Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/779

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705

ARGENTEXnL


705


AROENTRE


Republic other religious orders additional to those now in existence". Article 20 of the same instru- ment grants to foreigners the right of freedom of wor- ship. The right of approval and ratification of concordats and agreements with the Holy See, of nomination for the ecclesiastical positions of high rank, and of allowing or refusing promulgation in the Argentine tcriitorj' to decrees of councils, or bulls, briefs, and rescripts of the Supreme Pontiff, arc re- spectively regulated by clause 19, article 07, and by Clau.ses 8 and 9 of article 86.

111. EccLESi.\STico-CiviL Legislatiox. — Though this country is Catholic, civil marriage, lay primary instruction, and purely municipal cemeteries are among its institutions. The civil marriage law, which was passed, 2 Nov., 1SS8, ami went into effect, 1 Dec, 1889, gives validity only to marriages "sol- emnized before the public officer in charge of the Civil Register, in his office, in public, and before two witnes.ses" (art. .'J7). The ceremony may take place at the residence of eitlier the groom or the bride, but four witnes.ses shall tlien be required. The registrar is forbidden (art. 39) to prevent the contracting parties from seeking to have " their union blessed" immediately afterwards by a minister of their religion. Article 64 of the law declares that the only divorce recognized and authorizeil in the .\rgcntinc Nation is tiie separation o mensd el toro, without dissolution of the bonil of marriage.

1\'. Chuuchk.s of Buexo.s Aires. — The cathedral of Buenos Aires is a magnificent edifice, erected on the site of the first churdi of the settlenient built by Don Juan de Garay in lo80. This church and all the others thereafter built, depended upon the eccle- siastical authorities of Paraguay until 1620, when Pope Paul V, at the request of King Philip III of Spain, erected the Diocese of La Plata River. The parochial church of Buenos Aires, then an humble structure of mud walls and thatched roof, was turned into a cathedral, and put in charge of Fray Pedro Carranza, the first Argentine bishop. Such repairs and improvements as were possible at that time were made in the building, and it was solenmly detlicatcil, 26 June. 1622. The construction of the present cathedral began in 1791. It was built on the same plan as most of the Spanish cathedrals, and attracts the attention of visitors on account of the beauty of its interior, and the fine tomb of General San Martin, erected in a chapel at the right side of the main biiildin^. The church and convent of La .Merced are almost contemporarj- with the founda- tion of Buenos Aires. There is no record showing the exact ilate of their construction, but there is evidence that they were in existence in 1580, when Juan de Garay founded in their immediate neighbour- hoo(.l, as he said, the hospital which he called Saint Martin. L'ntil 1821 the convent was the home of the Fathers of Mercy. The church is now one of the most sumptuous of the city and the centre of a parish. The church of St. Ignatius, another noted ornament of the city of Buenos Aires, dates from 1722. Its construction, begun in that year, was entrusted to the Jesuit Fathers Andr(5s Blanqui and N. Primoli, who brought expert architects from Europe for that purpo.se. Many rich citizens, among whom Don Juan Antonio Costa was distinguished by his liberality, contributed large sums for this work. This church was the home of the Jesviits at Buenos Aires, until their expulsion from the Spanish do- minions in 1767. The church and convent of St. Francis are still the home of the most ancient re- ligious order in the country; there is evidence that the Franciscan Fathers had come to that part of South .\merica prior to 1580. The church and con- vent of St. Dominic, still occupied by the Dominican Fathers, are also worthy of mention. The construc- tion of the present church of St. Francis was begun


in 1731. The comer-stone of the church of St. Domi- nic was laid in 1751. The convent of St. Francis contains a rich and well arranged library of more than 7,IX)0 volumes, free to all on application to the Fatlier Superior. One of the remarlcable churche." of Buenos Aires is the church of the Saviour (El Saliatlur) built in 1872 by the Jesuit Fathers, bunied 28 Feb., 1875, by a group of "liberals", and rebuilt in 1884. .\ttacned to the church is the Jesuit college. The so-called "Chapel of Mount Carmel" (Capilla del Carmen), favoured by the higher da-sses for the celebration of marriages, and ilie chapel of ihe Passionist Fathers are counted among the attrac- tions of the city.

V. Education-, Collegiate and Un'iveh.sity. — It is well known that the Jesuits were the pioneers of progress ami public instruction in all the vast region which extenils on both .sides of the River Plate, where thev founded schools and novitiates, and propagateif learning iis well as Christian faith. Their college of St. Francis Xavier, established at C6rdoba in 1611, and completed in 1613, soon became the Coletjio Mdximo of the Jesuit province of La Plata, which embraced what is to-day the Argentine Nation and Chile. This institution, where grammar, Latin, philosopliy, and theology were taught, and whose first rector was a Jesuit, Father Alvir, became, a little later, the Lfniversity of C6rdoba, still in exist- ence, and in the order of time, the second university estal>lislied in South America; the first was that of San Marcos at Lima (1551). Public schooLs in the Argentine Republic as in the United States are ab- solutely .secular. But the law of public instruction provides that, "after official liours, rehgious instruc- tion (Catholic or otherwi.se) may be given to the cliildren who voluntarily remain in the schools for the purpose of receiving it. This religious instruc- tion in the pubhc schools shall be given only by authorized ministers of the different persuasions, before or after school hours".

VI. S.VXCTUARV OF Ll'JAN .\N'D ChRIST OF THE

An'DE.s. — In the city of Lujiln, about two hours and a half by rail from the federal capital, is the cele- bratcil shrine of Our Lady of Lujdn, since 16.'i0 a centre of inten.se religious fervour. It is to be made part of the monumental basilica of Lujdn, still in the process of construction. When finished this will be one of the most imposing buildings of its kind in Spanish America. How closely interwoven the Catholic faith is with the life and ideas of the .Ar- gentine people may be seen by the monument known as El Crixlo de los Andes (The Christ of the Andes), erected on the summit of that range, chiefly by the efforts of an .\rgentine lady and Monsignor Benevente, Bishop of San Juan de Cuyo. It is a colo.ssal .statue of Our Lord, with a cross in His left hand, and the right rai.sed as if blc.ssing the world. The statue is made from old bronze cannon left Ijy the Spaniards, and is the work of a native .sculptor, Mateo Alonso. It .stands at 14,(XK) feet above the sea-level, on the line which divides the .Vrgcntine Republic from Chile, and commemorates the arbitration by both nations of the bounilarj' question that more than once en- dangered their mutual peace.

VII. Nox-C.\THOLic PopUL.\TioN. — Thc small non- Catholic portion of thc population has five Protestant houses of worship, as follows: one Anglican Episco- pal, one Lutheran, one Methoihst Epi.scopal, one Scotch, and one in which the worship varies acconl- ing to the time of day in which it is offered. The first Protestant cliurch was built in 1829.

Jose Ignacio RonmcuEZ.

Argenteuil, Holy Coat of. See Holy Coat.

Argentre, Chahles dv Plessis d', b. 16 May, 1673; d. 17 October, 1740. He entered the seminarj' of St. Sulpicc at Paris, and studied theology at th?