The Religious Conflict in Mexico

August 1, 1926

Report Outline
Position of the Church in Colonial Mexico
Position of the Church in Independent Mexico - 1821–56
Constitution of 1857 and Reform Laws
Mexican Constitution of 1917
Separation of Church and State in France
Separation of Church and State in Russia

The conflict between Church and State in Mexico, which entered its decisive stage July 31 when general enforcement of the religious prohibitions of the constitution of 1917 was begun by the government and services in Catholic churches were suspended by order of the Mexican hierarchy, has its roots far back in Mexican history and will open a new chapter in that history, whatever its outcome.

The government and the Catholic clergy both have expressed determination to carry the contest to a decisive issue, although neither side has yet brought all its weapons into play. Overturn of the Calles government and foreign intervention are among the possibilities of the present situation, although the latter possibility appears remote.

By the government the struggle is regarded as one to abolish for all time the temporal power heretofore exercised in Mexico by the Catholic Church. By the Church the government's effort is regarded as a war upon religion, under the pretext of wiping out political activities by the clergy - activities in which it is denied that the Catholic clergy has engaged since the first decade of the present century.

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