.- The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, warned last week that “the divorce between Church and State could cause our ruin,” as he commented on those who want to overlook the country's religious roots.
The cardinal made his remarks during the opening of the 2009 Guadalupan Congress, saying he rejects the attempts by some to celebrate Mexico’s bicentennial by “disregarding the religious roots of our country.” He criticized those who wish to follow the ideologues of Europe and turn Mexico into a secular country, forcing Mexicans to deny “a part of who we are.”
After noting that many thinkers in history have tried to define the Mexican people, Cardinal Rivera explained that it is necessary to recognize that “in our national context, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is a fundamental force for national unity, and devotion to her is now totally independent of the Mexican state … She has contributed to cementing a national Catholic identity, because all Mexicans are in some way Guadalupans.”
He went on to stress that the popular phrase, “To be Mexican is to be Guadalupan,” does not mean “that we all have to think the same about Guadalupe, or that we all have to practice a Guadalupan devotion. But there is a part of being Mexican that signifies an unique relationship with Holy Mary of Guadalupe,” he said.
Although “at times we manifest it and other times we want to hide it,” he said, Our Lady of Guadalupe “is very present in our cultural roots, in very concrete events: when our mixed race began, at our Independence, during the Revolution, during important national events, and she is also present in our daily lives, for this reason [there is] the insistence that to be Mexican is to be Guadalupan,” the cardinal said.
The Archbishop of Mexico City also said that Our Lady of Guadalupe was instrumental in uniting the divided people of what is now Mexico. “And then came the Guadalupan event, and what seemed irreparable became a pathway, what seemed irreconcilable became a nation. Holy Mary of Guadalupe is the remedy that God provided for what seemed to be our destruction,” he said.