, translated to Puebla, 1539; Mexico, 1530; Guatemala, 1534; Oaxaca, erected with the title of Antequera in 1535; Michoacan, erected in 1536 at Tzintzuntzan, translated later to Patzcuaro, and from there to the new city of Valladolid, now Morelia; Chiapas, 1546. They were all suffragans of the Archdiocese of Seville in Spain. Yucatan, though erected first, never had any resident bishop until 1561. On 31 January, 1545, at the solicitation of Charles V, the Holy Father, Paul III, separated these dioceses from the metropolitan See of Seville and erected the Archdiocese of Mexico, with