A back-room deal between two politicians made the Dominican Republic the first country to enshrine three current Vatican policies in its new Constitution. One amendment is expected to increase dangerous back-alley abortions and unwanted births in a poor country where more than a third can’t afford enough to eat. But for the Catholic Church it marked a milestone in its programme to promote reproduction at all costs.
Un acuerdo a puerta cerrada celebrado el mes pasado entre dos políticos ha encaminado a la República Dominicana a convertirse en el primer país en consagrar tres políticas actuales del Vaticano en su nueva Constitución. Una enmienda dice que "el derecho a la vida es inviolable desde la concepción hasta la muerte". Los otros dos definen la familia (en lugar del individuo) como la unidad fundamental de la sociedad, y el matrimonio como la unión de un hombre y una mujer.
After the various Dominican constitutions became successively more secular, the Vatican checked this evolution through a concordat. In 1954 the dictator Trujillo granted the Church privileges in return for Vatican recognition of his murderous regime. The dictator is now gone but, despite protests, the concordat remains.
Generalissimo Trujillo got himself a concordat the year after his hero, the Spanish Generalissimo Franco, and his, too, made Catholicism the state religion. The dictator is long gone, but not his concordat. On 22 October 2008 the Dominican Supreme Court ruled that this concordat did not infringe on religious freedom.
This concordat was made with Trujillo, who had promoted himself to generalissimo of the army (and whose fondness for medals earned him the name “chapita” – “bottle caps”). Included at the end is the 1990 Supplement where – apparently with no negotiations – the Vatican was allowed to place the civilian police under the powerful Military Ordinary, Cardinal Archbishop Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez.
On 21 January 1958 the Dominican Republic made an agreement with La Obra de Cooperación Sacerdotal Hispanoamericana, called opaquely a "regulation" (reglamento). Is title is El Patronato Nacional San Rafael, a flattering reference to the murderous dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.