Can you talk to me about Mexico?


Like Poland, Mexico is about 99% Catholic. I don’t know much for sure beyond that. My general impression is that Mexican Catholics tend to be more nominal than Polish Catholics, but this is influenced by pretty limited personal experience and the opinions of just a few Mexican friends who are themselves quite nominal.

Can you fill me in on Mexico?


Any specific reason for this curiosity, Counts?

I don’t know where you get the idea of 99% catholic. 95% Christian is more accurate, which includes 90% for Catholics.

While it’s true that many seem to be Christian only in name, there’s a lot who ARE defending what is right and to standing up for what is needed rather than just worry about oneself as so many Mexicans do these days. It’s strange how people can be so warm and welcoming and yet incredibly selfish at times.

When you do meet a devout Catholic though, watch out cuz they’re on fire for the faith! I’d recommend you do a bit of research on the “Cristeros” movement of the early 19th century which could explain how Catholicism grew so much after being specifically targeted and outlawed.

One thing you’ll find that’s synonymous with Mexico is devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. As many have rightly said, she’s the glue that holds Mexico together and keeps the faithful strong (despite attempts by our society to cheapen the value of the image of the virgin and what she represents).

Speaking of Polish Catholics, it’s with good reason that Pope John Paul II had an affinity to her. He said: “The love that the Mexicans and the people of Latin America in general have for Our Lady of Guadalupe-a love expressed spontaneously and emotionally, but intensely and profoundly-is very similar to the Polish Marian devotion that shaped my own spirituality. They affectionately call Mary La Virgen Morenita, which can be freely translated as ‘the Black Madonna.’”

She appeared looking like the native people there, identifying herself with the new Mexicans and not the Spaniards. She came for us to show us the way. As the Pope said about him: “Juan Diego, having embraced Christianity without surrendering his indigenous identity, discovered the profound truth about the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God in Christ.”

Anyway, I hope this helps a bit but if you have something more specific then ask. :smiley:


What, precisely, do you wish to know about Mexico? I’m a Latin American historian by profession…


Sorry it took me a few days to get back to this. I hope you can still help me out.

More precisely…I’d be most interested in knowing more about what happens when a Mexican comes to America. In this particular situation, I’m just trying to figure out what the truth is. I don’t want to put all the details out there on a public forum, but these are some of the basics: I’ve been getting information about Catholicism from a Mexican guy who became disinterested in Catholicism. I know his perspective is a bit skewed, especially since he grew up in a nominally Catholic family. (I don’t think he was ever catechized). I know some of the stuff he has (and will) tell me isn’t entirely accurate. I can’t really comment on it, though, because I’ve never lived in Mexico or been Catholic. I also don’t have any sources of information that are any better than him. I know a few other people who are pretty much just like him, but I certainly don’t know any Latin American historians who take Catholicism seriously.

The main thing so far is his impression of Mexicans who are Catholics. He quoted some kind of very high percentage of Mexican Catholics for whom their religion is just a name and it doesn’t really mean anything. What can you tell me about that? Do you have numbers, research of any kind, studies comparing Christianity in Mexico to that of the United States or anywhere else? Information on Mexican-Americans of the first and second generations would probably be the most helpful thing.

If you want more details than that, I can PM you if you want them.

Thanks in advance.


Is this for some special research or just something personal? I’ll speak from experience being currently in and from Mexico.

I would recommend you look into the “Cristeros” movement of Mexico which lit the Catholic faith on fire after it was being outlawed by the government (ONLY Catholics, no other faith.) Sad to see all those people who fought and died for the faith not even being in most schools or without the real details. There’s a recent Catholic Answers show on that with Patrick Madrid if you haven’t heard it. You could start with an overview here:

Honestly I know another person who is also Mexican, went to the US and now he’s an atheist despite his apparent Catholic upbringing. I don’t know what but I’m convinced that our country went through some period were Catechesis became very poor which is why so many ill-formed “Catholics” pass on these falsehoods or lack of faith to their children. The upside of course is that now the Church and its members are doing what they can to promote the faith once more.

I know a lot of people who’ve never even read the Bible in its entirely. Heck, I haven’t done so yet! Of course I was also a “Catholic in name” being in a American schools since Middle school so my faith consisted mostly of just going to Church and praying at night before going to bed. It’s thanks to things like Catholic Answers Live that I found my way (and realize just how little I knew).

As I heard on Catholic answers, it seems rather than live out the example, it seems people “inoculate” their kids against religion here. It all boilds down to mass on Sunday and you forget about God the rest of the week unless you have something to ask for. A lot of people are so disrespectful and of course you can bet their children learn it too (with the cellphone being the “almighty” because they’ll leave church to answer whatever call comes their way).

The problem seems to be in part because of “catholics” seeing the faith just as a mere tradition to follow, never delving into what it really entails or what they’re receiving when going to communion.

The trivialization of religious objects to the point where they seem like mere ornaments is also likely to blame (a cross or rosary no longer a clear sign of a truly devout Catholic as many seem to wear them as any another accessory).
A recent “trend” is a company that sells stickers/bracelets/etc with a cartoony Virgin Mary with a very banal “prayer” accompanying the image. The text on the virgin roughly translates to: “little virgin, please take care of my great car.” With the “prayer” talking about allowing one to put up with traffic and being able to successfully bribe an officer.

In the end it seems to boil down to this: the average Mexican is VERY EGOCENTRIC. It’s all about “me” and everything else is second. God is meant to be #1 so you can see how He’s quickly pushed aside for “more important” things (but He’s the one they immediately rush to when in need).

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