Sánchez de Tejada, Ignacio
SÁNCHEZ DE TEJADA, IGNACIO
Colombian diplomat who obtained recognition of the independence of New Granada from the Vatican; b. El Socorro, Colombia, 1764; d. Rome, 1837. As an official of the viceroyalty in his early years, he allied himself with the Comuneros and was exiled to Spain. There he was pro-French, approving even Napoleon's designs in the Cortes of Bayonne in 1809. As a consequence, he had no real contact with the Creole independence movement, even when he began to see its probable success. The victorious Bolívar tried to establish contact with Rome and, after two fruitless missions, appointed to the task Sánchez de Tejada, who was waiting out the persecution of the Restoration in London. The Holy See, encumbered with the obligations to Spain as a result of royal patronage, ignored the Colombian envoy. His government, disappointed at the delay, threatened measures that might lead to schism. Sánchez de Tejada settled all the difficulties and through his logical arguments persuaded the Vatican to name the first bishops for Colombia (1827) in spite of Spain's wrath. On the dissolution of the first Colombian state, New Granada retained him as its representative in Rome. Evidence of his success in the position was the recognition of the independence of the nation by the Holy See in November 1835. He was unable to prevent the appointment of Gaetano baluffi as internuncio to Bogotá. In spite of his predilection to regalism, Sánchez de Tejada showed himself a Catholic zealous in achieving the aim of his work, which was to bring together the Holy See in Rome and a nation that had arisen from the revolution. He was the most experienced and skillful emissary of the Hispano–American nations accredited to the Vatican during the period.
Bibliography: j. l. mecham, Church and State in Latin America (Chapel Hill 1934). p. leturia, Relaciones entre la Santa Sedee hispanoamérica, 3 v. La internunciatura de Mons, Cayetano Baluffi en Bogotá, primera en hispanoamérica 1837–1842 (Rome 1953).
[a. m. pinilla cote]