This paper examines the process of radicalisation of Monsignor Ivan Illich during the 1960s, having as its setting Cuernavaca, Mexico – a creative, fluid space where Illich was in contact with Bishop Méndez Arceo, Erich Fromm and Gregorio Lemercier. Illich's writings and the reports from the centres led by him are placed here in context, and it is argued that his encounter with psychoanalysis in Cuernavaca shaped his critique of the Church as an institution. The radicalisation of his concept of the Church reached a high point with the publication of ‘The seamy side of charity’ and ‘The vanishing clergyman’, both in 1967.
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