The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 37
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Bishop Marin de Porras and Texas
Bishop Marin de Porras, on November 27, 1809, was able to
inform the viceroy that Governor Salcedo had made the proper
appeal for absolution and had carried out all the provisions
required for receiving it. The bishop said that he had generously
granted the governor absolution "without delay in order to
prove to him my desire for the best unity and for the well-being
of the people."43
Bishop Marin de Porras was busy during the period 1805 to
1809 in trying to get his diocese organized as best he could with
the limited number of priests that he had. Shortly after his
arrival, many of the towns of the Eastern Interior Provinces,
which had formerly been served by the friars, were turned over
to the secular priests. In February, 18o8, the bishop wrote
Cordero that he had finally concluded the task of taking bids
for parish churches."4 Also in 18o8, as a result of the death of 125
persons in Chihuahua because of a fire started by articles on the
altar, the bishop prohibited the use of an excessive number of
candles and all ornaments of paper, lace, or other combustible
materials on the altars of churches.45
Contrary to the opinion of some that Bishop Marin de Porras
was run out of his diocese never to return,4" he continued to
perform his duties in his diocese until his death in 1815. When
the revolution led by Miguel Hidalgo broke out in September,
1810o, the bishop was in Saltillo attending the annual fair. Man-
uel Santa Maria, governor of Nuevo Leon, appealed to the bishop
to aid in curtailing the spread of the revolution. The bishop
accordingly issued a pastoral threatening excommunication of
all sympathizers with the revolutionists and of all that aided by
act or word.47
In spite of the bishop's threat of excommunication, the insur-
gents gained many recruits in Nuevo Leon and in Saltillo. The
44Obispo ,del Nuevo Reyno de Leon, Monterrey, February 28, 18o8, to Antonio
Cordero, in Bexar Archives at the University of Texas.
4John Gilmary Shea, History of the Catholic Church in the United States
(4 vols.; New York, 1886-1892), III, 712.
4.6Edwin A. Ryan, "Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in Spanish Colonies" in the Cath-
olic Historical Review, V, 13-14; T. C. Richardson (Dabney White, ed.), East
Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols.; New York, 1940), II, 670.
47Santiago Roel, Nuevo Leon Apuntes Historicos (2 vols.; Monterrey, 1988), I,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/55/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.