Munguía, Clemente de Jesús (1810–1868)

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Munguía, Clemente de Jesús (1810–1868)

Clemente de Jesús Munguía (b. 23 November 1810; d. 14 December 1868), bishop and later archbishop of Michoacán, opponent of the Reform Laws. Munguía, reputedly born in Zamora, Michoacán, represented the new breed of mid-nineteenth-century bishops determined to defend the rights and independence of the church from state encroachments. Ordained in 1841, he became rector of the seminary in Morelia in 1843, and was consecrated bishop of Michoacán in 1852. He wrote thirty-six pastoral letters during his time as bishop. He managed only a partial diocesan visit and recommended the establishment of new dioceses and parishes.

During Santa Anna's last régime (1853–1855) Munguía was president of the Council of State, a position that led him in November 1855 to oppose the Ley Juárez and argue for the church's right to the fuero. He believed that the government had exceeded its powers and should first have consulted the Holy See. He protested against the Ley Lerdo (1856) and the Ley Iglesias (1857), and denounced the government requirement of an oath to the 1857 Constitution. Munguía protested against General Epitacio Huerta's sack of the cathedral in Morelia on 22 September 1858 and occupation of the seminary building on 10 May 1859. He was the principal author of the 30 August 1859 bishops' manifesto condemning the Veracruz Reform Laws and refuting Liberal claims that the episcopate consisted of subversives. Expelled from Mexico by Juárez in 1861, he returned with the French Intervention in September 1863. When Pope Pius IX raised Michoacán to an archdiocese in January 1863, he appointed Munguía its first archbishop. An opponent of Maximilian's ecclesiastical policy, Munguía was exiled to Rome in June 1865, where he died in poverty.

See alsoLey Iglesias; Ley Lerdo.


José Bravo Ugarte, Munguía (1967).

Michael P. Costeloe, Church and State in Independent Mexico (1978).

Additional Bibliography

Chowning, Margaret. Wealth and Power in Provincial Mexico: Michoacán from the Late Colony to the Revolution. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Ivereigh, Austen. The Politics of Religion in an Age of Revival: Studies in Nineteenth-century Europe and Latin America. London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 2000.

Matute, Alvaro, Evelia Trejo, and Brian Francis Connaughton Hanley. Estado, Iglesia y sociedad en México, siglo XIX. México, D.F.: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, UNAM: Grupo Editorial, Miguel Angel Porrúa, 1995.

                                          Brian Hamnett

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Munguía, Clemente de Jesús (1810–1868)

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