Church demands freedom of expression

The fight between the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico and liberal sectors of society continues.

A book “The Church against Mexico,” penned by 21 leading academics and writers hit the bookstores in early December after it was presented at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara.

According to the book, the church continues to attempt to destroy the secularism of Mexico. Most of the book authors live and work in Mexico City, where the leftist government of Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has promoted gay marriage and the adoption of children by gay couples, angering the conservative sectors of the Mexican Catholic church.

The book was the latest salvo from those liberal sectors. The book includes political cartoons showing how the power of the Catholic Church has dominated in Mexico for the last five centuries. Some of the book collaborations include cartoons showing the alleged links between the church and drug traffickers. Recently it was found that top leaders of the drug cartel Los Zetas had financed the building of one church in Pachuca, Hidalgo, a city located an hour from Mexico City.

The problema is that Mexico is still a very religious country, and the fight between liberal and conservative sectors over such policies as gay rights and abortion will only continue to get hotter. After the publication of “The Church Against Mexico”, the church replied through the Bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Felipe Arizmendi, who said the church not only needed freedom of religion but also freedom of expression, so the church could defend its policies and beliefs.

Bishop Arizmendi also said if the church was against Mexico, “would the poor and the suffering turn to the church for comfort?” Bishop Arizmendi made headlines earlier this year, when he said that pedophile priests were “execrable” or scandalous, but that those violations occurred a long time ago and are not occurring in today´s church. The remarks were made after a group that promotes prosecution of pedophile priests announced that there were 65 Roman Catholic priests accused of child abuse living in Mexico. and that several of them were working for the Catholic churches in the country.