Churches in Mexico Accept Money from Drug Cartels

Posted on May 5, 2011

We have asked the question before regarding the church and the reception of illegal tithes, and illegal offerings.  Illegal tithes as the tithe in the Old Testament was NEVER a tithe of money but agricultural goods as the Levites were given no lands to grow their own crops and animals, and illegal offerings that are bribes which ministers and ministries give preferential treatment to those who give largely which is forbidden.  The church is continually addicted to blood money, drug money, and money from ill gotten gain.  When, when pray tell will these evil and corrupt acts cease to be named among the church and its preachers and teachers.

As the body count climbs in Mexico's cartel war, the Catholic Church is facing some serious allegations.  Certain parishes are accused of relying on so-called blood money, donations from drug lords. 

One small chapel is at the center of the controversy.

In Hidalgo, Mexico, in the tiny community of Tezontle, next to the old stone chapel, stands a new building with an enormous silver cross. 

One woman who attends mass there says it's beautiful.  When asked who paid for the building, she says she doesn't know. 

A plaque on a wall outside of the structure clearly identifies the benefactor:  Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, a top leader of the Zetas, one of Mexico's most feared cartels.  he's a native son who is a wanted man on both sides of the border.

But people in Tezontle say they don't know anything about the generous donor.

So is the neighborhood in denial?  Critics say the problem extends to the Catholic Church hierarchy when it comes to narco limosnas, or drug money donations.

In 2008, a spokesman for the Archdiocese in Mexico says the church warns parishes not to accept dirty money, even if it's to pay for good deeds.  Three years later, the policy is still not widely enforced.

And the problem dates back decades.  Among the allegations:  some priests accept big fees to perform baptisms, weddings and other ceremonies for drug lords.  Several media organizations in Mexico reported a priest married drug lord Chapo Guzman in a mountain hideaway.

There have also been historic ties between the Catholic Church and the crime families in other countries, including the U.S. and Italy

As the death toll from the drug war in Mexico mounts, the Catholic Church faces increasing pressure to crackdown on parishes that accept blood money.

One woman we spoke with outside a church in Mexico City says it's like having one foot in the darkness and the other in the light. 

As the drug rages on here in Mexico, the Catholic Church finds itself caught in the middle. While certain priests are accused of silently accepting donations from drug lords, other priests who speak out against violent drug cartels face death threats.

One woman we spoke with says she does not want to judge, since some priests who take cartel cash may do so because of death threats.  As a Catholic, she's ashamed it happens:  drug violence has touched her god daughter's life.  A few weeks ago, the little girl witnessed her mother's murder.

One man who just attended mass in Mexico City cautioned drug money donations carry a price paid in blood.

Back in Tezontle, outside the chapel with the dedication from the leader of one of Mexico's most brutal cartels, locals won't or cannot acknowledge their infamous benefactor.  They simply say the chapel belongs to the people.