2008 Conference - The Battle for the FaithDeep in History

Viva Cristo Rey: Catholic Persecution in Mexico – Patrick Madrid

Patrick Madrid | January 11, 2018 No Comments

In a powerful talk from our 2008 Deep in History conference, Patrick Madrid, whose own ancestors fled Mexico during an era of religious persecution, talks about the history of anti-Catholicism in Mexico during the beginning of the 20th century. He looks at the Revolutionaries who fought the government, the government that cracked down on the Catholic Church, and the role that priests and lay Catholics played in all of it. If you’re not familiar with the history of Christianity in Mexico, do yourself a favor and check out Patrick’s talk!

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Study Questions:

-How did the Enlightenment movement influence the persecution of Mexican Catholics?

-Do you think the cultural and governmental precursors to the persecution of Mexican Catholics parallel the struggle of Catholics in the United States today? Why or why not?

-What were the characteristics and virtues of those Mexican Catholics who stood against the persecution of the
government?

Important Terms and Figures:

Age of Enlightenment: The 18th century European movement, based on the premise of the innate goodness of
humanity; that through the hard work and effort, humanity could build a better society. It was characterized by optimism and popular among the educated, wealthy, and establishment clergy, but not prevalent among the common people.

Freemasonry (or “Masonry”): A fraternal organization that embraces principles and rituals that embody a naturalistic religion, the position that a person can be equally pleasing to God while remaining in any
religion. While many Masons are people of goodwill and are engaged in charitable works, membership in Freemasonry is prohibited for Catholics since Masonic principles “have always been regarded as
irreconcilable with the Church’s doctrine” (“Declaration on Masonic Associations” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1983).

Blessed Miguel Pro: (born January 13, 1891 – executed November 23, 1927) was a Mexican Jesuit Catholic priest executed under the presidency of Plutarco Elías Calles on trumped up charges of bombing and attempted
assassination against former Mexican President Álvaro Obregón. Pro’s arrest, lack of trial, and evidential support
gained prominence during the Cristero War. Known for his religious piety and innocence, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II as a Catholic martyr in odium fidei (“in hatred of the Faith”) on September 25, 1988.