Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Carolyn Vieira-Martinez


The personal papers of American Jesuit priest, Wilfrid Parsons, evince an international information war concerned with the praxis of "facts" pertaining to Mexico’s Church and state conflicts of 1925 to 1939. While editor-in-chief of the Jesuit weekly magazine, "America", (1925-1936) Parsons transformed the publication into the pre-eminent Catholic source of information about the "Mexican situation", consequently enabling him to coordinate the publication of "facts" with several other New York based Catholic publications. However, rather than speaking to strictly Catholic interests in the Mexican conflict, research has shown that, when analyzed as a focal point of information processing, the sources in the Rev. Wilfrid Parsons, SJ Papers and the America Magazine Archives define a matrix of the information war as a whole.

As the object of that war transitioned from the Mexican "situation" to the Mexican "question", the appraisal of information quality in terms of its practical application and philosophical premise became increasingly important. Rallying broad public support behind what seemed to be a fundamentally Catholic problem remained a challenge in the United States for most of aforementioned time frame, but the purview of sources reporting persecution of Catholics in Mexico began a drastic change in 1939 with Parsons' own proposition that the situation in Mexico was not merely a Catholic conflict or a Mexican conflict, but an issue of international human rights.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.