While transformations within the Catholic Church and the relationship between Catholicism and the everyday life of Church members have received fairly thorough study elsewhere in Latin America, they have been relatively neglected in the social science literature on Mexico.2 Attention to these themes is badly needed if we are to assess the promise of the newly emergent “progressive” factions within the hierarchy of the Mexican Church to act as agents of concrete social change. This article attempts to clarify the present situation of the Mexican Catholic Church through a careful examination of the contemporary relationship between the official Church reformist campaign and “popular Catholicism,” a form of religiosity linked closely to the official Church but existing largely outside its sphere of control.