chapter  6
22 Pages

The Roman Catholic Church in the Mid-1980s: Its Waning Political Power

WithJorge P. Osterling

This chapter discusses Colombian Roman Catholic church as a political and not as a mystical, spiritual institution. It presents an historical overview of the role that the Roman Catholic church has played in Colombia with special emphasis on the years which followed independence from Spain up to the 1960s, when winds of change began to blow. The chapter discusses major changes that began to take place in the Colombian church from the 1960s to the mid-1980s. It provides an analysis of the Colombian church during the mid-1980s, focusing on its various outreach programs, in an effort to describe its continuous, albeit waning, influence and power in Colombian society and culture. Colombia is predominantly a Roman Catholic country. Some sources estimate that over 90 percent of its population is baptized—not necessarily practicing—Roman Catholic. Exact assessment of membership in other churches is very hard to determine since no official or unofficial figures are available.