Several currents of “enlightened” doctrine ran swiftly and strongly through Latin America by the end of the eighteenth century. Scholarly work of the past two decades obviates the need to prove that the new philosophy, the new science, and the new politics found acceptance in the Spanish world. Forbidden books made their way into Latin America with relative ease, the Inquisition proved ineffective in preventing the spread of new ideas, and the Spanish crown itself not only promoted useful knowledge but encouraged “ modern ” philosophical studies. Aside from special studies on the Enlightenment, however, the more general histories of Latin America too frequently take the position, implicit if not explicit, that the Catholic clergy, monolithic in their obscurantism, constituted the primary obstacle to the complete victory of “enlightened” ideas. It appears to me that this point of view is somewhat inaccurate. This paper holds as a thesis, rather, that the clergy were seriously split on practically all aspects of the Enlightenment. Some supported, some opposed, and many were indifferent to or ignorant of “ enlightened ” notions. The degree of support or opposition varied, and not all who opposed or supported the movement, supported or opposed it in toto.