.- The Archdiocese of Mexico City has rejected criticism that in calling for the countryâs laws on religious worship to be changed it is undermining the secular State. Rather, what the Church is seeking is to have laws that reflect âthe Constitution which guarantees freedom for all citizens without exception.â
In a statement from the archdiocese, its spokesman noted that Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City recently told the âReformaâ newspaper that the concern the bishops have about the laws on religious practice is that they echo âthe Constitution which guarantees freedom for all citizens without exception.â
The statement noted that on various occasions, the cardinal has publicly called for the need to move from freedom of worship to âauthentic religious freedom.â True religious freedom does not undermine the secular State or to return to the privileges of the past, but rather allows âthe clergy and religious associations to enjoy authentic freedom of participation in a society that is heading towards the strengthening of its democratic life.â
The archdiocese reiterated its support for an initiative by the College of Catholic Lawyers to âcorrect the legal deficiencies that impede respect for the individual guarantees for clergy members in our country and to prevent the intimidation and silencing of the clergy, as was the case during the recent debate over the legalization of abortion in Mexico City.â
The statement, which was signed by archdiocesan spokesman Father Hugo Valdemar, stressed that the College of Catholic Lawyers is acting autonomously and independently of the Church hierarchy. Nevertheless, he said, the Bishopsâ Conference of Mexico and various religious associations have expressed their support of the proposal to reform the countryâs laws on religious practice.