In a joint statement, both the Mexican bishops and the Archdiocese of Mexico City affirmed that there is not a dispute between the two about how the country’s 2010 census is collecting data on religious affiliation, despite speculation by some “ill-intentioned voices."
The relationship between the two entities “is very favorable,” the statement said pointing to a May 23 article in Desde la fe, to prove their agreement in questioning “the methodology used by the National Institute for Statistics and Geography to gather information about the religions professed by Mexicans.”
Last week, the bishops criticized the classification of religious affiliations included in the question, which gives Mexicans the option of identifying themselves as belonging to the “Roman Catholic Church, the Traditional Catholics, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, the Tridentine Priestly Society, the Mexican National Catholic Church, The Catholic Church of the Apostles of the Last Days, the Society of St. Pius X, The Latin Rite Tridentine Catholic Church, the Latin Rite Catholic Church, the Tridentine Mexican Catholic Union, the Catholic Church of Christ International and the Reformed Apostolic Roman Catholic Church.”
The bishops said Catholics should be sure to select “Roman Catholic” as their religious identity. “It is of transcendental importance that our faithful respond clearly that they belong to the Roman Catholic Church,” the bishops said.
Local media reported that the archdiocese supported a boycott of the census.
However, due to the controversy, the Secretary General of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference was able to meet with government officials and express concern over the census. The census workers noted that the religious affiliation question would be “open” instead of offering specific options.
In the recent statement, the bishops and archdiocese expressed the Church’s desire that Mexicans collaborate with the census, calling it a “valuable tool for the development of Mexico.”