Today, November 18, 2013 is the 87th anniversary of Pope Pius XI’s first encyclical on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico (by the Mexican Government.) The encyclical was written in 1926 and was titled Iniquis Afflictisque. Pope Pius XI’s second encyclical about the persecution of the Church in Mexico was titled, Acerba Animi and was published on September 29, 1932 in response to the horrible effects of Mexican President Plutarco Calles’ (pictured below) anticlerical law.
Calles’ brutal and murderous actions against Catholics led to the Cristero War. This war was depicted in the 2012 movie, For Greater Glory.
Read the excerpted paragraphs from Pope Pius XI’s Iniquis Afflictisque below and click this link to read the entire encyclical:
2. We designedly use the words “the heavy burden of these great evils” for certain of Our children, deserters from the army of Jesus Christ and enemies of the Common Father of all, have ordered and are continuing up to the present hour a cruel persecution against their own brethren, Our most beloved children of Mexico…
8. In the first place, let us examine the law of 1917, known as the “Political Constitution” of the federated republic of Mexico. For our present purposes it is sufficient to point out that after declaring the separation of Church and State the Constitution refuses to recognize in the Church, as if she were an individual devoid of any civil status, all her existing rights and interdicts to her the acquisition of any rights whatsoever in the future. The civil authority is given the right to interfere in matters of divine worship and in the external discipline of the Church…
O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.
Peter L. Hodges Sr.