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Title Report of a council meeting of bishops and priests in Mexico City to discuss their ministry to the Indians [manuscript]: 1539 April 27
Author Zumárraga, Juan de (1468-1548)
Document Type Manuscript
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Report of a meeting of bishops and priests to discuss spiritual matters, pastoral duties, and issues of church government as they pertain to the Indians. Having been instructed by the king, Charles V, to meet from time to time to discuss how best to govern their respective archdioceses, bishops Juan de Zumárraga of Mexico, Juan de Zárate of Oaxaca, and Vasco de Quiroga of Michoacán, as well as various officials and members of the Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustinian orders gather in Tenochtitlán (Mexico City) on April 27, 1539. The report contains the text of the king’s instructions, followed by the 24 topics that were discussed and voted upon. These topics concern the administration of the sacraments of baptism, communion, and marriage to the Indians, the need for proper baptismal fonts, and the importance of following proper rites and ceremonies involving these sacraments. Christianized Indians must be taught when it is proper to kneel, to genuflect, or to beat one’s breast. There is consensus that Indian festivals, dances, bonfires, burning of incense, and other ceremonies should be prohibited, and that Indian altars and places of worship should be destroyed. Church bells must be rung only for Christian services, and not as part of any Indian celebrations; Indian "voladores," ceremonial performers who swing from high poles, are not permitted in church patios; and crosses are forbidden in Indian houses. The bishops also forbid the use of corporal punishment in converting the Indians. Other issues concern the construction of new churches; and the education of Indians in church schools. In addition to the signatures of the three bishops and the commisaries and provincials present at the meeting, the report bears the signature of Julián Garcés, bishop of Tlaxcala.
Names Charles V; Zumárraga, Juan de; Zárate, Juan de; Quiroga, Vasco de; Garcés, Julián
Places Tlaxcala, Mexico City, Mexico
Keywords religion, church, Christianity, government, Franciscans, education, missionary, Spain, New Spain, ceremony, ritual, dance, cultural assimilation, custom, culture
Theme Missionaries and Education; American Indians and the European Powers
Culture Area Mesoamerica
Language Spanish
Additional Information Also includes appendix: "Appendice a los concilios primero, y segundo Mexicanos".
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT Ayer MS 1275 no. 2
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue