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Ecuador

Pope Pius IX and President Garcia Moreno aimed to turn Equador into an “empire of morality”. Equador's central government depended on the Catholic Church for both its national identity and its state infrastructure, especially in the Indian areas.

By the second presidency of Garcia Moreno (1860-75), Ecuador was essentially a theocracy. Despite being the Andes' poorest, the nation was taxing its citizens to subsidize the embattled Pope Pius IX. ... An Inquisition-style index of prohibited books was established in 1871, and in 1873 the President himself played Good Friday penitent, bearing a cross through the streets of Quito.*


A concordat for the “Empire of Morality” 

President Moreno's concordat with the Vatican in 1862 made Catholicism the only religion and fo0rbade the practice of any dissident form of worship” (Art. 1). It gave the Church the power to govern locally, especially in the Indian lands (Art.22). And this pact with the Vatican even overrode the laws of the state (Art. 24).

In 1873 the President dedicated Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That same year, after Pius IX was deposed as King of Rome, Moreno supported him with ten percent of the country’s tithes, which in 1873 amounted to 10,000 pesos. The government enforced the collection of these tithes. Thus, although Pius had lost his kingdom in Italy, thanks to Moreno and the concordat, he continued to wield considerable power over his clerically controlled, taxpaying “subjects” in Ecuador.

Note

Concordat between Pope Pius IX and the Republic of Ecuador (1862): text

This concordat was made with President Gabriel Garcia Moreno who a few years later stripped all non-Catholics in the country of their citizenship. It is a “maximal concordat” where the Vatican was able to get almost everything it wanted. 

Concordat of 1882 (summary)

General Ignacio de Veintemilla cancelled the 1862 concordat, but found himself unable to govern without Church support. The result was a new concordat which was very similar to its predecessor. The next year Veintimilla was forced to resign, but his concordat remained.

More than a century after Alfaro’s Revolution his legacy lives on in Ecuador

Eloy Alfaro, Ecuador’s great revolutionary, fought for equal rights for all. Although he was assassinated in 1912, he made a lasting contribution to his country, turning Ecuador into a modern secular state.

 

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