Thursday 24 June 2021

Melvin Jiménez Can Continue As Minister For Not Being “Catholic”

Melvin Jiménez, ministro de la Presidencia (Chief of Staff) in full dress as a Lutheran bishop.
Melvin Jiménez, ministro de la Presidencia (Chief of Staff) in full dress as a Lutheran bishop.

COSTA RICA NEWS — A ruling by the Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Court) on Wednesday gives the green light for Melvin Jiménez to keep his job as Ministro de la Presidencia (Chief of Staff). The Court said it found no “constitutional defects” in the appointment of Jiménez, who is bishop of the Lutheran church.

The controversy over Jiménez as a cabinet minister arose six months ago, almost immediately after his taking office, when a citizen, Alvaro Orozco, related to the Catholic Church filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court.

- Advertisement -

The magistrates consider Jiménez, theologian and sociologist by profession, is exempt from the limitation provided in section 149 of the Constitution, which states that the heads of ministries must belong to the secular state; that is cannot be clerics.

[su_pullquote class=”H2″]

Related: President Says He Was “Taken By Surprise”

[/su_pullquote]The majority of judges supported the thesis that the restriction applies only to the clergy of the Catholic Church, based on historical-constitutional” reasons that were detailed in the “por tanto” (therefore), the Court press office said on Wednesday.

The Court decision validates the decision of President Luis Guilermo Solís appointing Jiménez to the top cabinet post. The President refused to take any action on calls by the opposition and critics who wanted to see Jiménez removed from his post, until a decision by the Court.

- Advertisement -

Yesterday, Jimenez said he was always sure of the legality of his appointment. He also left the door open to return to episcopal functions when leaving the government. “I am a servant of God. I’ll be where he‘ll put me,” he told reporters.

The Court decision was not unanimous, two magistrates , Luis Fernando Salazar and Nancy Hernández, sided with the complainant, sayingit is proven beyond doubt that the Minister Jimenez does not belong to the secular state.”

“He’s part of a religious organization with management and is authorized to offer sacraments, defining characteristics, in contrast, to the secular state,” argued Hernandez.

The Court decision closes the file. There can be no more appeals, Jiménez is able to continue with his duties in Zapote (Casa Presidencial).

Over at the Catholic Church,  Bishop Francisco Ulloa, described the ruling as “discriminatory” ad restrictive”.

The Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica, monseñor Ángel San Casimiro, said he preferred not to comment on the ruling, only saying that the decision has been made and its is now a rule of law.

- Advertisement -

The monseñor did say that he now expects the minister to get back to doing his job.

“That’s what Costa Ricans expect to see, not whether or not he is a bishop, whether or not he belongs to the clerical state, what matters is that he meets the obligation that he was given and be effective,” said San Casimiro.

The sentiment was shared by many by way of the social networks, who feel that Jiménez has been publicly absent during this period of uncertainty. Critical of his role, some were quick to point out the public gaffe, over the mid-October announcement of the layoffs at Citibank.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Rodolfo Méndez rules out new contracts for MECO and H Solís

QCOSTARICA - No more soup for you! If the Minister of...

Today 50 years ago: Costa Rica and Panama entered into conflict over air routes

TODAY COSTA RICA - Original text published in La Nacion on...


Full court decides not to investigate or dismiss Emilia Navas

QCOSTARICA - Emilia Navas will not be removed from her position as attorney general, after calls for her to step down due to her...

Weather, friendly locals, cost of living: expats in Mexico, Costa Rica enjoy same things

EXPAT FOCUS (MND) Of course it was no surprise that readers of Mexico News Daily voted Mexico as the No. 1 expat destination in...

New trends in coffee consumption challenge sector

QCOSTARICA - Changes in consumption habits in terms of times, types of preparation and specialties challenge the coffee sector. Most of the consumers in Costa...

Antivirus creator John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison cell

Q24N - You may not know John McAfee, of his eccentrics, but you are sure to have the name and may even have your...

Will that be Cash or Sinpe Móvil?

QCOSTARICA - Sinpe Móvil is easy to use. From your phone, you can send money to friends, family and pay for things. Or receive...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 20: only “EVENS” can circulate

Today, Sunday, June 20, only vehicles with "EVEN" ending plates CAN circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

The United States will distribute 55 million vaccines against Covid-19 in Latin America, Africa and Asia

QCOSTARICA - The United States presented on Monday a plan to share 55 million doses of coronavirus vaccines worldwide, with approximately 75% of the...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 22: plates ending in 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate

Today, Tuesday, June 22, plates ending in 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

Carlos Alvarado: “Don Rodolfo has my confidence”

QCOSTARICA - President Carlos Alvarado said he has all the confidence in his Minister of Public Works and Transport (MOPT, Rodolfo Méndez Mata, and...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.