Tag Archives | Mexico City

Catholic Church Officially Declares Devotion to Santa Muerte Blasphemous

Santisima Muerte(This summary originally appeared in an alternate form on SkeletonSaint.com )

The battle between the Catholic orthodoxy and devotees of Santa Muerte has hit a high water mark with a visit to Mexico from the Vatican’s Cultural Minister, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. Sarah C. Nelson, writing for Huffington Post UK, reports on the news that Ravasi has given a charge of blasphemy to Santa Muerte in a series of talks he presented where he compared the devotional tradition to those held by Cosa Nostra organized crime families in Italy:

“A Vatican spokesman has declared Mexico’s folk Death Saint (Santa Meurte) is “blasphemous” and should not be part of any religion.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said worship of the skeletal figure of a cloaked woman carrying a scythe was a degeneration of religion, the Associated Press reported.”

This is Ravasi’s third condemnation of the tradition in four days. Up to this point the Catholic Church’s standard response has, at times, favored the devotional fervor, and intent of Santa Muerte’s followers, while expressing concern over doctrinal issues. Quotes from a Spanish language AP report show that that the Cardinal has gone well past any tense acquiescence, and it seems likely that the Vatican is planning to highlight Santa Muerte as a negative foil during the development of upcoming cultural education initiatives:

“The mafia, drug trafficking, organized crime are not religious forms.

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Guerrilla Urban Planners Redo Mexico City By Painting Bike Lanes, Sidewalks, And Crosswalks

This Big City talks to Camina, Haz Ciudad, a group which extralegally redesigns public space to benefit ordinary residents:

Camina, Haz Ciudad started as a project to recover space for pedestrians. It was inspired by a modern development that happened here in Mexico City in an area called El Puente de los Poetas. Amazingly, there was no pedestrian infrastructure at all, the whole place seemed to be designed for cars. A group of citizens decided that couldn’t be, so they painted a sidewalk in an area where lots of people walked but had no safety. But the sidewalk was erased, and the people who painted it were really mad.

With our first painted bike lane [which is 5km and ends at Congress in Mexico City] we were trying to make a political point. We didn’t have any expectation of how long it would last. But the bike lane is still in place.

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Mexico City’s 65-Story Inverted Skyscraper

earthscraper-11The Earthscraper is a conceptual design for a see-through 82,000-square-foot inverted pyramid proposed to be built underneath Mexico City. With space already filled in the world’s major cities, will the future be about building downwards? Via Ecomagination:

Earthscraper may have burst the bounds of the architectural world because it has taken a truly new approach to escalating megacity problems like planning for population growth, curbing sprawl, preserving open space, and conserving energy and water.

The inverted pyramid’s next 10 stories are intended for retail space, followed by 10 stories of apartments. The structure’s deepest, tapering 35 floors are pegged for office space. The interior design concept also incorporates a system of gardens occurring roughly every 10 stories, to help generate fresh air.

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5.8 Earthquake Shakes México

Mx-mapHow is Mexico celebrating Cinco de Mayo? It’s rockin’ the country, or rather, the land is doing the rocking. The capital, Mexico City, felt the tremor of the quake, but there have been no reports of injury or damage. AlterNet reports:

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook Mexico on Thursday, causing buildings to sway in the capital some 300 kilometers (187 miles) away from the epicenter, an AFP correspondent and US seismologists said.

The quake struck at 1324 GMT near the town of Ometepec in the state of Guerrero, at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The tremor rattled Mexico City, where earthquake alarms rang out in some quarters and office workers briefly spilled onto the streets.

Helicopters patrolled the capital — whose metropolitan area has a population of about 21 million people — while civil protection authorities reported no immediate damages.

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