Freedom of Expression Seen as a Key in Mexico

Religious Reforms of a Decade Ago Aren’t Enough, Says Primate

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MEXICO CITY, OCT. 24, 2002 ( The Church in Mexico should have the freedom to own electronic means of communication, and not be restricted to printed material, three ecclesial leaders say.

Last week, the government secretariat announced that it is preparing legal reforms to affect the Law of Religious Associations and Public Worship, enabling the Church to join the world of mass media, and not be restricted to the printed word.

Such a move would be a further step toward the religious freedom that should prevail in Mexico, said three Church leaders — Cardinal Norberto Rivera, archbishop of Mexico City; Bishop Renato Ascencio León of Ciudad Juarez; and Bishop José Guadalupe Martín Rábago of Leon.

At the end of Sunday Mass in the metropolitan cathedral, Cardinal Rivera said that an important step was taken toward freedom of worship 10 years ago, but it is not enough.

“I think Mexico has to go further to obtain genuine religious freedom, and not just freedom of worship,” he said. “I think all of us, citizens, have the right to freedom of expression.”

On this issue, the treatment should be the same for all. “There still are Mexicans who think that they should have total liberty of expression and others should be gagged by law. This cannot continue,” said the archbishop primate of Mexico.

Freedom of expression should be “for all religions, all social groups, all persons,” Cardinal Rivera stressed.

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