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Latinos are both lifting and leaving the U. S. Catholic Church

Latinos are both lifting and leaving the U. S. Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church in the United States is rapidly losing the allegiance of Latinos, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

Michael Paulsen of The New York Times has the story:

By all accounts, Hispanics are the future of Catholicism in America. Already, most young Roman Catholics in the United States are Hispanic, and soon that will be true of the overall Catholic population. But the Hispanicization of American Catholicism faces a big challenge: Hispanics are leaving Catholicism at a striking rate.

It has been clear for years that Catholicism, both in the United States and Latin America, has been losing adherents to evangelical Protestantism, and, in particular, to Pentecostal and other charismatic churches. But as an increasing percentage of the American Hispanic population is made up of people born in this country, a simultaneous, competing form of faith-switching is also underway: More American Hispanics are leaving Catholicism and becoming religiously unaffiliated.

The seemingly mind-bending result: Even as a rising percentage of American Catholics is Hispanic, a falling percentage of American Hispanics is Catholic.

According to the survey, five percent of Latinos in the U. S. belong to mainline Protestant churches. What does Latino ministry look like in your diocese?


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Rod Gillis

From the original story,

“The Pew poll finds the rise in the number of Hispanics who say they are unaffiliated particularly pronounced among Hispanics under age 30, and it comes at a time when more and more Americans are becoming part of what religion researchers call ‘the nones,’ ”

They are becoming acculturated. The same thing can be said of, for instance, Muslims in Canada, and probably Stateside. It happened to mainstream Christians,i.e., Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, etc in previous generations. Over the three and one half decades I served in parishes, the majority of people of my generation, raised on Christianity, had disappeared or become marginal in churches at about the time they became adults.

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