From the San Cristóbal Diocese
He died in Mexico City, where he had been hospitalized for two weeks, due to pulmonary and renal insufficiencies, coronary and carotid problems and prolonged diabetes.
His remains were taken today to the Cathedral of San Cristobal, where, beginning at 7:00 pm, they will be on review, for the prayers of the faithful and the farewells of the communities.
In the Cathedral, masses will be celebrated at different times, principally at 12:00 and 7:00 pm; in particular, this Tuesday, there will be a celebration of his 51st episcopal ordination.
He will be buried in the Cathedral on Wednesday January 26, beginning with an internment mass in the Cathedral Plaza at 12:00 pm.
He was born on November 3, 1924, in Irapuato, Guanajuato. His studies were done in the Seminary of Leon, Guanajuato. He was sent to Rome for specialized studies in Holy Scripture in the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Biblical Institute, where he obtained a doctorate.
In 1970, he convened and presided over the "Xicotepec" Meeting, which revolutionized pastoral work with the indigenous: there would no longer be an "indigenist" pastorate, in which the indigenous are merely objects of evangelization, but they would grow and become actors within their own church and society. In 1974, the state government entrusted him with the development of the Indigenous Congress, in which different ethnicities of Chiapas gave their pronouncements and demanded their human rights. In 1975, he convened the first of the Diocesan Assemblies, which have been continued to be held without interruption since that date. In that year, he also initiated the Permanent Diaconate, primarily within indigenous communities, as a form in which the church could incarnate and grow within those cultures. At the end of his service in May, 2000, there were 341 permanent deacons.
In order to respect the pastoral work of his successor, he moved to the city of Queretaro, where he lived until the end of his life. From there, he continued to serve the indigenous and the cause of the poor, in whatever place and circumstance which required his presence.
He leaves as his legacy his efforts in:
1. The promotion of the integration of the indigenous, that they may be actors within the church and the society.
2. The preferential option for the poor and the liberation of the oppressed, as a sign of the Kingdom of God.
3. The freedom to denounce injustices before any arbitrary power.
4. The defense of human rights.
7. The promotion of women's rights and her equal responsibilities in the church and society.
8. A Church which is open to the world and a servant of the people
9. Ecumenism not only with other Christian confessions, but with all religions.
10. Mutual pastoral work with shared responsibility.
11. Indian Theology, as a search for the presence of God in the original cultures.
12. The Permanent Diaconate as a specifically indigenous process.
13. Reconciliation within the communities.
14. Unity in diversity.
15. The affective and effective communion with Peter's Successor and the Church Universal (III Synod, 571).