Why was Fr Miguel Hidalgo excommunicated?

He was excommunicated for leading the Mexican people’s fight for social justice aginst the Spainsh??

I will admit ignorance on this topic, but to get the ball rolling, I consulted the sometimes dubious authority of Wikipedia. It seems Fr. Hidalgo had a major role in igniting the Mexican War of Independence. He led an insurrection, which grew into a military campaign, and although he was defeated, he is widely regarded as the Father of the Nation.

He was excommunicated three times after the revolt began. The first time around, he was able to capture the bishop which declared him excommunicated, and forced that bishop to rescind that declaration. The second time, the Inquisition excommunicated him for sedition, apostasy and heresy. And the third time came when he was finally captured. He was excommunicated for perjury, heresy and blasphemy.

Please note, however, that the sources for that information was taken by Spanish language books, which can not be read online. So more verifiable sources would be good, for the sake of discussion.

thanks for the information, in mexico he is regarded as a national hero. i think he was unjustly excommunicated…

Being a national hero does not mean, he was a good standing christian, or obedient to say the least.

The second time, the Inquisition excommunicated him for sedition, apostasy and heresy.

This would be a just causes for excommunication.

The Mexican War for Independence was a struggle between the Peninsulares (Spaniards born in Spain) and the Criollos (Spaniards born the New World). It was not a “people’s fight for social justice.” The Mestizos and the Indians didn’t benefit from the “fight for social justice.”

I’m a professional Latin American historian, so let me make a comment. The big issue with Father Hidalgo was that he couldn’t keep his “army” under control. After the Grito de Dolores (his famous call for revolution), a large number of mestizos (half white / half Native America) flocked to his banner, along with Native Americans. Hidalgo also had the support of a significant (but MUCH smaller) group of criollos (white Spaniards born in the New World, who felt prejudiced against by Peninsulares, white Spaniards born in Spain who were given preferential treatment in the colonies and seen as “more” Spanish.) Soon, he had acquired an “army” of about 80,000 people. The only problem was that almost all of these “soldiers” were ordinary citizens who had never fought a day in their life. The army of Hidalgo got so large that he lost control of it, and one night, it entered the city of Guanajuato against his orders. The largely mestizo mob massacred the entire white population of the town (both peninsulares AND criollos), which tried to hide by locking themselves in a granary. The building was burned down with everyone inside. After this point, Hidalgo had lost most of his control, and the crucial criollo support that they needed was lost. Why was criollo support needed? Well, they were the ones who had access to armories and could get weapons. They could also legitimize the face of the revolution to the Spanish government and other major powers of the world. The mestizos made NO distinction between criollos and peninsulares in the massacre. They saw them all as white, and all as enemies.

Now, what Hidalgo also didn’t realize is that creoles and mestizos were fighting for two different things. Criollos wanted an independent Mexico in the same way that British colonists wanted an independent US. They wanted freedom, but they also wanted to maintain the status quo, with Native Americans and mestizos in a subservient status. Mestizos were fighting to overthrow the entire white establishment and take their country back. They were looking for racial equality (or racial justice). Their ideas for government were COMPLETELY incompatible, and so the alliance was never really going to work anyway.

I haven’t really studied the excommunications, but I would guess (and this is only a guess) that it likely stemmed from the Massacre at Guanajuato, because the entire white population (including all the priests and bishops) was wiped out. It could no longer be considered a “just war”.

Probably because his forces, as stated, murdered a good part of the hierarchy.

I do not think so, he started a race pitting the Indians and mestizos against all the white Mexicans. He was not even a good priest; he created a situation were his rebel army went on a rampage looting and killing. latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/latinamericaindependence/p/09mhidalgo.htm

The true hero is Agustín de Iturbide, who help restore order and peace. And it was him that lead the final cause to Independence. He wanted Mexico to remain a Catholic monarchy and offered the crown to Ferdinand VII but he rejected. Also at the time Spain was in the middle of a crisis of its own and the atheist masonic republicans wanted control of the Mexican government. That and some other factors led Don Agustín de Iturbide to crown himself emperor of Mexico. And what a great Empire it would of been, ranging from the US southwest all the way down to Costa Rica.

But eventually he was betrayed by Santa Ana and from then on Mexico just slept into chaos for the next 200 years. And all those Indians and mestizo that rebelled with Father Hidalgo, would suffer worse under a “republican” style government. Father Miguel Hidalgo legacy means nothing to me, him and the Mexican liberals drove Mexican into the status of broken state. Which might help explain to some degree why so many Mexicans leave Mexico for the US for peace and stability. Emperor Iturbide is the man I honor for Mexico’s Independence.

This thread has been dormant for a considerable period. With rare exceptions, reviving threads after a protracted period of inactivity is discouraged because:

*]the issues that spurred them are often no longer “hot” or current topics, explaining why thread activity ceased originally.
*]posters originally involved in the discussion are sometimes no longer active on the forum and, therefore, unavailable to reply to comments added to the thread.

Our experience suggests that, when a topic merits revival, it is best accomplished by initiating a new thread that draws on recent events and can be posted to contemporaneously. This eliminates the baggage of folks being frustrated by asking and not receiving responses to issues raised in early posts (because the new poster didn’t notice that the post he was responding to was made a long time ago).

Posters are very welcome to open a new thread on the subject or any other topic, as well as to actively participate in the myriad active threads in the fora.
Thank you to all those who have participated in this discussion. This thread is now closed. **

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.