Mexican Bishops Say Church Rejects Narcotics Money

Respond to Media Interpretation of Prelate’s Statement

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MEXICO CITY, SEPT. 22, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Mexican bishops’ conference says that the Catholic Church rejects all financial donations of an illicit origin, in particular those connected with drug trafficking.

The bishops issued a communiqué on Wednesday to clarify a statement by Bishop Ramón Godínez Flores of Aguascalientes, who said that donations are made to the Church in Mexico from drug trafficking. Subsequently the prelate denied, at least partially, the media interpretation of his statements.

The media’s version led presidential spokesman Rubén Aguilar Valenzuela to say that the Church is no exception to the rule and that the authorities must determine if the statements attributed to Bishop Godinez Flores could be subjected to investigation.

The communiqué, signed by the episcopal conference’s secretary-general, Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco, stressed that «it is a well-known fact that the Catholic Church systematically rejects all public conduct contrary to ethics.»

«This rejection is especially vigorous when it is a question of a crime as serious as the drugs traffic, which causes such grave harm to so many families and to the whole social and economic fabric of our country and of the whole world,» affirmed the statement.

Unfounded

«The Catholic Church is moreover one of the institutions that does most for the recovery of drug addicts and the creation of conditions of social justice so that drugs will not take hold of youth,» it added.

Thus, any accusation of Church collaboration with the «drug trade» is unfounded and contradicts its enormous work of social assistance, added Bishop Aguiar Retes on behalf of the Mexican bishops.

Regarding donations, the episcopate stated: «Everyone knows that to leave alms in a church or temple, it is not necessary to identify oneself, but — unfortunately — the amounts of money are very small.

«Instead, when it is a question of large amounts, the Church follows the norm of requesting that the donor identify himself; and when she learns that that money has an illicit origin, she rejects it to avoid all complicity with the crime.»

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