Ruíz y Flores, Leopoldo

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Mexican archbishop and apostolic delegate; b. Amealco, Querétaro, Nov. 13, 1865; d. Morelia, Dec. 12, 1941. After being reared in Temascalcingo, he was a student at the Clerical College of San Joaquín in Tacuba and later at the South American College in Rome. He received doctorates in philosophy, theology, and canon law in the Gregorian University. He taught philosophy in the archdiocesan seminary of Mexico City and was appointed successively pastor in Tacubaya, canon of Guadalupe, bishop of León (190007), archbishop of Linares-Monterrey (190711), and finally archbishop of Morelia (191241). He was apostolic delegate from 1929 to 1937. Archbishop Ruiz devoted a great deal of time to improving catechetical and general education in the Catholic schools. In León he founded the Instituto Sollano, the Instituto Teresiano, the school of the Sisters of the Adoration, the Instituto Guadalupe as well as the Marist school in Irapuato and later in Monterrey, and the schools of the Christian Brothers and the Sacred Heart Sisters. As archbishop he created many new parishes and the new Diocese of Tacámbaro. He stressed the social apostolate among industrial and agricultural workers. When the Madero rebellion broke out in 1911, Archbishop Ruiz, a long-time friend of Pres. Porfirio Díaz, felt bound to exhort his flock to remain loyal to the established government. As a result he was considered a reactionary by the victorious rebels and in 1914 was forced to take refuge in the U.S. During the religious persecution of 1925, in spite of his sympathy for conciliation movements, Ruiz y Flores was expelled by President Calles. Once more he sought hospitality in the U.S. Pope Pius XI named him apostolic delegate, and through the good offices of the ambassadors of the U.S. and Chile, he made a secret visit to Mexico in June 1929, accompanied by Bp. Pascual Díaz, to meet with Pres. Emilio Portes Gil. They agreed on a modus vivendi that would permit the restoration of worship in all the churches of the republic. When the Pope, in his encyclical Acerba animi, criticized the Mexican government for openly violating the agreement, Archbishop Ruiz y Flores was again exiled. He lived in San Antonio, Tex., until 1937, when he returned after the dedication of the pontifical seminary in Montezuma. He devoted the few remaining years of his life to the Archdiocese of Morelia.

Bibliography: j. a. romero, Recuerdo de Recuerdos (Mexico City 1942). e. valverde tÉllez, Bio-bibliografía eclesiástica mexicana, 3 v. (Mexico City 1949).

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Ruíz y Flores, Leopoldo

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