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Archdiocese of Yucatán
Located in the Republic of Mexico; Campeche and Tabasco are its suffragans. Its area is that of the state of the same name, 17,204 sq. miles, and its population 337, 020 inhabitants (1910). There is a legend that long before the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico the Christian religion had been preached in Yucatán by Quetzacoatl (see MEXICO). Yucatán was the first region of the Mexican territory to receive the light of the Gospel in the sixteenth century; it was there that the first Mass was celebrated. It is said that in 1517 Francisco Hernández de Cordóba, the discoverer and explorer of the region, founded the first parish. Leo X, believing the newly-discovered land to be an island, by the Bull "Sacri apostolatus ministerio", dated 27 January, 1518, created the Bishopric of Yucatán, under the name "Carolense" and placed it under the protection of "Santa Maria de los Remedios". When it was known that Yucatán was part of the continent which Hernán Cortés was conquering, Clement VII made certain modifications (see TLAXCALA), and Father Julián Garcés, appointed first Bishop of Yucatán, to make his residence at Tlaxcala when he arrived in Mexico, as the Spanish had abandoned the conquest of Yucatán for this new land. The first resident bishop was Francisco Toral, a Franciscan, who took possession on 15 August, 1562, one year after his election; he assisted at the first and second Mexican councils.
Marcos de Torres y Rueda, twelfth bishop (1647), owing to dissensions between Juan Palafox, Bishop of Tlaxcala, and the Viceroy of New Spain, Count of Salvatierra, was named Viceroy of Mexico and entered into office, 13 May, 1648; he died at the capital, 22 April, 1649. Juan Gómez de Parada, twentieth bishop, governed the dioceses of Yucatán, Guatemala, and Guadalajara with great success. His successor, Ignacio Castorena y Ursúa, was the founder of the first newspaper published in Mexico (see PERIODICAL LITERATURE, CATHOLIC.-Mexico). José María Guerra, thirty-fifth bishop (d. 1863), lived during the famous war of caste which ruined almost the whole of Yucatán; his zeal, energy and firmness prevented the city of Mariti from falling into the hands of the revolting Indians. It was at the instance of Leandro Rodríguez de la Gala, his successor, that the new See of Tabasco was formed from parishes taken form the Diocese of Yucatán. The Province and Vicariate of Petén, situated in the Republic of Guatemala, which ecclesiastically had belonged to Yucatán, became a part of the See of Guatemala. Believing that the colony of Belice was his dependency, the bishop sent missionaries there in 1864; this land, however, had been under the administration of priests sent form the Vicariate Apostolic of Jamaica since 1837. The present archbishop is Mgr. Tristschler y Córdova, appointed on 11 November, 1906. The Diocese of Yucatán was suffragan of Mexico until 1891, when it became suffragan of the newly-created Archdiocese of Oaxaca. In 1895 the new See of Campeche was created from parishes taken from Yucatán, to which was added all the territory of Quintana Roo. The Archdiocese of Yucatán erected in 1906, has: a seminary and 30 students; 32 parochial schools and 9 Catholic colleges, with 6738 students. Protestants have erected 3 colleges, which have 79 students, and 2 churches.
VERA, Catecismo geográfico-histórico-estadistico de la Iglesia mexicana (Amecameca, 1881); DE TERREROS, Apuntes biograficus del Ilmo Sr. Dn. Juan Gómez de Parada, Obispo de Y., Guatemala y Guadalajara (Mexico, 1908); GUILLOW, Apuntes historicos (Mexico, 1889); CARRILO, El Obispado de Y. (Mariti, 1895).