Monday, December 28, 2009

Growing Latino Catholic population said to challenge, energize church

Beth Griffin of Catholic News Service reported on "Becoming Latino: The Transformation of U.S. Catholicism", a December 9th forum sponsored by the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University.
The U.S. bishops support integration as a way to receive people of different cultures into the church, rather than assimilation, which is dehumanizing and racist, the speakers said.

Wouldn't most Catholics in the U.S. be the product of assimilation? Yet our bishops don't say we, and they, are dehumanized.
"Ours is truly an immigrant church," Lugo [Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life] said. "If there’s a group that knows how to integrate immigrants through long practice, it’s the Roman Catholic Church."

If there's evidence that the Catholic Church in the U.S. was significantly less assimilationist than other institutions, it's not in this account.
Jesuit Father Claudio Burgaleta, coordinator of the Latin studies program at Fordham’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, said Latinos “are at the same time traditional and orthodox and also charismatic. These are characteristics that often don’t go together in the popular imagination."

"Popular" referring to what, real people?
"Catholics believe in the Eucharist. They believe that the bread and wine is more than bread and wine and that the Eucharist is more than simply a religious ritual," he said.

Sounds more like what Lutherans believe.
Msgr. Arturo Banuelas, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in El Paso, Texas, said comparisons of Latinos to groups who emigrated from other continents are misleading.

"Unlike other ethnic groups who lost many of their cultural traditions and language, we have not lost touch with our roots," he said, as evidenced by the "dominant use of Spanish in our homes."

Meaning bi-lingualism? If that's what the bishops mean by integration, then they ought to be very clear about it. Of course, that supposedly vital distinction between integration and assimilation seems to be not so clear.
Father Banuelas said, "Pastoral practice has to go beyond assimilationist attempts to integrate Latinos into mainstream USA or efforts to stop the wave of Catholics from becoming Protestant."

Hard to believe Latinos don't want to assimilate into mainstream USA but do want to become Protestant.
He also said Latinos want Catholic Church leaders to speak Spanish and address issues such as the needs of the rising Latino middle class...

Perhaps discussing in Spanish the social advancement benefit of English.

(via Milwaukee Catholic Herald)



Blogger GOR said...

“Perhaps discussing in Spanish the social advancement benefit of English.”

Or perhaps discussing in English the ‘benefits’ of bi-lingualism? But that would be a wider discussion than one confined to the Catholic Church. When I go to a USBank ATM or a Walmart Self-Checkout and I’m directed first to “choose a language…” I begin to question where I am and who is pulling the strings?

When I hear that Spanish is a sine qua non in American seminaries I wonder at the long term goal. Of course if Latin were the sine qua non and was put into practice universally, then we might have less ‘feeling at home’ issues to contend with at Mass.

6:37 AM  

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