Colombia's Roman Catholic Church traditionally was one of the most orthodox, conservative, and powerful in Latin America. In the late 1980s, it retained influence within the PSC and kept close relations with the Union of Colombian Workers (Unión de Trabajadores Colombianos--UTC) and the National Agrarian Federation (Federación Agraria Nacional--Fanal), a rural labor organization organized by the UTC and Jesuits in 1946. The church also played a major role in the country's education system and had an impact on most charitable activities. Members of the clergy sat on the boards of directors of many government agencies. The church was further integrated into, or at least close to, the nation's decision-making elite because of the upper-class and upper-middle-class background of the church hierarchy. Nonetheless, the increasing secularization of Colombian society since the 1960s had produced a considerable erosion of the church's political power.
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