PRF.SIDENT Castillo Armas, whose rising in Guatemala last year was hailed by many Catholics• in the belief that he was saving the country from Communism, has now gone on record, with a speech in Guatemala City, as opposed to religious instruction in the State schools.
Archbishop Rossell, commenting on the proposed new Constitution, said that the State. in its mission of combating Communism and fostering the moral development of children. is obliged to provide for religious education.
But President Armes objects that " religious education helongs to the home " and religious instruction in the State schools would he " putting the Church ahead."
Archbishop Rossell has replied that if the Constitution refuses to recognise the pre-eminent position of the Church. he would be " hound to proclaim before the world that Guatemala was advancing legislation that favoured Communism, since to weaken the Catholic beliefs of the Guatemalans is tantamount to opening the door to Marxist doctrine."
There are two postscripts to this news.
President Armes's mother has been making a pilgrimage to Fatima, 2. Fr. Edmund McClear. a Maryknoll missionary in a remote Indian area at the foot of the
Cuchurnatanes Mountains in Guatemala. is heplising babies at the rate of 1.000 a year. There has not been a priest in the area for 50 years.