Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crazy Priests

I always kind of cringe when Mexico gets described as a deeply conservative Catholic nation, as that doesn't really square with my experience. Largely catholic, yes, and conservative too in some ways, but "conservative catholic" calls to mind an image of Mexico as a modern day outpost of the inquisition or something like that, which papers over the essentially modern and commonsense approach to religion that I saw most of the time. But maybe if so many of the most recognizable clergymen weren't bent on making crazy comments left and right, that erroneous image would disappear. For instance, Onésimo Cepeda, the bishop of Ecatepec, offered his opinion of modern Mexico with the statement, "El estado laico es una jalada", which roughly translates to, "The secular state is a bunch of crap". As I mentioned before, that sentiment doesn't represent the nation at large, but casual observers can be forgiven for drawing mistaken conclusions about the nation with guys like Cepeda running around.

Of course, the go-to source for priestly insanity in Mexico is, as of a few weeks ago, Aguachile.


Richard said...

I think being under criminal investigation for some of his shady business practices -- the most enterprising being his family's "pre-need burial" business, that's got more clients than burial space -- and the alleged theft of |30 million DOLLARS worth of art from the estate of the late Olga Azcárraga may have Bishop Cepeda thinking that doing away with the clerical fuero in the 19th century was a bad idea.

pc said...

I'd not heard of all of that...yeah sounds like a great guy. The photo reminds me of the big shot priest in Padre Amaro.