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Mission agreement with Spanish Church (1958): Excerpts

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.

 The region near the disputed border with Haiti was insecure. Trujillo feared that if large numbers of Haitian immigrants began to occupy the sparsely inhabited Dominican borderlands, the Haitian government might have grounds to claim this area. In 1937 Trujillo attempted to secure this border region through the massacre of tens of thousands of ethnic Haitians living there, many of whom had been born in the Dominican Republic.

This massacre is called El Corte (The Cutting) because the Haitians were killed with machetes (the long knives for cutting sugar cane). These were used, instead of guns, to make it appear to be the work of a Dominican peasant uprising, rather than Trujillo's troops. [1]

Two decades later Trujillo was still trying to increase his control of the borderlands and this time he used the Church. Below is part of his agreement with a Spanish missionary organisation founded in 1948, the Latin American Priestly Cooperative Society (La Obra de Cooperación Sacerdotal Hispanoamericana / OCSHA). According to the Spanish Bishops’ Commission for Missions, as of mid-2008 they had no less than 995 diocesan priests on mission, of which 408 were members of OCSHA. Their organisation is thorough, with a "Plan of Action of the Bishops’ Committee for the Missions" for the coming three-year term (2008-2011). [2] 

Excerpts from
The National Saint Rafael Trust
(El Patronato Nacional San Rafael)

Article 1. The National Saint Rafael Trust is an institution established to sponsor and encourage religious, cultural and material improvements the border regions and in other places in the Dominican Republic.

Article 2. Establishing in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 4859 passed on 21 February 1958, by virtue of which an agreement ratified on 10 March of the same year between the Dominican State and His Excellency President of the Republic, Generalissimo Héctor Bienvenido Trujillo Molina, the hierarchy of the Apostolic and Roman Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic, duly represented by His Excellency the Most Reverend Archbishop of Santo Domingo and Primate of the Indies, Monsignor Ricardo Pittini, and the Latin American Priestly Cooperative Society, with its seat in Spain, represented by his Excellency the Most Reverend Archbishop of Zaragoza, Monsignor Doctor Casimiro Morcillo, President of the Work. [3]

Article 3. The institution thus established is to be called "The National Saint Rafael Trust", for the border regions and in other places.


Article 11. The Trust is structurally composed of two bodies: The aforementioned Trust and the Executive Commission.

Article 12. The following persons and officials are members of the Trust:

1. Generalissimo Doctor Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, "Benefactor of the Nation and Father of the New Nation", President for Life.

2. His Excellency President of the Republic, General Doctor Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Martínez, Vice-President.

3. [...]

4. His Excellency the Most Reverend Archbishop of Santo Domingo and Primate of the Indies, Vice-President who may be represented by the Coadjutor Archbishop.

5. The Secretaries of State for Religion, for Education and the Arts and for Agriculture.

6. Their Excellencies, the Ordinaries of the districts covered by the Trust’s work.

7.  His Excellency Archbishop President of the Latin American Priestly Cooperative Society.

8. Three advisory members, as named technical experts, two of whom to be appointed by the President of the Trust, on the recommendation of the President of the Organisation of the Latin American Priestly Cooperative Society, and a third, to be named at will by the President of the Trust, and

9. A representative of the Latin American Priestly Cooperative Society who will act as Secretary.



1. “The 'El Corte' Massacre”,

2. Agenzia Fides, 7 July 2008.

3. Mons. Casimiro Morcillo later seems to have worked for a new missionary organisation, the Neocatechumenal Way which was founded six years later in 1964 (in opposition to Vatican II). He is mentioned in this connection By Pope John Paul II: Letter "Ogniqualvolta" of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Brother Bishop Paul Josef Cordes, August 30th 1990

Source of text:

"Concordato: Privilegios, Crímenes e Impunidad"
Programas radiales - 12 de Marzo 2005

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