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Cardinal says religious freedom in Mexico still limited

On the eve of John Paul II's visit to Mexico, the archbishop primate of the country said that religious liberty is still limited in his nation.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera pointed out that there is still no full religious liberty in Mexico, and gave as an example the case of President Vicente Fox, who must remove his investiture to attend a religious ceremony. The "legislators and other authorities will do the same," he said Sunday.

Cardinal Rivera Carrera questioned the legal framework that obliges those with political or legislative investitures to remove them when they attend a religious event.

"It is not necessary to engage in juridical fabrications, because the president is the president in and out of his home, in and out of the Church," the cardinal said in statements to the press.

Cardinal Rivera explained that legal changes are required to reinforce the relation between Church and state, although this depends more on the legislative power than on the executive.

"They -- the lawmakers -- will see the most opportune moment to make new legislative proposals," he continued.

"I think what we need is a change of mentality: of more respect, of tolerance, of real religious liberty and not simply a statute to make it appear as though we have it, but to have religious liberty really exist in daily life," the cardinal stressed.


31 Jul 2002