Archdiocese of Mexico City: Secular State Cannot Persecute Religious Faithful

The Archdiocese of Mexico City is coming to the defense of the Catholic clergy and members of the faith when members express their opinions regarding public issues.

The Archdiocese states that when publicly debated topics are present a truly secular state should not and does not persecute individuals which are led by their religious principles.

"It is very serious when a public servant, no matter who he is, does not know how to interpret the meaning of Church-State separation and believes that citizens do not have the right to express their points of view, even though they may be motivated by their religious convictions," reads an editorial from the Archdiocese of Mexico City.

The archdiocese also makes note that under the Mexican constitution the separation of church and state "refers to the autonomy of political structures from religious institutions."

Yet, it is conditioned under the assumption that the state grants the same protection to religious groups.

The archdiocese explained that the only stipulation is the "prohibition of the clergy to engage in political proselytism, hold public office or oppose the laws of the country."

"In no place does it say that religious ministers or those who hold to a particular belief cannot express their convictions or live according to them," the Catholic News Service stated.

The archdiocese goes on to explain that "no Mexican citizen can be forbidden from speaking with freedom and expressing his points of view on issues that affect us all, as long as he does not commit a crime in doing so."

Coming to the defense of church members the archdiocese especially when the matters involve life and family, governments must allow all citizens to express themselves peacefully and have all citizens participate in maintaining society.

Political participants are elected to ensure that the rights are upheld and not to deny these rights to any person, according to the Catholic News Service.

The diocese also expressed concern over the idea that officials who believed themselves to be defending a "secular" state by infringing and negating religious freedom of those who which to practice such beliefs "are completely wrong" in doing so.