Separation of Church and State in Latin America Essay

Separation of Church and State in Latin America Essay

Length: 7510 words (21.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Separation of Church and State in Latin America


Throughout Latin American history, the Roman Catholic Church has played a tumultuous role, from passive "soul saving" to aggressive revolutionary actions. As the countries have turned toward democracy the Catholic Church has had to recognize that along with modernization comes the promotion of two democratic ideals: the separation of Church and State and the endorsement of secularization. While many countries are still working toward a separation of Church and State, Costa Rica, a long-time democratic country, has continued to recognize Roman Catholicism as the official religion of the country and to look to church and clergy for support. Though the Costa Rican Church is removed from the political spotlight, it has not backed down from its doctrine and goals, and the Church and State have created a unique relationship that seems to benefit all peoples.

Although the Catholic Church has varied somewhat throughout different parts of the world, the fundamental doctrines regarding social and behavioral expectations have remained relatively untouched. The ideals of tradition and purity still resound within the walls of Catholic churches everywhere. Catholicism is a religion based on ritual with precise words that are to be recited at every mass, baptism, communion, confession, and marriage ceremony. The only ingredient a good Catholic needs in order to share in these traditions and gifts of God is faith. Fortunately, the Church has formulated a number of rules to guide its followers down the difficult path to true faith. Like most Christian religions, the Catholic faith centers its beliefs on the Bible and the teachings of the early Church fathers. Certain parables are extracted ...


... middle of paper ...


... Harold D. ed. Costa Rica: A Country Study, United States Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1983

Peeler, John A. Latin American Democracies, The University of North Carolina Press, 1985

Pope John Paul II. Opening Address at the Puebla Conference. January 28, 1979

Schall, James V. Liberation Theology, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1982

Szulc, Tad. Pope John Paul II: The Biography, Scribner, New York, 1995

Tapscott, Stephen ed. Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1996

Wesson, Robert. Politics, Policies, and Economic Development in Latin America, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, California, 1984

Winn, Peter. Americas: The Changing Face of Latin America and The Caribbean, Pathean Books, New York, 1992

The Merriam Webster Dictionary, Merriam Webster Incorporated, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1994

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The New Age Of Latin America Essay

- New Age Europeans first discovered Latin America in 1492, what followed can only be described as a free for all between European powers to control its resources. As we know, when the Europeans first arrived in numbers some came to start new lives, but some not so well minded individuals came out exploit the land and the people. Latin America’s entire history is tainted with that of murder, exploitation, and genocide. That legacy has stayed and played in the state in which Latin America is in today....   [tags: United States, Mexico, Latin America]

Powerful Essays
1527 words (4.4 pages)

The Influence Of The Catholic Church Essay

- Over time, America has been nicknamed a ‘melting pot’ due to the plethora of ethnicities, religions, and lifestyles. Since contemporary America is a land of diverse beliefs, there’s not one main religious organization that largely influences society. This paper will argue that the Catholic Church played a notable role in shaping Colonial Latin American society compared to religious organizations in U.S. society today since the initial exploration of Latin America was set-off by the church’s desire to spread Catholicism, the monarchy’s continued involvement in the New World, and the church’s conservative ethics guiding how people lived....   [tags: United States, Latin America, Spain]

Powerful Essays
700 words (2 pages)

The Separation Of Church And State Essay

- ‘Ever since the occurrence of the ‘Enlightenment’ period, western society has endorsed the principle of the separation of church and state. However, the debate over their roles continue today’ (Cambridge University Press, 2009). The current secular state that has been enshrined in French laws, entertains the prospect of an ideal situation whereby religion and state are completely separate, providing an opportunity for France to create a society based on ‘living together’. By banning religious symbols in public places in France, they are creating the equal and just society they are aiming for....   [tags: Separation of church and state, Religion]

Powerful Essays
1419 words (4.1 pages)

Separation Of Church And State Essay

- Separation of Church and State," is an explanation of why something works or happens the way it does, it came from different parts of the constitution which are found mostly in the first and fourteenth change. The first amendment states Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances ("U.S....   [tags: Separation of church and state]

Powerful Essays
866 words (2.5 pages)

The Effects Of Colonialism On The People Of Latin America Essay

- Scholars have debated not only the nature of Iberian colonialism, but also the impact that independence had on the people of Latin America. Historian Jaime E. Rodriguez said that, “The emancipation of [Latin America] did not merely consist of separation from the mother country, as in the case of the United States. It also destroyed a vast and responsive social, political, and economic system that functioned well despite many imperfections.” I believe that when independence emerged in Latin America, it was a positive force....   [tags: United States, Slavery]

Powerful Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The Catholic Church

- Prior to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European power was centralized in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. In Western Europe, everyone considered themselves to be a Catholic, even if some people did not care to devote to it on a personal level. Those who enforced the traditions and sacraments of the Church—the pope, cardinals, priests—were able to abuse their power to gain more power and wealth. The various theological teachings of the Church created a life of burden for the commoners, who were generally illiterate and uneducated....   [tags: Ottoman Empire, Mughal Empire, Islam]

Powerful Essays
1734 words (5 pages)

The French Revolution And The American Revolution Essay

- Latin America’s independence kicked of with the independence of Haiti. Before the the independence movement that overtook Latin America, Haiti had gained independence twenty years before the movement. The Spanish Empire had been in decline for a period of time after the rise of the English empire and many failed battles on the Spanish (class notes). The French Revolution and the American Revolution had inspired many of the Latin American countries to fight for independence (Chapter 3). They were inspired by the Enlightenment that washed over Europe....   [tags: Latin America, United States]

Powerful Essays
1482 words (4.2 pages)

Latin America’s Struggles After Independence Essay

- Latin America went through many years of colonial rule from Spain, but around the 1800’s they began to seek their independence. The years to follow were full of rebellion and war, trying to gain their independence from colonial Spain. The “Americanos”, now believed that they were able to rule themselves, and that it was no longer necessary for Spain to keep controlling the Americas. When Latin America finally defeated Spain, new issues began to arise that were caused by many years of war, which led to chaos and a sense of imbalance in the hands of Latin America....   [tags: colonial rule, Spain, independence]

Powerful Essays
877 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Origins of the Catholic Church in Australia.

- Origins of the Catholic Church in Australia. The first Catholics to come along to Australia, were amongst the first convicts to step foot on the shores of Port Jackson in Sydney. These Catholics were Irish in origin, and brought Catholicism to Australia, although Anglican Ministers were trying to stop the spread of Catholicism in Great Britain and her colonies. Most of the Irish who came here came here because of the British persecution of Irish Nationalists. The first obstacle to Catholicism spreading came with the Passing of the so called, White Australia Act, 1903 which prohibited those with of non-white colour from successfully settling in Australia....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Powerful Essays
1794 words (5.1 pages)

Against the Separation of Church and State Essay

- Against the Separation of Church and State Without a God how do we know what is right from wrong. What is good or bad. The Ten Commandments tell us what is right or wrong and good or bad, but the constitution says the church has to be separate. If there is no God in our government we cannot have our Ten Commandments, how do we know what is right or wrong. The current opinion of courts is that the First Amendment bans religion in our government to protect the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from the government....   [tags: Church State Argumentative]

Powerful Essays
1749 words (5 pages)