In the Mexican constitution, which dates from 1917, and before the constitutional changes made by President Carlos Salinas de Cortari (1988-1994), priests were considered second-class citizens and the Church was thrown out into the private realm. Some provisions did not disappear after the reforms and the revolutionary spirit is still present.
The Specialized Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TEPJF) of Mexico condemned two cardinals, a bishop, and two priests because they encouraged people to carefully weigh their vote, to pray to God to “enlighten” them, and not to vote for the promoters of abortion and gender ideology in the June 6 elections this year in Mexico.
In a bulletin published on Nov. 18, the Mexican court, the highest electoral body, said ministers of religion had violated Mexican law by posting “videos as part of the 2020-2021 federal electoral process, through various profiles and channels on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.”
Magistrate Gabriela Villafuerte Coello criticized the fact that one of the convicts encouraged faithful Catholics “to pray and ask God to enlighten them when they vote.” Stupidity argues with bigotry in the following quote:
“It shouldn't be allowed,” she said. “Votes are not heavenly or spiritual things, it's about voting with information, based on the weighing of other things, and that's exactly what you have to respect, because heavenly inspiration will not lead us to have the best people in elected offices, that makes sense,” she added.
The procedure against the Mexican bishops and priests was opened by complaints from deputies of the Morena Party of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, although the political group later withdrew its complaints. It must be said that the party has lost its two-thirds majority, even if it retains the absolute majority. Some former deputies have turned their anger on the Church.
Although the complaints were withdrawn by Morena, the TEPJF decided to continue. The magistrates claimed they had “transgressed the constitutional principles of separation between church and state” and “equality in cooperation.”
Following the ruling, the Interior Ministry in Mr. López Obrador's government will have to define the sanction, which could range from a simple reprimand to a fine of three million pesos (approximately $150,000).
The Mexican constitution allows Mexican priests to vote, but prohibits ministers of religion from “proselytizing for or against any candidate, party, or political association.”
Cardinal Sandoval Iñiguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, was condemned for his call for people not to vote for those who are “in power” because “the dictatorship is coming and freedom will be lost because it is a communist system that enslaves.” The cardinal also recalled that “the family is at stake, the good of the family and of life, because this government has adopted gender ideology.”
Cardinal Aguiar Retes, Archbishop of Mexico, was sentenced for having declared, in June 2018, on the eve of the elections which brought Lopez Obrador to the presidency, that Catholics should consider the one who guarantees respect for “the fundamental values of our faith, such as the right to life, the right to a stable family, the right to education, the right to religious freedom.”
Msgr. Elizondo Cardenas, bishop of the diocese of Cancun-Chetumal, was condemned for recalling that “the Church says: do not vote for candidates who support abortion, who are against the family, who are against values, who are against marriage as God describes it in the Bible, from the first page: ‘male and female, he created them and told them to increase and multiply.’”
Fr. Mario Angel Flores Ramos was condemned for his lecture “The Social Doctrine of the Church and the Political Commitment in the June 6 Elections,” in which he asked “not to give more power to those who do not known how to use it for the common good” and “not to give more confidence to those who devote themselves to dividing, not uniting, not developing.”
Fr. Espinosa de los Monteros, for his part, was condemned for having encouraged Mexicans to ask “God for light” before voting, and not to give “a single vote for the irresponsible, for those of the culture of death and division.”