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New Mexico archbishop again denounces 'Santa Muerte'

1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 March 24, 2019 8:38 AM March 24, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico archbishop is renewing his call for Catholics to stop worshipping the skeleton folk saint known as La Santa Muerte, or "Our Lady of Holy Death."

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester recently told The Associated Press he fears some Catholics mistakenly believe Santa Muerte is a saint sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church.

Santa Muerte is popular in Mexico. Shrines and statues of the folk saint can be found in New Mexico, California, Louisiana, Texas and elsewhere. They usually depict the skeleton figure wearing a black nun's robe and holding a scythe.

Wester is one of only a handful of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops who have denounced the figure.

Virginia Commonwealth University religious scholar Andrew Chesnut says church officials in Latin America decry Santa Muerte almost weekly.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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