Ferrand explains to the three Cardinals that the recent annexation of the New Mexico territory equals a country larger than Central and Western Europe combined. He predicts that the Bishop overseeing such a large area will "direct the beginning of momentous things." Ferrand provides a background of the Catholic Church's activities in the area since its evangelization by Spanish missionaries in 1500. Since that time, however, the area has been understaffed by Catholic priests and has lapsed into such corruptions as priests taking concubines and ignoring the strictures of the Catholic Mass. Ferrand warns that if reforms are not put in place, the territory will infect the Catholic Church throughout the New World.Ferrand tells the Cardinals that the area currently is under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Durango, in Mexico, which is nearly 1,500 miles away. He informs the Cardinals that the distance is so great
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New Mexico, cardinals, Father Ferrand, Ferrand, rebellious priests. Ferrand