Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Diocese of Chiapas

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The Diocese of Chiapas comprises almost the entire state of that name in the Republic of Mexico. San Cristobal Las Casas, formerly called Ciudad Real, is the episcopal seat, and is the principal city of the state. The diocese is bounded by those of Guatemala, Tabasco, and Tehuantepec. From the time of its erection, 14 April, 1538, by Pope Paul III, this diocese was the centre of a successful Christianizing movement, due to the apostolic labours of the first bishop who occupied this see, the great Bartolome de Las Casas. The baptismal record of the diocese begins in 1541. The Indians were gathered together by the Dominican brethren of the first bishop into settlements and were taught the crafts which they still practise, and instructed in Christian doctrine in their own tongue, as well as in many religious practices and customs which they have preserved to the present day. The chapter of the cathedral now numbers 7 capitulars. There are 15 secular priests and 6 Jesuits in the city.

The seminary has all the ordinary classes and a good number of students. A well-equipped school for primary instruction is directed by the Marist Brothers, and a school for girls is under the care of the Sisters of the Divine Providence. There are other Catholic schools in this and other cities of the diocese. The see city possesses a good cathedral and nineteen other churches. The diocese has been governed by thirty-six bishops since its foundation.

FRANCISCO OROZCO Y JIMENEZ