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Munguía, Clemente de Jesús

MUNGUÍA, CLEMENTE DE JESÚS

Mexican prelate and scholar, active in the defense of the Church during the Liberal reform and the period of Emperor Maximilian; b. Los Reyes, Michoacán, Nov. 21, 1810; d. Rome, Dec. 14, 1868. He graduated in law and practiced the profession in Morelia and Mexico City from 1838 to 1841, when he was ordained to the priesthood. He then served in various ecclesiastical posts of the Diocese of Morelia, including those of vicar-general and vicar of the curia. In 1843 he was named rector of the seminary, where he had taught, and he brought this institution to a high level of academic and scientific activity. Munguía was elevated to the bishopric of Michoacán in 1850. In 1853 he was named president of the council of state by the dictator Santa Anna. With the victory of the Ayutla revolution, he vigorously defended the Church against the Liberal reformers and was exiled in 1856 by President Comonfort. Returning to his diocese the following year, he declared himself in favor of the Plan of Tacubaya, which called for the derogation of the liberal constitution of 1857 and set in motion the War of the Reform. At the conclusion of the war in 1861, which resulted in victory for the Reform party under Benito Juárez, he was again sent into exile. With the beginning of the French invasion of Mexico, he returned to Morelia in 1863 as its first archbishop. He soon incurred the enmity of Emperor Maximilian because of his outspoken views on the rights of the Church. He was one of the prelates who signed the Manifest of Dec. 29, 1864, urging the government not to legislate in religious matters without a previous concordat with the pope. He also protested against the Law of Religious Tolerance; but disillusioned in his hopes under the emperor, he went into exile again in 1865 and spent his last days in Rome. A prolific writer, he left 14 volumes, ranging from a course in universal jurisprudence (1844) to a synthesis of the philosophy of thought and expression (1852), in addition to numerous essays and addresses.

Bibliography: e. valverde tÉllez, Bio-bibliografía eclesiástica mexicana, 18211943, 3 v. (Mexico City 1949).

[j. a. magner]

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