Chile Law and Religion

By | December 1, 2021

Constitutional, administrative and judicial system. Chile is governed by a constitutional republican government. According to the constitution of September 18, 1925, the executive power is exercised by the president of the republic alone, who is solely responsible and irremovable: he is elected for a period of six years by the people: the National Congress (see below) has the right to decide between two candidates who have received the same vote. The president is not immediately re-eligible. Legislative power is exercised by the National Congress which is made up of two elective chambers (Senate and Chamber of Deputies) through the proportional system. The Senate consists of 45 members representing the 9 provincial groups, each of which elects 5 members: the senators are elected for a period of 8 years and renewed by half every 4; they must be 35 years old. The appointment of diplomatic representatives and senior state officials must be sanctioned by the Senate. The Chamber of Deputies has 132 members elected by departments or groups of departments (1 deputy for every 30,000 residents). All citizens who are 21 years old are eligible and voters. The Chamber of Deputies can meet in the High Court of Justice for the accusations against the presidents, ministers and senior officials of the republic. Legislation passed by Congress can be challenged with the right of The Chamber of Deputies can meet in the High Court of Justice for the accusations against the presidents, ministers and senior officials of the republic. Legislation passed by Congress can be challenged with the right of The Chamber of Deputies can meet in the High Court of Justice for the accusations against the presidents, ministers and senior officials of the republic. Legislation passed by Congress can be challenged with the right of vetoed by the president, but a majority of ⅔ renders the veto itself void. The Council of Ministers is elected and dissolved by the President. The validity of the elections of the president, senators and deputies is determined by the Tribunal calificador composed of 5 members.

The republic is divided into 16 provinces, governed by a steward, and 2 national territories (Aysen and Magallanes); the provinces are divided into departments headed by a local governor.

Judicial power is exercised by the High Court of Justice, by eight courts of appeal distributed in the republic, by courts of first instance residing one in each departmental capital, and by second-class judges residing in municipal delegations.

According to the 1925 constitution, Congress meets automatically from May to September; the budget must be presented to Congress four months before the financial year; all religions that do not subvert public morality are admitted and the Roman Catholic religion is no longer the state religion.

Ecclesiastical organization. – In Chile the preaching of Christianity coincides with the European conquest. It was begun in 1541 by the Dominicans, followed by the mercedarî, the minor friars, who in 1572 had already erected a province of their order, and finally the Jesuits in 1593. The continuous guerrillas of the Spaniards with the warlike Araucani delayed the evangelization, which began to give remarkable results from 1640. For Chile religion and languages, please check ezinereligion.com.

The institution of the ecclesiastical hierarchy in Chile goes back to the century. XVI. Pius IV created the diocese of Santiago (1561) and two years later that of Imperial, whose seat, after the destruction of the city, due to the Araucani, was transferred to Penco and then to Concepción. The two dioceses, which were suffragan of Lima and whose jurisdiction extended to the whole country, had the Río Maule as a common limit. When Chile was detached from the ecclesiastical province of Lima in 1840 and Santiago was constituted a metropolis, the diocese of La Serena was dismembered from the territory of Santiago, and the diocese of S. Carlos de Ancud from that of Concepción. Following the so-called war of saltpeter (1879-1884), Chile grew by two new provinces: that of Antofagasta taken from Bolivia and that of Tarapacá taken from Peru. Pending a definitive disposition they had been constituted in apostolic vicariates, but in 1928 Antofagasta was erected to diocese. In the meantime, Araucania was detached from the two southern dioceses which, erected in 1901 as apostolic prefecture, was converted into apostolic vicariate in 1928. Another apostolic vicariate was established in 1916 with that stretch south of the 47th austral parallel that forms the southern end of Chile. The vicariate was called Magellano. A last important modification in the ecclesiastical order of Chile was introduced in 1925, dismembering the four new dioceses of St. Philip, Valparaiso, Talca and Rancagua from the archdiocese of Santiago, and from that of Concepción the three new dioceses of Linares, Chillán and Temuco.

The Chilean church is now organized in an ecclesiastical province, of which Santiago is archbishopric and metropolis, and suffragan see Antofagasta, La Serena, San Felipe, Valparaiso, Rancagua, Talca, Concepción, Linares, Chillán, Temuco and S. Carlos de Ancud. The more eccentric regions, on the other hand, constitute three apostolic vicariates, Tarapacȧ, Araucania and Magellano, which are subject to the Holy Congregation of Propaganda Fide. The vast majority of the population is Catholic.

Chile Law and Religion