This past week, I have learned a lot about the great influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico in the following years after Independence. The Church held vast amounts of land. And in those times, land was wealth and wealth was power. But apart from this great wealth and political/economical power, the Church played a huge role for the ordinary or the lower class of people. Though the Church, at times, exploited the poor with crazy high pricing on sacraments and absolutions. But the Church gave to the poor also, a safe haven for forgetting the monstrosities of the real world. It provided entertainment for the masses, making life a little less harsh with alcohol. This made people lean on the Church; it inspired faith.
Today we see the Catholic church trying to do the same. The drug cartels in Mexico constantly inspire violence and murder among the Mexican population. A great amount of fear is generated from these atrocities. The country has suffered an estimated 70,000 drug gang killings over the years. And with death comes relatives of the victims, some wanting blood for their lost loved ones. Here, the Church tries to step in, to put out the fire and dissipate the anger. They beg relatives to “adopt a Christ-like forgiveness by pardoning even the killers.” This has struck a nerve with many understandably. So the Church is delving into ways to try to inspire including media. They have released a 10-minute video, titled “Brother Narco.” Its about a 13 year old girl named Miri whose parents were killed by a gunman. The killer later storms into the funeral and brings a funeral wreath, laying his hand on the coffin and turns to leave. Then the girl runs to him and hugs him. Unrealistic, yet sweet.
The Church is still asserting some dominance in a very Catholic country, trying to end violence. It’s a good change from the old and more corrupt Church to be certain.