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The long road to an Andean Catholic clergy: from Solórzano to Pèlach I Feliú

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Christine Lee

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The development of a native clergy in the Andes has long been called for but only recently achieved. Drawing from archival and ethnographic data, this article sets out how intercultural prejudice and discrimination have served to prevent the ordination of native Andeans. In the early colonial period, doubts about the authenticity of Andean conversion to Catholicism were rooted in mainstream Spanish skepticism of and disdain for Andean culture; in the modern day, these same prejudices continue, meaning it is only within the last fifty years that a native clergy has developed in the southern Andes, in the Peruvian diocese of Abancay, as the result of the concerted efforts of its second bishop. Today, Abancay boasts its first generation of native clergy, made up entirely of men who were born and raised in the diocese in which they now serve, and which promises a new, more empathetic institutional relationship between what it has historically meant to be Andean and what it has meant to be Catholic.


Original languageEnglish
Article number284
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Intercultural, Roman Catholicism, Andes, Clergy, Ethnicity

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