Friday, August 13, 2010

Onésimo Cepeda makes one declaration that makes sense, and one that does not

Onésimo Cepeda, bishop of Ecatepec and a very important clergyman in Mexico State - he is very close to current governor Enrique Peña Nieto - is hardly known for any intelligent declarations. He is also of highly dubious morals, whether one uses the bible or not as reference point: He has long been under investigation for transgressions such  money laundering and fraud, and may well face federal charges soon.

Be that as it may, Onésimo Cepeda declared yesterday that drug kingpins should be excommunicated from the church. If nothing else, I gather it would end some of the highly ambivalent attitude of the church toward the narcos, which have given the church substantial amounts of donations over the years, and attach at least a minimum of further stigma. 

Yet it is what follows that seems rash to me: Cepeda suggests that priests should also turn into informers. While he didn't mention the practice of Confession specifically, he said:
"One must denounce those that are behind the drug violence, and many times we know where they are." It seems to me that is turning every priest as well into a direct target for assassination by the drug gangs. We know very well how the drug gangs deal with informers, perceived or real, and if a priest may be perceived as having given information that led to the apprehension or gunning down of a gang member, I fear this opens up for revenge killings of perceived - or real, given Cepeda's comments - priest informers, and that Cepeda's comments may end up endangering the clergy.

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