Castañeda, Francisco de Paula

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Franciscan journalist and defender of the Church in Argentina; b. Buenos Aires, 1776; d. Paraná, May 12, 1832. He was ordained in 1800 and, after teaching at the University of Córdoba, returned to Buenos Aires. In May 1815, when no one dared to speak patriotically because the revolution was thought to have failed, he did so and fought the disillusionment that was beginning to disturb the people. Chiefly during the government of Mart'n Rodr'guez, when rivadavia initiated a religious persecution with the so-called reform of the clergy, Castaeda published simultaneously as many as six newspapers. Unfortunately, he found that he was forced to employ the same vulgar and even scurrilous language used by his enemies, who were also those of the Church. As a result of his publications, he was exiled six times. No one defended the religious orders as he did when Rivadavia took over the convents and the other possessions of the orders. Castaeda was vitally concerned with ending illiteracy and founded schools wherever he could, not only in Buenos Aires but also in Santa Fe and Entre R'os. He established art classes everywhere, believing that there was nothing like drawing to refine a spirit and set it on the path of knowledge and virtue. The fact that Rivadavia did not commit greater excesses against the Church was due above all to Castaeda. His death was from natural causes, not, as his enemies wrote, from the bite of a rabid dog. The Italian Jos' Ingenieros wrote shockingly false pages about Castaeda, but another liberal writer, Arturo Capdevila, has written an enthusiastic and well-documented volume on his life and virtues.

Bibliography: a. capdevila, La santa furia del padre Castañeda (Madrid 1933). a. saldÍas, Vida y escritos del P. Castañeda (Buenos Aires 1907).

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Castañeda, Francisco de Paula

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