Creating Good Catholics: Francisco de Pareja's 

Writings and Conversion in La Florida

Mauricio Damián Rivero

During the entire colonial period, Florida was a part of the periphery of the Spanish Empire. Florida lacked the Amerindian labor base and rich silver mines which made New Spain and Peru the centers of imperial attention. For this reason Florida has often been categorized as part of the Spanish Borderlands by scholars such as Herbert Eugene Bolton and his followers John Tate Lanning, Maynard Geiger, and, to a certain extent, Michael Gannon. Florida has traditionally been seen as more similar in its character, administration, and institutions to the peripheries than to the centers of the viceroyalties. For this reason Florida was attributed with certain Borderland traits such as the image of heroic friars establishing their missions in inhospitable and difficult areas with little or no support from the crown. This view of Spanish settlements on the periphery of the empire is termed the Borderlands paradigm. It has been the rubric used to analyze Florida history for over fifty years even though it has been challenged recently by scholars. [1] There are several assumptions that accompany this Borderlands paradigm. First, that the Spanish crown placed less emphasis on establishing their rule in these areas than in the centers. Second, that other entities like the monastic orders or the Catholic church itself also placed little emphasis on these areas because of their lack of an adequate base of parishioners. And third, that overall the Borderlands were inherently different in most aspects from the centers of the viceroyalties.


This work will attempt to demonstrate that the activities of the Catholic clergy in Florida did not conform to this paradigm. Rather, the Florida clergy had set the same goals for their parishioners as the Catholic clergy in the central areas had for theirs. They basically wanted their native parishioners to become "good Catholics" who abandoned their old religious expressions and acted morally. This article sets out to prove that these major objectives were not different from those of the Spanish clergy in other areas of the empire. There were adaptations of tones and concentration on slightly different themes in different areas but this was a function of the inherent flexibility of the Spanish missionary method. Therefore even though the religious texts studied in this piece have differences of content this did not mean their overall objectives were different but rather that the clerical authors were responding to different local situations and populations.

The Florida Catholic church has been the subject of many monographs and articles. [2] Most of the previous work done on the Florida clergy does not analyze liturgical texts to determine the objectives for proselytization in Florida. These works have for the most part dealt with how the clergy established missions among the Timucua peoples with the overall principle that the Florida Catholic Church was a border institution mostly concerned with limited conversion and survival. This is not consistent with the writings of the clergymen themselves. Looking at these writings it is evident the clergy did not simply want to convert the Florida natives to Christianity. They aspired to mold these natives into good Catholics by having these natives act according to the principles established by movements within early modern Catholicism concerning behaviour and adherence to ceremonies of the faith. This objective, rather than make the Florida clergy unique makes them conform to the general model of the centers of imperial attention.

Like the Andean and Mesoamerican clergy, the Florida clergy faced an aboriginal population ignorant of Christianity prior to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the late sixteenth century. The Floridian clergy, as their counterparts in the imperial centers, learned the varying elements and practices of Amerindian religions in order to convert their parishioners. This entailed the production of religious texts in the Amerindian languages so that the natives could understand their preaching. And the Florida priests as others in Spanish America were convinced of the inherent evil of the aboriginal religions and therefore developed strategies to eradicate them. The Catholic clergy throughout Spanish America also agreed on the need to not only convert the natives to Christianity but make them good Catholics under the revised definitions of early modern Catholicism. In essence, the Florida clergy used different methods and emphases to convert the Florida natives than did the Andean or Mexican clergy, but still held the same major objectives. This in spite of the fact they were not in major centers of sedentary populations.

In order to demonstrate the Florida clergy's lack of singularity the writings of one prominent clerical writer from Florida will be compared to the clerical writing produced in a particular central area, Peru. Peru was chosen because the catechism and confesionario written by order of the Third Provincial Council were written by the same group of authors. Therefore they provide an equitable point of comparison with the Florida catechism and confesionario analyzed here which are also written by one author. The clerical author's works analyzed in this piece are those of Francisco de Pareja. Francisco de Pareja was born in the Auñon within the Diocese of Toledo the exact year not being known. He joined the Franciscan order at least as early as 1568 because in 1569 he is listed as part of an expedition of 32 Franciscans which arrived in Mexico in the same year. [3] Pareja probably served among the Nahua missions of South Central Mexico. He displayed a prodigious ability at learning the native languages an ability he would also display while serving in Florida. His location in Mexico during the 1570's along with certain other factors have led to a catechism in Spanish and Nahuatl entitled, Doctrina Cristiana muy útil y necesaria... being attributed to him. [4] Although one of the reasons the work is attributed to Pareja is the similarity of the work's title to his Florida catechisms it is improbable the Florida catechisms were translations of the Mexican catechism. First, the Florida catechisms were much longer than the earlier works by well over 100 folios. And secondly, the content of the catechisms were also distinct specifically in regards to the treatment of native religious practice. By 1594 Pareja was sent to Florida to serve in the mission of San Juan del Puerto among the Timucua-speaking peoples north of the St. John's River. [5] Pareja there served as an ecclesiastic visitor to other parishes. It is unclear if he remained the rest of his life in Florida although it is known he returned to Mexico in 1610 to publish his works. What is certain is that Pareja died in the New World in 1628. [6]

While serving in the Timucua missions in the beginning of the seventeenth century Pareja wrote a series of catechisms, a grammar, and a confesionario. The first catechism was published in Mexico in 1612 by the widow of Pedro Balli. [7] The second catechism was also published in 1612 by Pedro Balli but was later expanded upon in another edition in 1627 entitled the Catecismo en lengua timuquana y castellana, en el cual se instruyen y catequizan los adultos infieles que an de ser Christianos [8] . Pareja published yet another catechism, Catecismo y examen para los que comulgan en Lengua Castellana y Timuquana in Mexico in 1614 with another expanded version also published in Mexico in 1627. [9] Pareja further wrote and had published a Timucua grammar entitled Arte y Pronunciación en lengua Timuquana y Castellana. [10] Finally he also wrote and had published the Confesionario en lengua castellana y timuquana con algunos consejos para animar el penitente. [11] The texts to be used in this comparison are the 1627 expanded catechism based on the earlier 1612 catechism and the 1613 confesionario. The reason the 1627 catechism is being used is that it is the most expanded version of Pareja's catechism and therefore provides a greater perspective of Pareja's thoughts and attitudes towards Timucua Christianization. Through the discursive format and style of the text the reader gains greater insight into Pareja's theology and his perception of Timucua religion and culture. Overall both of these texts will be used to evaluate Pareja's objectives or aspirations for the Timucua peoples and howthese ideals and aspirations compared to those of other members of the Spanish clergy in the New World.

The catechism and confesionario produced by José de Acosta and Luis Gerónimo de Ore, among others in Lima, will be used as a point of comparison of the ideals of the Spanish priests in the centers of the Spanish empire. [12] The reason as stated earlier these particular texts are being used are that they were a surviving catechism and confesionario written by the same authors. The questions posed of these texts are what practices were the clergy trying to eradicate, what was their concept of a good Catholic, and, finally, how similar are both sets of texts concerning the aforementioned issues. This will help determine if the Florida Church was truly different from the Peruvian church because of its "borderlands" status or were these institutions more similar than different.

The manual for confessors or confesionario was, in itself, a product of theCatholic Reform. The various sessions of the Council of Trent (which met from 1545-1563) reinforced the primacy of the sacraments in Catholic dogma especially those sacraments attacked by Protestant criticism such as penance. These sacraments were criticized because they were derived from Catholic tradition rather than from scriptural precedent. This renewed emphasis on the sacraments when combined with early modern Catholicism's fixation on the standardization of dogma and ritual through written texts resulted in works like the confession manual. In this sense, the Catholic church exhibited heavy influence from the humanist intellectual movement. Humanist analysis was based on adherence to written, original, sources to determine if texts, art, and religious ritual were adhering properly to the idealized perfection of ancient times. As a result of this humanist emphasis on form and text, there were several Bibles, catechisms, confesionarios, sermons, and saints' lives published, all using the humanist method of citing original sources and using them to create written standards. That emphasis on standardized and written texts permeated the Spanish American church as evidenced by the over 100 different catechisms and confesionarios composed by Spanish American priests and friars from 1520-1650. [13]

Texts like the confesionario and catechism served certain purposes for the early modern Catholic clergy. First, they served the Tridentine mission of standardizing the content of the sacraments. Both preceding and subsequent to the Council of Trent the words and acts of the sacraments were based on local traditions, not on written standards. Therefore it was common for local priests to administer the sacraments differently from one parish to the next, lacking a written standard on which to base the procedures or the contents of the sacraments. [14] In addition, even though the Council of Trent called for the establishment of seminaries to educate the clergy, many did not really know how to administer the sacraments properly. The confesionarios and the catechisms served a very clear purpose. They facilitated the administering of the sacramentsbecause the priests could literally just read from the manuals. These texts also served a second purpose as educational aids because the priests could simply read from the catechism and instruct the laity on the various aspects of the faith. This ensured the clergy not only had an aid to teach to the laity but it also assured the higher clergy that the content of the dogma taught to the laity was orthodox, at least in Tridentine terms.

The confesionarios and catechisms, especially those produced in Spanish America, were also written in the vernacular languages of the laity. For example, Pareja's confesionario and catechism were written in Spanish and in a form of Timucua. Throughout Spanish America there were texts produced in Nahuatl, Maya, Guaraní, Quechua, and Aymara. Overall the Spanish clergy demonstrated a remarkable linguistic ability which helped them in their success of proselytization. The linguistic diversity of these texts are also consistent with the Tridentine tradition. In one of its decrees the Council of Trent ordered that the people be ministered to in their language so that they could understand the content of the Church's message. Pareja's writings are therefore squarely within the textual and linguistic traditions of early modern Catholicism and of those texts produced in the Viceregal centers.

In reading the Confesionario it becomes readily apparent that Pareja did not view Timucua religious beliefs as part of a comprehensive cosmology. This is seen in the fact that he does not formulate questions specifically dealing with the worship of other deities. Rather, the questions that he formulates are aimed at specific customs reminiscent of traditional religion. There were several differences between the native religions Pareja experienced in Mexico and those he encountered in Florida. In Mexico as in Peru there was a definite priestly class which upheld a complex cosmology incorporating deities from several Mesoamerican traditions. Timucua religious expression was more shamanistic with practically all the elder members of Timucua society involved in leading religious rituals rather than a set priestly class. Therefore it is natural that Pareja viewed the Timucua religion as inherently different from the Mesoamerican religion and lacking a central cosmology because of this lack of a definite priestly class. This is clearly reflected in the types of questions asked in the text. For example, there is a question dealing with the Timucua custom of not eating the first fish caught:

The first fish that goes in the net have you refused to eat it? [15]

There are other questions meant to address other practices of the Timucua peoples which Pareja labels as "superstitions". The questions which deal with the blessing of new nets when used the first time, the screech of owls interpreted as augury of misfortune, and the belief that a snake crossing one's path is a sign of bad luck are examples of these type of questions. [16] There were also questions regarding the treatment of the dead and of death itself. One question dealt with the practice of cutting one's hair upon the death of a relative:

When a relative of yours has died have you shorn your hair? [17]

In this same section there are inquiries on the burying of a dead person's items along with their bodies, not eating fish after a person has died, and the practice of not eating crops grown from a dead person's plot. [18] These questions were not written in a manner that treats these activities as part of an overall diabolic religion as other scholars have asserted was the only manner the Spanish clergy dealt with native religion. Rather, they were seen as superstitions which may have been inspired by the devil but were not a form of worship of him. [19] In the advice that followed a circle of questions on placing belief in dreams, Pareja wrote:

Son, since everyone thinks during the day so does it occur at night and it occurs that if you think good things you dream and if you think bad these things you dream. If the dream is of good things then try to make them come true but if bad things ignore these dreams because the devil is the causer of these bad dreams and therefore dreams should not be listened to. [20]

Pareja recognized that there were those who fostered these superstitions and were heard by the natives. Even though he referred to these persons as "hechizeros" (sorcerers) he did not differentiate them from the rest of the society because there are no questions regarding their leadership role in traditional religion. In a series of questions for those considered enchanters Pareja writes:

Have you made it rain?

If God did not want it for all you do you cannot make it rain so stop

doing this because it is a great sin. [21]

He also questions these persons whom he calls enchanters on praying to the corn, using divination to determine if there will be war, and finding objects through the use of magic. [22]

Pareja had a series of questions directed towards particular female "superstitions". There were questions on taking herbal baths to recover a lost husband, wearing grass skirts to obtain men, and eating coal, dirt, fleas, and lice for similar spells. [23] Pareja's treats these activities as a series of disjunctive superstitions inspired by the devil. Overall, Pareja's attitude toward traditional Timucua religion is dismissive. He views their faith as a series of practices of petty magic and augury which should be weeded out by the confessors and the priests. This does not necessarily mean that he sees these customs as insignificant. Indeed the great detail in which he deals with them in his questions suggests that he felt these behaviors needed to be amended. However, the impression from Pareja's work both the Confesionario and the Catecismo is that he assumes the Timucua peoples have already been converted to Christianity perhaps because these natives were seeking the sacrament of confession and this implies they had internalized the Catholic sacrament. Therefore in his questions regarding "superstitions" Pareja saw the natives as being converted Christians who still maintained vestiges of their old religion which needed to be washed away.

However, one thing which is apparent from the text is Pareja's belief in the devil's responsibilities for the pagan customs of the Timucua peoples. Insome parts of his work Pareja seems to believe that the spells cast by the enchanters actually work through diabolic assistance. Pareja has questions to the enchanters on prayers for healing and what was used, prayers for killing someone, and prayers to make women fall in love. [24] In the wording of all of these questions Pareja asks "did you pray to the devil" or "did you ask of the devil". Pareja even asks in one of his questions:

If a person is possessed by a demon do you believe what they say as truth? [25]

These series of questions show Pareja's perception of Timucua beliefs of and the role of the devil and his demons. Pareja, as did many clergymen of his age, believed that whatever non-Christian ceremonies or customs the Timucua peoples exhibited were the result of diabolic influence and deception. [26] This use of the label "diabolic" had the overall effect of rendering the native beliefs as totally worthless and deserving of prompt destruction because of their links to Satan. By linking pagan practices with Satan the clergy were, in essence, establishing that these practices could not be tolerated and that all members of the clergy should work to eradicate them. Yet more than a tool for propaganda in extirpating native customs Pareja genuinely believed the devil was present among his parishioners. He believes in the existence of demonic possessions as exhibited in his question on the subject. Pareja also asks if the diabolic spells of the enchanters actually worked believing the servants of Satan wielded power. In essence, Pareja is demonstrating that the idea of the devil tempting and corrupting persons in the world was a very real concept to the Spanish clergy in Florida. This explains why Pareja placed such a premium on extirpating the traditional religious practices of the Timucua. In this context the struggle for proselytization and conversion was not merely a struggle between one religion and another but a battle between God and the devil for the souls of the Timucua.

Pareja had other objectives for his parishioners than just eradicating their "superstitions". He also wanted to impart a certain moral behavior to his parishioners. One series of questions by Pareja dealt with moral issues like pregnancy and abortion.

Being pregnant have you killed your child, or desired to kill him, taken potion or hitting or pressing your belly to choke him? [27]

In response to this question, Pareja includes a long condemnation of this activity saying such actions are homicide and that what is worse the woman is keeping the child's soul from receiving baptism thereby condemning the child to Limbo where he will always be sad and without the light of God. [28] He further says that even if the child was born of sin it is a worse sin to kill the child. Pareja clearly wanted to emphasize to his female parishioners that abortion was a sin which was not proper Catholic behavior.

Pareja had a series of questions concerning marriage and sexuality. These questions are more numerous than questions on other subjects in the text sections. He writes questions on exposing one's private parts, lascivious language, sheltering persons in one's home to fornicate, and acts of masturbation. [29] These questions were designed to be asked to single persons. Another series of inquiries were designed for married men and addressedbeating one's wife, refusing sex with one's spouse, and wanting unnatural sex (sodomy). In addition, Pareja has questions on adultery and incest. One of the questions even asks if the person has had sex within the church walls. For the women the questions to be asked were if they had sexually desired a married man, been with their husband's brother, or participated in sodomy. [30] In having the confessor delve into these issues Pareja felt these were heinous sins which needed to be pointed to specifically in order to amend the behavior of the natives. Pareja's image of the good Catholic clearly meant sexual misdeeds like adultery, incest, and extramarital sex needed to be eradicated.

Pareja also had questions dealing with gambling. The questions dealt withlying during games, counting points wrong, and gambling away all of one's property away. He states that these are sins and that all good Christians would refrain from participating in these games. Interestingly one of the questions deals with playing games and losing poorly states:

Having played and having lost with anger, have you said bad words, or fought with someone who was playing. [31]

There are other questions in this category of gambling dealing with the ceremonies performed before games such as wiping one's hands with herbs and questions on refusing to pay debts in a lost bet. Like the previous sets, these questions form the basis of the Confesionario. Pareja reveals in the text his objectives for the Timucua laity. He wanted the laity to cease their "superstitions" or adherence to their traditional religion because these were remnants of their pagan past which did not fit his ideal of proper behavior for a Catholic. The text also shows Pareja's belief in the devil and a diabolic influence which was leading the Timucua peoples towards sin and superstition. Finally, Pareja expected the Timucua peoples to conform to a model of morality which included no sexual misconduct, no abortions, no gambling, and no foul language. In essence, the Confesionario is a blueprint for thebehaviors of the Timucua peoples which Pareja and the rest of the Florida clergy needed to amend in order to make them good Catholics within the definitions of Tridentism.

Pareja's Catecismo is a different type of source altogether. The structure of the work is the first major difference from other Latin American catechisms. Most catechisms are written in question and answer format where there are questions followed by answers in a sort of interior dialectic between a priest and an anonymous student. So a typical series of exchanges will be "Q: Why do you wish to be baptized, A: To be a Christian, Q: Why do you wish to be a Christian?, A: To achieve God's mercy ", and so forth. Pareja's catechism does contain sections with questions and answers but also includes significant theological expositions by Pareja. His reason for writing the text is expressed in the prologue:

In this catechism is contained what can be taught to the adults, what they are to believe, so as they leave their rites and abuses, what they are to respond and how they are to prepare to receive the holy sacrament of the saintly baptism. [32]

The work as expressed in the title and in the prologue had as its audience priests who were to instruct the Timucuas on its contents. It was also designed specifically to prepare persons to receive the sacrament of baptism by providing them with a basic knowledge of the Catholic faith they were being initiated into. Catechisms like these were in many ways instructor manuals for the clergy so they possessed the correct theology to relay to the laity. Although the catechism is at times more a theological treatise than a digested form of the faith for the newly converted it still fulfills this purpose of providing a text for the parish priest as Pareja intended. Apart from the sets of questions and answers there are long and detailed discussions on the location of Eden and the reasons for the animals and the birds being created and trivial theological debates of this nature. The work is a reflection of Pareja as a missionary or parish priest trying to instruct his laity in the faith but also an example of Pareja as a theologian. Pareja spends over 70 folios detailing the story of the Creation, the fall of Lucifer, and the expulsion from Eden of Adam and Eve. He then gives a very interesting rationale on why he gives so much attention to the creation in his catechism:

To combat the errors it has been dealt with in this catechism the real story of Creation so as to forever bury the lies of the devil with which he has lied to these people as is seen in the Confesionario. [33]

However, Pareja does provide insight in the catechism on his ideals of what the Timucua laity should know or believe. As in the Confesionario he feels that the beliefs of these peoples before Catholicism are diabolic. In a certain passage concerning the fall of Lucifer he states:

The fall of Lucifer and his minions and since they were cast from Heaven and exiled to Hell through envy they taught that there were many gods, as in La Florida as in many other parts of gentility. [34]

In another passage on why the Timucua peoples should accept baptism he also states:

With all your heart leave all those ceremonies, enchantments, curses, visions, lies, since all of these were taught to you by the devil. [35]

Pareja was establishing as he did in the Confesionario, that the pagan beliefs of these peoples were all deceptions founded by the devil. Interestingly he also states that the devil did these deceptions because heenvied those who could still achieve salvation while he himself was condemned to eternal damnation. The importance of the devil and the diabolical is much more prevalent in the catechism than in the Confesionario. Pareja constantly refers to the fires of hell awaiting those who did not receive the sacrament of baptism and accept the Christian faith. This belief that the devil was awaiting any opportunity to carry the Timucuas to Hell was a very real image to Pareja and he presents these images graphically throughout the catechism. This in itself is not just a method of instruction to have the natives listen to his preaching. Given the prevalence of the devil in his other writings Pareja was convinced that the devil's influence was everywhere and only the clergy's watchful eyes could curb him.

The catechism also had many statements which show Pareja's views on marriage and women. In regards to marriage he writes:

Marriage should be based on love between the two persons and respect for the sacrament. [36]

Pareja also reiterates the need to avoid incest because it is a sin:

No Christian can marry their grandmother, mother, granddaughter, sister, or niece nor cousin, daughter, granddaughter, mother, or grandmother of his wife. [37]

Pareja's views of women are also stated in the catechism in a very misogynist manner. In commenting on Eve and why she accepted Satan's counsel and ate from the Tree of Knowledge Pareja provides this explanation:

Eve wanted to be like God before her husband and this is why women have maintained this arrogance and desire to always be served and adored as men, and so they show themselves to be haughty and choleric like beasts. [38]

This passage however is not simply a condemnation of women. Rather, it is an example of Pareja condemning the sin of Pride which he mentions constantly in the catechism was the real cause of the downfall of Lucifer and of Man.

The goals of Pareja for the Timucuan laity are harder to decipher than in the Confesionario, yet there are certain elements that come through in the text. First, Pareja writes the text with the assumption that the majority of the Timucua peoples had already been converted to at least a rudimentary form of Christianity because he writes the text so that the clergy discusses finer points of the faith rather than just the basic tenets of the trinity and other aspects. The inclusion of details of Catholic dogma with quotations from the Scripture and Church Fathers like St. Augustine and Jerome points to the fact that the main audience of the catechism was the clergy. However, the text was still intended for the clergy to teach the laity from the work and therefore reflects Pareja's perspective on Timucua conversion. Although there are mentions of past paganism, for the most part the text does not deal with the Timucuan religion, but concentrates on instructing the laity in detail on Catholic dogma. Of course, it is difficult to determine to what extent the Timucua peoples had actually been converted to Christianity and to what degree they understood Catholic dogma.

The text also shows the importance of the sacrament of Baptism as he goes into details on the reasons for all parts of the ceremony, the use of water, and how a person once baptized should sin no more or else receive confession. In this sense Pareja's catechism exhibits the Tridentine reverence for the sacraments and the standardization in written form of the preparation to receive the sacrament.

Pareja also shows his concern with the work of the devil among the Timucua peoples. In several sections of the text he blames the devil for the pagan beliefs of these peoples. Pareja also reiterates Satan's role in making Adam and Eve lose Paradise. To bring this message home to the natives he stresses that all the peoples of the Earth- Spaniard, Moor, and Indian- all descended from Adam and Eve. In his catechism, Pareja points to the influence of the devil in the world. Therefore his text is written to show the Catholic faith to the Timucua peoples so they can be saved from his evil influence. Pareja's catechism then is a blueprint, not necessarily for the actions of the natives, but for their beliefs. Within the text he teaches the natives the Pater Noster, the Hail Mary, the Nicean Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Seven Commandments of the Church. Pareja's Catechism and Confesionario share a symbiotic relationship . The confesionario was designed to show the native customs which needed to be amended while the catechism was designed to show what the Timucua peoples should believe. The sum of these documents show what wereFrancisco Pareja's objectives for his parishioners. These objectives will now be juxtaposed with the goals of the Andean clergy to determine if the Florida clergy perceived themselves as dealing with a definite different set of circumstances from the imperial centers.

The Andean confesionario was a collaborative effort by several clergymen. [39] Two of the most prominent collaborators were the Jesuit, José de Acosta, composer of the manual of proselytization, De Procuranda Indorum Salute (Preaching the Gospel in the Indies) and the Franciscan, Luis Gerónimo de Ore who composed two major works, Symbolo Católico Indiano, and Rituale seu manual peruanum. [40] Oré in addition to his extensive work in Peru also served as a visitor for Florida in 1616 (where he had contacts with Pareja) and wrote a work on the missions in Florida entitled Relación de los martires de la Florida. [41] These clergymen were well learned in Catholic theology and in the Amerindian languages. The Confesionario Limense was written concurrently with two catechisms one complete and a shortened version. These texts were written in the languages of the Andes; Castilian, Quechua, and Aymara. They were produced by order of Toribio de Mogrovejo the second Archbishop of Peru who had organized a Provincial Council to organize and shore up the Andean church. Mogrovejo and the Andean episcopate ordered the production of the confesionario and catechism as a means of ensuring the Andean clergy had proper texts to assist in the complete conversion of the Andean peoples.`

The Andean confesionario deals with native religion in a slightly different manner. For example there is little indication the Andean clergyassumed the natives had been properly converted to Christianity. In fact, one of the reasons for the calling of the Third Provincial Council was to deal with the persistence of Andean traditional religion among the natives. The preface to the confesionario states in so many words the reason there was a need for the text was that the Andeans were still adhering to their old religion:

We need to write and publish this confesionario to save these people from the errors and superstitions they learned from their old religion. [42]

Unlike Pareja's work, the Andean text assumes there is still an organized religion being followed by the Andean peoples. In the series of questions written in the confesionario referring to the belief in one God this is evident. The text asks if the person still believes in the huacas which were the traditional Andean deities:

Have you adored huacas, mountains, rivers, the sun or other such things? 

And have you offered them clothes, guinea pigs, coca beans, or other things? And in what ceremony did you offer it? [43]

The same section of the work also asks if the parishioner has consulted a priest of the huacas. [44] The wording of these questions is particularly relevant. Most of the questions include the use of the term "sacerdote" or priest which shows the Andean clergy felt the natives still had an organized religious hierarchy following traditional Andean religion which possessed its own cosmology in competition with Christianity and also with the Catholic clergy.

This was partly a result of the survival of Andean religion in the highlands even into the present. This persistence prompted movements of extirpation of idolatry by the secular clergy in the early seventeenth century. [45] Therefore the Andean clergy's concern with idolatry was part of a real problem, or at least a problem which was perceived as real by the priests and friars of the viceroyalty. However, both Pareja's text and the Andean one contain questions that are clearly meant to identify old religious customs as a sin and correct them through penance. In this regard the clergy in Florida and the Andes shared a common objective of eradicating old religious customs and grounding the new converts in the proper Catholic faith, free of traditional religious practices.

The Andean Confesionario was similar to Pareja's in its attempts to eradicate improper moral behavior among the native populations. For example the text contains a series of questions regarding adultery and extramarital sex:

Are you living in sin with a woman? If you are how long have you been living with her? How many women are you cohabiting with? Are they married or single?

Have you been with other women beside your wife? Are they married or single? [46]

The same series of questions even ask if the parishioner has made a woman drunk to take advantage of her and if you have had sex with both a mother and a daughter. [47] There are other questions onmasturbation, sodomy,and incest with very similar wording also to the Pareja text. [48] There are also questions designed to have the natives realize the wrongfulness of gambling and beating one's wife (without cause). Again the fact that the Andean clergy were to ask the parishioners to confess these sins in detail meant the priests and friars wanted to correct this behavior. There are some issues touched upon in the Andean confesionario which Pareja does not address. For example, the sections dealing with the issue of drunkenness and the paying of tithes properly and on time to the church, items which were of definite concern for the Andean clergy with its larger aboriginal base. [49] Yet in spite of these differences the Andean confesionario, like the Pareja text, show a common concern with the moral behavior of the laity. This is definitely an effect of the Council of Trent's overall concern with enforcing morality as part ofthe renewed emphasis of the early modern Church on establishing rigorous moral guidelines to create model Catholics under renewed definitions produced across the Atlantic.

Overall, the Andean confesionario is similar both in its orientation and objectives to the Pareja confesionario. The Andean catechism although different in its length and format to the Pareja catechism also shares certain key similarities. Like the Pareja catechism, the Andean catechism contains certain basic principles of Catholic dogma. The works lists the major prayers, the ten commandments, the commandments of the church, and the articles of faith. These were considered basic knowledge in both the Pareja and the Andean works, which the native populations needed to know and understand to be good practicing Catholics. However, there are some differences between the two texts. The sections of the Andean catechism, for example, which explain there is only one God are much more detailed than those comparable sections in Pareja's text. One of the statements discusses the fact that those things worshipped in the past as deities by the Andean peoples are not gods:

Are the Sun, the Moon, the stars, lightning, and huacas, not God?

None of that is God, because they are made by God who made the heavens and the earth and everything there is in them for the greater good of Man. [50]

In another statement the catechism clarifies there is only one God once again:

How many gods are there?

There is only one, always was, and always will be. Without beginning, without end and he is in heaven, on earth and everywhere. And those who worship any other god offend him mightily and shall be punished. [51]

Elsewhere in the text the existence of idols is condemned and the difference between worshipping idols which are unholy and images of the saints and the Virgin are explained to the parishioners. [52] Like the Confesionario, the Catechism, discusses issues of moral behavior like marriage, adultery, etc. but they are mostly giving theological or scriptural basis for these regulations so as to link the clergy's attempts at regulation with Catholic belief and scripture. What comes through very clearly in the text is the overall concern by the Andean clergy with eradicating the traditional native religions. This can be evidenced in the lengthy discussions on the error of having more than one God and how idolatry can lead to Hell and for what reasons. This is in contrast with the Pareja text which assumes the pagan religion has been replaced with Christianity and only deals with the minor customs that have survived. The Andean catechism also does not go into as much detail on biblical texts or contains long theological discussions, and contains little references to the Church fathers, as Pareja does in his text. Like Pareja, however, the Andean clergy did emphasize that the traditional native religions were a deception by the devil who was trying to lead the natives to lose their immortal souls. Therefore, even though the Andean catechism does not assume conversion, it shows similar concerns with the influence of the devil and regulations of morality.

The comparison of these two sets of texts yield certain conclusions. First, Pareja had a definite image of what he wanted his parishioner to become. He wanted them to be good Catholics which under his definition meant that they would not hold old superstitions, would act morally, and would attend the church. The Andean sources demonstrate this same major objective to mold the Andean laity into model Catholics. However, they felt they still had to deal with the remnants of the traditional priestly class along with vestiges of religious ceremonies. There are differences between Pareja's texts and those of his Andean contemporaries. The types of issues addressed, the wording, and the particular practices dealt with were somewhat different. But this is to be expected given that Pareja and the Andean clergy were dealing with different circumstances as far as population density and the traits of the specific native religions and cultures. Yet these differences are merely a reflection of the Spanish clergy's flexibility of methods and concentration in order to achieve their objectives. This piece has shown that in spite of these adaptations by the clergy there was a definite continuity of molding model Catholics within the texts. This continuity of theme between these texts points to the Catholic clergy's identical goals for establishing Catholicism in a borderland region like Florida as in a central area like Peru.

These conclusions demonstrate the Florida clergy did not have different expectations for their parishioners than did the clergy in the central areas. The fact that their objectives were so similar demonstrates that the mentality of the Florida clergy was in tune with the mentality of the Andean clergy. It also demonstrates that as in other areas of Spanish America the clergy's adaptability should not be confused necessarily with accommodation. The Spanish clergy in the New World adapted their methods and focus but always as in this case with an ultimate objective in mind which continuously is raised in their texts throughout Spanish America. [53] Therefore even though Pareja dealt with his Timucua situation he still subscribed to the overall objectives of the Spanish clergy in the New World. Pareja's texts certainly do not show a frame of mind based on a frontier attitude towards a Church with a minimal foothold among the natives. His work does not exhibit a significant reduction of expectations due to an adverse situation. Rather, Pareja believed that proper Catholicism could be established among the Timucua with the same probabilities of success as in Peru itself. Therefore, the Borderlands paradigm assigned to Florida with the assumption that their affairs were conducted differently than in the central areas and that the imperial expectation levels were reduced needs to be revised at least in terms of the spread of Catholicism among the Timucua.



[1] In her work, Situado and Sabana: Spain's Support System for the

Presidio and Mission Provinces of Florida, (New York: Anthropological

Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, 1994), Amy Bushnell

demonstrates that Florida was very important for the Spanish crown

and that there was a great deal of royal investment in Florida.

[2] See Mark F. Boyd, Hale G. Smith, and John W. Griffin, Here They Once Stood, (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1951), Michael V. Gannon, The Cross in the Sand, (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1965), John Hann 1990. Summary guide to Spanish Florida missions and visitas: With churches in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, (Washington, D.C.: Organization of American States, 1990),and A history of the Timucua Indians and missions, (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996), Bonnie G. McEwan, ed. 1993. The Spanish missions of La Florida, (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1993), Robert Matter,Pre-Seminole Florida: Spanish soldiers, friars, and Indian missions, 1513-1763, (New York: Garland Publishing, 1990), John E. Worth, The Timucua missions of Spanish Florida and the rebellion of 1656, (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1992).
[3] Juan Castro Seoane, Aviamento y catálogo de los misioneros que en el siglo XVI pasaron de España a Indias y Filipinas según los libros de la contratación in Missonalia Hispanica 16 (1959): 151-152.
[4] Francisco de Pareja, Doctrina Cristiana muy útil y necessaria assí para los Españoles como para los naturales en lengua Mexicana y Castellana, (Mexico: Pedro Balli, 1578). This author agrees with the assessment of Luis Resines that Pareja is the most likeley author of this anonymous work. Resines cites that this work's title is exactly the same as Pareja's Timuqua Catechism and Confesionario and that the work was published by the same publisher of Pareja's later work.
[5] Archivo General de Indias, Santo Domingo, 235.
[6] The preceding biographical information comes from Luis Resines, Catecismos americanos del siglo XVI: Tomo I, (Salamanca: Junta de Castilla y León, 1992) pp. 179-180, and Maynard Geiger, New Catholic Encyclopedia vol. 10 (New York: 1981) p. 1000.
[7] Francisco de Pareja, Catechismo, y Breve Exposición de la Doctrina Christiana. Muy util y necesaria, así para los Españoles como para los naturales, en lengua Castellana y Timuquana, en modo de preguntas y respuestas, (Mexico: Pedro Balli, 1612 reprinted in 1617).
[8] Francisco de Pareja, Catecismo en lengua Castellana y Timuquana. En el cual se contiene lo que puede enseñar a los adultos que an de ser baptizados, (Mexico: Pedro Balli, 1612) and the later expansion, Francisco de Pareja, Catecismo en lengua timuquana y castellana, en el cual se instruyen y catequizan los adultos infieles que an de ser Christianos y no sera menos utíl para los ya Christianos, (Mexico: Juan Ruiz, 1627)
[9] Francisco de Pareja, Catecismo y Examen para los que comulgan en Lengua Castellana y Timuquana, (Mexico: n.p., 1614), and Francisco de Pareja, Catecismo y Examen para los que comulgan, en lengua Castellana, y Timuquana. En el qual se contiene el respecto que se deve tener a los templos, con algunos Similes del santisimo Sacramento, y sus effectos; y la preparación para la communion actual y espiritual; y para quando se da a los enfermos. Las gracias que despues de la comunion se deven dar a Dios que se reciben en ella. Y algunos milagros deste santissimo Sacramento. Y dichos de Santos, y de personas doctas, que aconsejan y exortan a su frequencia. Aora en esta II Impression corregido, y encomendado, y algo necessario añadido, (Mexico: Juan Ruiz, 1627).
[10] Francisco de Pareja, Arte y Pronunciación en lengua Timuquana y Castellana, (Mexico: Juan Ruiz, 1614).
[11] Francisco de Pareja, Confesionario en lengua castellana y timuquana con algunos consejos para animar al penitente y assi mismo van declarados algunos efectos y prerogativas deste sacramento de la confesión, (Mexico: Diego López Dávalos, 1613).
[12] Archdiocese de Lima, Doctrina Cristiana y cathecismo para instrucción de los Indios, (Lima: Antonio Ricardo, 1583) and Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario para los curas de Indios (Lima: Antonio Ricardo, 1583).
[13] See Luis Resines, ed., Catecismos americanos del siglo XVI, (Salamanca: Universidad Pontificia, 1992), for a listing of all the catechisms known to have been published in Spanish America during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
[14] John Bossy in his Christianity in the West, 1400-1700, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), details how early modern Catholicism was extremely heterogeneous and the difficulty the higher clergy had in fashioning it to the standards of the Tridentine reforms.
[15] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 125
[16] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 125.
[17] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 127.
[18] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 126.
[19] This is in contrast with the assertions of Fernando Cervantes and Sabine MacCormack who imply in their works that the Spanish clergy practically always believed native religion was devil worship and that Satan was active among the native parishioners. See Fernando Cervantes, The Devil in the New World: The Impact of Diabolism in New Spain, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994) and Sabine MacCormack, Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).
[20] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 126.
[21] Pareja, Confesionario, fol 132.
[22] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 132.
[23] Pareja, Confesionario, fol 133.
[24] Pareja. Confesionario, fol. 149-151.
[25] Pareja, Confesionario, fol 123.
[26] Cervantes, Devil in the New World, and MacCormack, Religion in the Andes.
[27] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 146.
[28] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 147
[29] Pareja, Confesionario, fol 211.
[30] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 214.
[31] Pareja, Confesionario, fol. 177.
[32] Pareja, Catecismo, prologue.
[33] Pareja, Catecismo, I, fol. 78.
[34] Pareja, Catecismo, I, fol. 13.
[35] Pareja, Catecismo, fol. 14.
[36] Pareja, Catecismo, I, fol. 45
[37] Pareja, Catecismo, II, fol. 39.
[38] Pareja, Catecismo, II, fol. 56
[39] For a thorough discussion on the question of the authorship of the catechism and confesionario see Enrique Batra, "Los autores del Catecismo del Tercer Concilio Limense", Mercurio Peruano 470 (November-December 1967): 359-372.
[40] José de Acosta, De procuranda indorum salute, (Salamanca: 1588), Luis Gerónimo de Oré, Symbolo Católico Indiano, (Lima: Antonio Ricardo, 1598) and Rituale, seu Manuale Peruanum et forma brevisadministrandi apud Indos sacrosancta Baptismi, Poenitentiae, Eucharistiae, Matrimonis, & Extremae unctionis Sacramenta, (Naples: Iacobum Carlinum & ConstantiumVitalem, 1607).
[41] A modern version of this work in English is Maynard Geiger, The Martyrs of Florida, 1513-1616, (New York: Joseph F. Wagner, 1936). 
[42] Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario, fol. 2.
[43] Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario, fol. 7.
[44] Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario, fol. 7-8.
[45] See Kenneth Mills, Idolatry and its Enemies:Colonial Andean Religion and Extirpation, 1640-1750, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997) and Nicholas Griffiths, The Cross and the Serpent: Religious Repression and Resurgence in Colonial Peru, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996).
[46] Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario, fol. 11.
[47] Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario, fol. 12.
[48] Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario, fol. 11-13.
[49] Archdiocese of Lima, Confesionario, fol. 10, 22.
[50] Archdiocese of Lima, Catecismo, 14.
[51] Archdiocese of Lima, Catecismo, fol. 30.
[52] Archdiocese of Lima, Catecismo, fol. 59.
[53] This is the argument espoused by Manuel Marzal regarding Peru in La transformación religiosa peruana (Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, 1983).