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Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - VoxClamantis - 07-30-2015



From NBC New York:




Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism
Catholic and evangelical church leaders agree the future of Catholic and evangelical churches alike are linked to Latinos in the U.S.
By Neil Giardino




Despite growing up in the Catholic Church and attending parochial school, Gladys Verdejo said that for years her faith didn't extend much beyond attending Sunday Mass.

But an invitation to a worship service at the Lamb's Church of Nazarene in New York City seven years ago changed that.

"I fell in love," said Verdejo, who was born in Puerto Rico, of her experience visiting an evangelical church.

Vox Wrote:Likely, she met people who actually love God instead of just having memorized a bunch of rules. She encountered a community that serves each other, that has some joy about them.

On a recent Sunday at the Lamb’s Church, Verdejo was among a large number of Latino congregants worshipping to gospel songs in Spanish. When the Rev. Gabriel Salguero took to the pulpit, he began his sermon with a fiery message: “Education is power! Ignorance is slavery!”

Vox Wrote:Reverend Salguero needs to get more educated about History, then embrace Tradition and continue focusing on conversion of the heart.

According to Verdejo, it was this message of empowerment and a direct connection to the gospel she felt she was lacking in the Catholic Church. “I feel more comfortable and at home here. I have a lot to learn still, but it's great,” she said.


Shifting Denomination

As millions of Catholics throughout the country await Pope Francis’s first U.S. visit this September, the steady movement of Hispanics, like Gladys Verdejo, away from the Catholic Church underscores a dilemma for the church: Despite efforts to attract and retain U.S. Latinos through expansion of lay ministry positions and support for immigration reform, many Hispanics continue to convert to an evangelical church or abandon their faith altogether.

Vox Wrote:Why wouldn't they? The Novus Ordo way of doing things is so Protestantized it likely doesn't much matter to most people. So why go to a fake Protestantized faith community when you can go to a real Prot community and get just that:  community. Along with people talking about what they see as true conversion, truly trusting Christ, giving your life to Him, allowing Him to change your heart. And then there are the potlucks and picnics and people who get together to have fun in other ways, and study the Bible together. There's no reason whatsoever why traditional Catholics can't have it all -- which is exactly how things are supposed to be. The earliest Catholics acted as a community, and in the Middle Ages, everyone's lives centered around the liturgical year. Everyone was on the same page theologically speaking and their lives were rich and full, not filled with watered-down Catholicism that's guarded none of the joy, pageantry, and community our ancestors had. Our neighborhoods have been destroyed, and we've done nothing about it.

[Image: slaughterofthecities.JPG]


The pope is expected to speak about immigrant rights at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia later this fall. In a nod to U.S. Hispanic Catholics — who comprise 17 percent of the population and 38 percent of U.S. Catholics — the pope will also offer a historic canonization Mass in Spanish for the Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary who established mission churches in California.

Addressing Latinos in Spanish “will be an unquestioned acknowledgment of the importance of Latino communities and Latino Catholics in the United States,” said Professor Luis Fraga, director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of Transformative Latino Leadership at the University of Notre Dame.

After the pope's 2013 inauguration, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, presumed the evangelical church's success in drawing in U.S. Latinos would diminish. 

“We [Latino Evangelicals] expected Pope Francis to, in a very measurable manner, slow down the exodus from Catholicism to Evangelicals in Latin America and here in America. But guess what? He’s not slowing down the exodus,” he said.

In fact, Pew Research Center polling from last year notes that among Latinos between 30 to 49, “the net movement has been away from Catholicism and toward both evangelical Protestantism and no religious affiliation.”


"I Experienced the Presence of God"

After the service at the Lamb’s Church of Nazarene in Manhattan, Katira Castro de Lopez, 34, of Queens, New York, chatted with parishioners as her two children played.

Born in Puerto Rico and baptized in the Catholic Church, Castro de Lopez said she was a teenager when she first visited an evangelical church.

“I experienced the presence of God. It was tangible. I’ve never experienced that feeling in my life ever before,” she said.

The Catholic Church has experienced a net loss of members for decades, and evangelical Protestantism has woven its way into Latino immigrant communities since the 1940s. While the greater part of Latinos in the U.S. still belong to the Catholic Church, the Pew data show that this majority continues to shrink as evangelical Protestant and unaffiliated groups rise among U.S. Latinos. According to the research, nearly one-quarter of U.S. Latinos are now former Catholics.


Evangelical Community-Building

Rodriguez’s Sacramento-based organization, which encompasses over 40,000 member-churches representing millions of Latino Evangelicals, is the largest Latino Christian organization in the country. Rodriguez said intense community-building efforts continue to draw Hispanics to the evangelical church.

“You’re Salvadoran; we prepare your food and we sing your songs. You’re Mexican; we sing your music at church. You don’t have to abandon your culture when you come to our parish,” Rodriguez said.

Vox Wrote:Your culture revolves around the Catholic Church, you sillies. But it's nice to know that you'd give up the Faith for a bowl of pottage calavasa.

The church isn’t just offering cultural affirmation. Rodriguez said it’s a message of personal and spiritual empowerment, including a message of financial prosperity, that’s attracting an increasing number of Latino immigrants who have experienced poverty.

Vox Wrote:Ahhh, the good ole "prosperity 'gospel'". Sure, everyone wants money (well, a handful of Franciscans aside, and even they have to eat). So sell the Latinos lies and they will come. Attend "church" here, "plant a seed," and grow rich. Oorah!



“We validate the American dream. The Catholic Church is very ambiguous — almost silent, if not antagonistic — to the idea that America does represent social economic vertical mobility,” Rodriguez said.

Vox Wrote:Um, no, the Catholic Church focuses on God, ya goof. She's not a stockbroker, for crying out loud.


Penance and Power

Rodriguez said the evangelical church’s inclusion of spiritual, social, and financial empowerment in gospel teachings resonates with Latino churchgoers.

Among the ways the evangelical church empowers, said Rodriguez, is by mobilizing congregants around social and political movements, and by using its leverage to persuade Congress on immigration reform.

Vox Wrote:Just what we need here in the U.S. More evangelicals, but these ones who are very uneducated (generally speaking), and big social grievances, need for government financial assistance, and in competition with the already unemployed low wage workers that are already here. Just great.

http://www.lonestarreport.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=5Vg_zxX8oz8= Wrote:Several attempts have been made to estimate the costs of immigration to Texas, and like the population estimates, the results are often colored by the perspectives and assumptions of the authors. In 1992, Rice University economist Donald Huddle estimated a nationwide total cost of immigration (legal and illegal) of $14.4 billion, and a cost to Texas of $4.6 billion, of which $1.02 billion was a cost of illegal immigration. The Urban Institute, in response, countered later that year with a lower nationwide cost of $6.9 billion. Huddle then did another study the following year, encompassing many other costs previously not measured, totaling $29 billion (nationwide). One reason for the dramatic growth in the costs is that Huddle included many new costs, such as displacement of American workers. Professor Huddle again took
a look at Texas costs in a 1996 study. Huddle found that immigration to Texas would cost taxpayers a net $7.2 billion
and cost the state 248,000 jobs. About $1.5 billion was from illegal immigrants.

Even more startling were Huddle’s projections for the future. Estimating an immigrant population growth that is very close to the actual number, Huddle predicted an annual cost of $10 billion by 2006. Assuming the same proportion were from illegal immigration, Huddle predicted Texas could spend $2.1 billion a year annually. In fact, research done since Huddle indicates that number is likely low.

The most recent study was conducted by FAIR in mid-2004, found a cost of $4.7 billion, by only looking at three distinct areas of cost – health care, education and criminal justice. FAIR found an estimated tax benefit of $1 billion, for a net cost of $3.7 billion for Texas.

For its part, the Catholic Church has worked to empower U.S. Latinos for decades, Luis Fraga said. One successful way, he said, is the Church continues to affirm its Latino base is by expanding the appointment of Latino deacons.

“There is an explicit attempt to appoint individuals who have language knowledge, cultural capital, life experience directly related to Latino communities, and give them very important roles in ministering to Hispanic communities,” he said.

Fraga added that Catholic social charities, local parishes and organizations like the Catholic Campaign for Human Development — the Church’s domestic anti-poverty program which works to address immigration reform and assist low-income communities — have been highly responsive to the needs of immigrant communities. Initiatives by Latino dioceses across the U.S. are anchoring the Catholic Church, according to Fraga.

“The growth in the Catholic Church — at least the slowing of the decline — of strong Catholic congregants is directly related to the increased presence of Latino immigrant communities,” he said.

Mar Muñoz-Visoso, executive director of Cultural Diversity in the Church at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, describes the Catholic Church’s efforts to minister to Hispanic communities as all-embracing.

“We have close to 5,000 parishes in the United States that do have some kind of ministry for Hispanic immigrants,” she said.

Muñoz-Visoso also said that 47 percent of lay ministry positions in the U.S., including youth ministers, parish managers, and religious educators, are filled by Latinos.

“[T]here is something very impressive there because it really means that we’re preparing the next generation of Latinos for the Church,” she said.


On Immigration

As trends in American Christianity continue to indicate a decline in membership, both Catholic and evangelical church leaders agree the future of Catholic and evangelical churches alike are intimately linked to Latinos in the U.S.

Rodriguez said for the better part of a decade he has been putting pressure on conservatives in Congress as well as assuaging the concerns that he said many white Evangelicals have about comprehensive immigration reform. “You need to support immigration reform because if not, you’re actually deporting the very future of your church,” he said.

Echoing the official views of the Catholic church, Muñoz-Visoso describes the Catholic church’s approach to immigration reform as comprehensive. “There has to be a grassroots movement to make sure that human dignity is respected, that due process is respected, and to understand the root causes of immigration,” she said.

Pope Francis has been vocal about the plight of immigrants worldwide. In a message for the 2014 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, he addressed the need for thorough reform. “Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more,” he wrote.

Vox Wrote:
Ever notice how most of the immigration is from countries that bitch and moan about colonialism? They hate Europeans and European-derived people, but clamor to migrate to where they live. South Africa is a cesspool since they booted Europeans out. See http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/180781/gruesome-reality-racist-south-africa-arnold-ahlert

Pope Francis is expected to address immigration in a speech in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families. The event's theme is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”





Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - In His Love - 07-30-2015

While, of course, I know there are plenty of well meaning and sincere evangelicals that are trying to follow Christ, the reason why mainstream evangelicalism is so popular, in my opinion, is because it requires absolutely no effort. You say a prayer and you're "saved," you're told that you will be "blessed" with a big home, luxury vehicles, expensive clothes, etc, you're told you'll go to Heaven no matter how much you sin, and it just goes on and on. Christianity has always involved rejecting the world. "You can't serve God and mammon."


Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - Optatus Cleary - 07-31-2015

I know this is anecdotal, but I live and teach in majority-Hispanic communities. A few facts I would point out:

1. Most children of immigrants speak better English than Spanish. Most grandchildren of immigrants speak very little Spanish at all.
2. In overwhelmingly Hispanic communities, the Catholic Church is often a Spanish-speaking institution. Spanish-speaking parents take mostly English-speaking children to Spanish catechism classes, confirmation classes, Mass, etc.
3. Many of my students, as a result, have no English-language Catholic vocabulary. They have an English Protestant vocabulary (from general surrounding culture and from Evangelical peers) and Spanish Catholic vocabulary. Their lives are mostly led in English, and thus Protestantism seems more real to them than Catholicism (which seems like the religion of superstitious old grandmothers.)
4. Ignorance of Church teaching is rampant. A Catholic child asks questions, and the ready answers come from surrounding Evangelicals. The institutional Church is too large, and the priest too busy, to answer. Evangelicals, by contrast, are ready and eager to provide simple, easy-to-understand answers.


Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - Renatus Frater - 07-31-2015

(07-31-2015, 12:42 AM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: I know this is anecdotal, but I live and teach in majority-Hispanic communities. A few facts I would point out:

1. Most children of immigrants speak better English than Spanish. Most grandchildren of immigrants speak very little Spanish at all.
2. In overwhelmingly Hispanic communities, the Catholic Church is often a Spanish-speaking institution. Spanish-speaking parents take mostly English-speaking children to Spanish catechism classes, confirmation classes, Mass, etc.
3. Many of my students, as a result, have no English-language Catholic vocabulary. They have an English Protestant vocabulary (from general surrounding culture and from Evangelical peers) and Spanish Catholic vocabulary. Their lives are mostly led in English, and thus Protestantism seems more real to them than Catholicism (which seems like the religion of superstitious old grandmothers.)
4. Ignorance of Church teaching is rampant. A Catholic child asks questions, and the ready answers come from surrounding Evangelicals. The institutional Church is too large, and the priest too busy, to answer. Evangelicals, by contrast, are ready and eager to provide simple, easy-to-understand answers.

I wonder if the language business has much to do with it. I mean, switch it to Latin, does the picture changes if the Catholic vocabulary is Latin and their everyday business in English? Or switch it to Italian or Polish (or Greek, or Arabic, or Russian, if we're considering Orthodox).

It seems the problem isn't much related to language but to poor catechesis, and actually being a modern person who always prefer the easy answers. Not to mention all the propaganda and the easiness of Protestantism (even the Evangelical conservative wing of it: still no confession and no penance and no mortification).

Also, when you see no difference between a Prot service and a Catholic Mass and you think everybody is basically the same (to the point of saying, and I've heard this from a NO guy who teaches chrism classes, that the Catholic Church is not in communion with Prot churches), then of course the person will fall in love with the Prot thing when people are way nicer than Catholics.




Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - richgr - 07-31-2015

I've said before that evangelical Protestants, especially of the mega church variety, do get some things right: 1) their websites and social media promotion; 2) fostering community and activities; 3) apologetics and outreach. We Catholics could learn from the Protestants on these three points. (One might go into a finer debate about whether Protestant community is in some sense a "false" community because it is rooted in false or vitiated Christian values, but my basic point I think still remains.)

As someone coming from a similar background but in the Korean-American community, I can verify that what Optatus Cleary sees in Hispanic communities happens also for Koreans (although there are far, far less Korean Catholics than Hispanic because there is not nearly as large a historical relationship between the two). The issue of language is simply a cognitive barrier. Sure, poor catechesis gets at the root of solving the problem, but for the youth who don't know what catechesis is, their formation comes from principally secular and social sources--their peers and media, and difference of language therefore means the difference between fitting into two different worlds--their family vs. the remainder of the world. The remainder in this day an age will always win over the family unless the family is strong and consistent in its values and formation of children.

And finally, I would add that Evangelicalism doesn't necessarily mean Prosperity Gospel types, nor does it mean "easy life." There are some smatterings of spirituality, but any richness to them comes from their roots in Catholic history. Even the Imitation of Christ has traditionally been popular in some Protestant circles. Another good example here is Simon Chan's Spiritual Theology and Liturgical Theology (http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Theology-Systematic-Study-Christian/dp/0830815422/ and http://www.amazon.com/Liturgical-Theology-Church-Worshiping-Community/dp/0830827633/)


Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - Renatus Frater - 07-31-2015

(07-31-2015, 01:12 AM)richgr Wrote: I've said before that evangelical Protestants, especially of the mega church variety, do get some things right: 1) their websites and social media promotion; 2) fostering community and activities; 3) apologetics and outreach. We Catholics could learn from the Protestants on these three points. (One might go into a finer debate about whether Protestant community is in some sense a "false" community because it is rooted in false or vitiated Christian values, but my basic point I think still remains.)

As someone coming from a similar background but in the Korean-American community, I can verify that what Optatus Cleary sees in Hispanic communities happens also for Koreans (although there are far, far less Korean Catholics than Hispanic because there is not nearly as large a historical relationship between the two). The issue of language is simply a cognitive barrier. Sure, poor catechesis gets at the root of solving the problem, but for the youth who don't know what catechesis is, their formation comes from principally secular and social sources--their peers and media, and difference of language therefore means the difference between fitting into two different worlds--their family vs. the remainder of the world. The remainder in this day an age will always win over the family unless the family is strong and consistent in its values and formation of children.

And finally, I would add that Evangelicalism doesn't necessarily mean Prosperity Gospel types, nor does it mean "easy life." There are some smatterings of spirituality, but any richness to them comes from their roots in Catholic history. Even the Imitation of Christ has traditionally been popular in some Protestant circles. Another good example here is Simon Chan's Spiritual Theology and Liturgical Theology (http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Theology-Systematic-Study-Christian/dp/0830815422/ and http://www.amazon.com/Liturgical-Theology-Church-Worshiping-Community/dp/0830827633/)

Yeah, I wonder if the self-lacerating, confession going, liturgically oriented types of Evangelicals are increasing their numbers.

This language thing is very weird. I'd like to hear some American Italian, if they also suffered with this (also, the Jews—I know you guys are out there; how Judaism being Yidish/Hebrew is a barrier for the American Jew, if at all?).




Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - Optatus Cleary - 07-31-2015

(07-31-2015, 01:04 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: I wonder if the language business has much to do with it. I mean, switch it to Latin, does the picture changes if the Catholic vocabulary is Latin and their everyday business in English? Or switch it to Italian or Polish (or Greek, or Arabic, or Russian, if we're considering Orthodox).
The difference between Spanish and Latin here is that, at this point in our history, we don't have any "Latin speakers" trying to shed themselves of their Roman pasts.  If one's Catholic instruction is exclusively in Spanish, and the surrounding culture is oriented towards assimilation, the Catholic stuff goes out with the linguistic and cultural stuff.

I'm not saying it's the entire problem, but it's part of it.  I think the Church in Spanish speaking communities in the United States needs a better understanding of the fact that immigrants learn English, and need a vibrant understanding of how ideas are discussed in both languages.  I have had a student tell me "that's true in Spanish, but not in English."  Not about a point of grammar, but a point of theology.  Yes, that's ignorant, but the Church needs to care for her ignorant members.  And ethnic-religious identities are no longer as strong as they used to be.  The Polish or Italian or Greek immigrants, largely, would have immigrated in a time and place when becoming a Protestant simply wasn't an option.  Now it is.

(07-31-2015, 01:04 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: It seems the problem isn't much related to language but to poor catechesis, and actually being a modern person who always prefer the easy answers. Not to mention all the propaganda and the easiness of Protestantism (even the Evangelical conservative wing of it: still no confession and no penance and no mortification).

Also, when you see no difference between a Prot service and a Catholic Mass and you think everybody is basically the same (to the point of saying, and I've heard this from a NO guy who teaches chrism classes, that the Catholic Church is not in communion with Prot churches), then of course the person will fall in love with the Prot thing when people are way nicer than Catholics.
I agree.  The answers the surrounding Evangelical Protestant culture (my area is very conservative, and probably most of the non-Hispanics are Evangelicals) give to theological questions are simple, easy to understand and repeat, and alluring.  The answers that the catechism teachers (well-meaning volunteers, mostly) give are perceived as quaint, superstitious, and perhaps a bit self-contradictory.  The average Catholic teenager can't even begin to explain what he believes.


Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - Optatus Cleary - 07-31-2015

(07-31-2015, 01:19 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: This language thing is very weird. I'd like to hear some American Italian, if they also suffered with this (also, the Jews—I know you guys are out there; how Judaism being Yidish/Hebrew is a barrier for the American Jew, if at all?).

I suspect public schools have a lot to do with it.  When many of the previous large waves of Catholic immigrants came (I realize people still immigrate from those countries, but the large-scale migration seems to be over) there were Catholic schools for them to attend, and so they received a coherent instruction (learning English and Catholicism in the same place).  For many Hispanic immigrants, public schools are the only option, and instruction is thus split by language, with religious instruction remaining in Spanish.  Add to that the fact that our society is becoming less religious in general, and you have children growing up whose only Catholic experiences are in Spanish.

There's some self-denigration to it as well: I often hear students accuse each other of being "so Mexican."  Being Mexican is definitely tied up with being Catholic, and being "American" is tied up with being Protestant.  I often have students who are shocked to learn that I'm Catholic, saying "I thought white people were all Christian" (by which of course they mean Protestant).  Thus, the type of person who wants to assimilate, who wants to be seen as "American" is likely to leave Catholicism behind.


Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - AntoniusMaximus - 07-31-2015

(07-31-2015, 12:42 AM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: I know this is anecdotal, but I live and teach in majority-Hispanic communities. A few facts I would point out:

1. Most children of immigrants speak better English than Spanish. Most grandchildren of immigrants speak very little Spanish at all.
2. In overwhelmingly Hispanic communities, the Catholic Church is often a Spanish-speaking institution. Spanish-speaking parents take mostly English-speaking children to Spanish catechism classes, confirmation classes, Mass, etc.
4. Ignorance of Church teaching is rampant. A Catholic child asks questions, and the ready answers come from surrounding Evangelicals. The institutional Church is too large, and the priest too busy, to answer. Evangelicals, by contrast, are ready and eager to provide simple, easy-to-understand answers.

I think this highlights are the best.  And I would add an additional comments.  Poaching of catholic immigrants to protestant sects is nothing new in this country.  Two of my great-grandmothers belonged to the Italian Presbyterian Church in Pittston, Pa, though their husbands were buried in Catholic Churches.  In fact, at the beginning of the 20th century, upward to 50% of Catholic immigrants were leaving the Church according to some studies.  Reasons could be assimilation or discriminatory practices against Catholics particularly for social services(the Knights of Columbus were formed because of this), lack of quality priests was always a pressing issue at the time (most communities brought their own priests).  At the time, the best and most effective means to reduce to the defection rate was education.  This was the time, when bishops decided to make massive investments in parochial schools, for instance it was suggested that EVERY parish regardless of size should have a school.  Indeed, most parishes did in fact have some kind of school by the 50s.  Bishops policies were geared toward a parallel structure as oppose to being integrated with Protestant America at large (it did promote some form of integration in terms of English, Pledge of Allegiance, and other citizenship education).  I remember talking with older priests about their childhood and mentions about how it was so thoroughly Catholic like they didn't even play with Protestant kids at the time.  And in this period (50s), American Catholics were probably at the height of its political power as a voting bloc and could make or break politicians. 

Now for the Hispanic communities, I think a problem is that there is a strong anti-clerical element especially amongst Mexicans though subtle.  One of the biggest complaints have been about all the Anglo priests that don't care, why aren't their more Mexican priests, etc to tend to their issues.  Well, I am reminded of when JPII visited LA back in the early 90s, Mexican-Americans were asking him to give us priests (Mexican) for our communities.  And JPII said "well send me your sons."  There are very few clerics and religious in Mexico to begin with, where do people think they come from, the sky?  My theory with Mexico is that while it (and most Latin American countries) have the outward appearance of traditional piety, there isn't much else when it comes to further spiritual development.  Part of the reason is that Latin American countries have long been too dependent on Spain for its priests and religious that neglected to build their own institutions (and in some regards they are still dependent on Spain).  Now that Spain is having their own shortages, there is not much to spread around.  The other is the political reason that Mexico had a very violent anti-clerical revolution in which the entire country was depopulated of priests and religious.  If my mother, and in most Hispanic households the mother is the deal breaker, you would not want a son becoming a priest, he is liable to get killed then.  Also, there is a strong machismo culture amongst Mexicans (and other Latin Americans) men that you know if you are not sleeping around with women you are not a real man (I guess it is everywhere these days).  Which is why in Latin American you find two kind of priests, the homosexual who figures the priesthood would be the best place to live a double life and the man looking for financial gains for his family (I was related to a story about how the Master of the Dominican Order tried to reorganize the community in Quito Ecuador, where they had six parishes but none of them were living in community as they were supposed to do, but instead each priest ruled each Church as their own personal fief with their mother and siblings working and drawing money from the parish.  When the Master visited with attempt to reform, he was locked in a Church tower!)

Yes, I think theology matters too.  When Islamic hordes invaded the near east, the Byzantines had been waging nonstop religious wars against the non-Chaceldonians Christians.  When Islam swept through, people found a religion that was much more simplified and people were readily more willing to adopt it especially with the financial incentives to abandon all the various Christological disputes which didn't make much sense to the average peasant anyway.  I think that is why evangelism is attractive in that it lacks the divisiveness of being not confessional.  Now don't think they are no rules or teachings or confessions.  Even non-confessional Churches have a confession of faith. 

In addition, we are undergoing a process of Anglo-fication of Hispanic peoples in the country, Irish and Italians were considered outsiders and now are part of the grain of the country.  I think a number of Hispanics will begin to opt to label themselves as just white or black or even native american not hispanic/latino  as that will denote a foreignness which  I am sure will horrify La Raza and other organizations that exists only to promote racial agendas and identity politics.


Re: Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Still Attracted to Evangelicalism - iona_scribe - 08-02-2015

What can we do to reach out to them and bring them home?

I'm trying to brush up on my Spanish and make some friends in my neighborhood, but I'm suddenly aware of a huge religion-related gap in my Spanish vocabulary.