Monday, December 25, 2006

Nuevo Catholics

David Rieff reports in Sunday's New York Times Magazine on the Hispanicization of the Catholic Church, focusing on Los Angeles under Cardinal Roger (Rogelio) Mahony. But first, the national trends.
In 1965, there were 49,000 seminarians; in 2002, there were 4,700. In 1965, there were 1,556 Catholic high schools; in 2002, there were 786. Mass attendance dropped from 74 percent of self-identified Catholics in 1958 to 25 percent in 2000. The number of priests has not fallen quite as drastically — 58,000 in 1965; 45,000 in 2002 — but the median age for priests today is 56, and 16 percent of them are from foreign countries.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles sees the reversal of these trends in lots of immigration from Latin America and lots of images of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


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