Saturday, November 11, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: Archbishop bails out on APPO

It was reported here yesterday that the Catholic Church in Oaxaca was making various churches, cathedrals and temples available to APPO leadership so they could enjoy a good night's sleep. As reported in that post, Wilfrido Francisco Mayren, Coordinator of Peace and Justice for the Oaxacan diocese, described how the Church was allowing APPO leaders, all wanted on various felony charges, to sleep at a different location every night to elude capture. This in spite of the fact that the Catholic Church does not own any of the properties. They are all owned by the Mexican federal government.

Now comes Oaxaca's Archbishop Jose Luis Chavez Botello to announce that the Catholic Church lacks "resources and the facilities to provide sanctuary". The Archbishop took pains to point out that the Church has not taken sides in the long and violent dispute, on the contrary, "We have cared for average citizens, policemen, teachers and state government employees without distinction."

Archbishop Chavez Botello said that he had notified APPO leadership of the Church's position. APPO wasted no time in announcing that it "rejects" the Bishop's decision. I'm not yet sure what that means. I suppose it means that if APPO leadership decides to park it in a church at night, they'll go ahead and do it anyway, Archbishop or no Archbishop.

Note: The error in the AP story occurs when it refers to Chavez Botello as "Bishop". He's not a Bishop, he's the Archbishop.

Notimex put this report up at 6:54 pm but none of the Mexican dailies are yet reporting it.

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