The National Chicano Priest Movement
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Texas Press
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A review of the major works on the Chicano Movement reveals the expected: people struggling for political rights, better education, land, and labor rights. It is rare to find any mention of the Catholic Church, which is rather striking given that more than 90 percent of Mexican Americans are Catholic. The lack of attention suggests that the...
Two. THE MEXICAN AMERICAN CATHOLIC EXPERIENCE
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The Mexican American Catholic experience cannot be appreciated without an understanding of the historical implications of the imposition of particular foreign social structures. Since the sixteenth century Spanish Catholicism dominated religion in Ibero-America. Until the mid-nineteenth century in the Southwest territory the membership...
Three. THE ORIGINS OF PADRES
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PADRES emerged after years of slow, steady agitation punctuated by many significant events and the experiences and ideas of the men who started it. I am reminded of an interview that I conducted with a PADRES founder and the organization’s first national chairman, Fr. Ralph Ruiz...
Four. PADRES: In the Beginning
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Late in summer 1969 in San Antonio, a frustrated but undaunted thirty-three-year-old Fr. Ralph Ruiz surveyed the scene: Mexican American Catholics were poor, oppressed by society, and abused and neglected by the church. His heart and mind could no longer bear it, so he...
Five. PADRES INSURGENCY
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PADRES used several pressure tactics to gain influence in the church. Directly engaging the bishops at the NCCB and at the archdiocesan level through formal meetings was common. During the early years, according to Father Rodríguez, PADRES used labor union tactics: “Ask for more than you hope to get, negotiate back down, but hopefully get...
Six. SOCIAL ACTIVISM AND ITS COST
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Many PADRES members suffered personal consequences as a result of their activism on behalf of the oppressed. Father Romero suggests that some PADRES may have hurt their chances for advancement: “It costs. It costs people perceiving you as a radical or as a political priest. Saul Alinsky in his first book, Rules for Radicals, says if you want to be in...
Seven. THEORY AND ANALYSIS: The Emergence of PADRES
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How and under what conditions did PADRES emerge? To answer this question, we must understand that PADRES was an intraorganizational social movement—that is, organized, sustained, collective action that sought to make meaningful changes to the social relations (e.g., laws, policies, and cultural practices) within...
Appendix I. ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES
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Appendix II. METHODOLOGY
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Page Count: 205
Illustrations: 5 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2005