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For Catholic Revival, A Hispanic Pope

The majority of Catholics now live in developing nations. More: Papal Picks: Conclave Open Thread

by
Patrick Reddy

Bio

March 12, 2013 - 12:00 am
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The Church’s last great expansion came under Pope Alexander VI, a native Spaniard. Alexander oversaw the doubling in the number of the faithful after the New World was discovered by Columbus and conquered by Cortes, Pizarro, and Balboa. (The Spanish adventurers’ slogan: “For God, Gold and Glory!”) Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries almost immediately followed the conquistadors, as an estimated 20 million Indians (admittedly often involuntarily) were converted to Catholicism.

Since they are now the majority of Catholics, a renewal of Hispanic devotion to the Church would also reinvigorate worldwide Catholicism. As Finke and Stark have noted, such a renewal is needed if the Church is to avoid severe shortages of priests and nuns in the next generation.

If John Paul II was instrumental in the peaceful overthrow of Communism in Eastern Europe, a Hispanic pope would undoubtedly help do the same with Cuba, and with the various strains in Venezuela and throughout the region. Beyond that, a Hispanic pope would also likely help Latin America make the transition from rural poverty to stable urbanized, working-class industrial societies. A newly powerful Catholic Church could be a strong proponent of workers’ rights and religious freedom, and could oppose the environmental degradation and oppression of indigenous peoples that usually accompany mass industrialization.

As Latin America is one of the most troubled places on the planet, it will take almost a miracle to heal these polarized societies. Perhaps only the Church could bring the proper moral pressure on society’s upper echelons to help ease the pains of Latin America’s coming stresses. A pope of Hispanic descent might also be able to calm down tensions in America over Hispanic immigration (Pat Buchanan, take note).

For the next century, as Latin Catholics go, so will go the Church they will increasingly dominate.

More: Papal Picks: Conclave Open Thread

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Patrick Reddy is a political consultant and co-author of California After Arnold. He is now writing 21st Century America: How Suburbanites, Immigrants and High Tech Voters Will Choose Our Presidents.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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A Latino Holy Pope of Rome! I pray that God forgive someday , Mitt Romney ,for rounding up all the Jesus and Mary and Joseph Latino aliens for he know not what he do being demon possessed Like King Herod by the fallen angels and so it goes with the rest of the GOP who acted like he did
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Latinos are tempted by the pleasures of the flesh.

Fundamentalist/Evangelical/Free-Range Christian churches do not lay the lumber on birth control like the catholics. They also do not require confessing all those embarrassing sexual sins. They do not sweat the small stuff. They mainly want you to show up and love God.

The Catholics are like the Marines. It is a hard standard to follow.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd be wary of the idea of a Latin American Pope. Liberation theology is a very popular flavor of Christianity in all the pulpits, no matter the denomination, in Latin America. That's why the supposedly very conservative and traditional values illegal immigrants tend to fall in with Democrats and their big government, socialist policies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A Pope with Latin American roots! What could be furtherest from any Catholic's devotion than this quantum "leap to a colonial past" permeating all of this region's Catholic heritage?
Cronyism and subterfuge of all Latin American priests, Catholic hierachry and leaders of "The Church" is exactly 21st Century's problem in all of Latin America. Culling favors, preferred tax status, money laundering (The Curia), evasions of moral and economic nature are secular cancers Catholic ministries have turned away from addressing, correcting or even grappling with.
Result??? A 60% evasion of Catholic faithful in all of Latin America to evangelist and similiar faiths. Closure of a swath of churches across Latin America. What this "Conclave" of morally corrupt Latin American religious leaders of "The Church" have in common is having presided over massive destruction of one of the World's secular religions -Catholicism. And these conniving, Cardinal Richeliu's of Latin America should be Pope? Puleeze! Their hands drip with thier flocks blood. Pray a Saviour becomes Pope...or else form the New American Catholic Church!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Im not sure promoting third worlders to head our institutions is a good idea, no matter where it is tried.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Catholic Church is not simply one more political vehicle for social justice, and the decision of who will be pope should not be framed as to how he might help environmentalism, etc. In the real world, the cardinals will vote for a pope based on who can best carry out Christ’s mission in these times when the Church is in crisis. They will seek a good and holy man capable of working with others within the Church to right its course. John Paul II’s role in ending the Cold War was not the agenda of the conclave that elected him. That he did play such a pivotal role believers can attribute to the Holy Spirit. As for the Cardinals, they were unconcerned he was Polish just as they were unconcerned that Benedict was German.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for a positive article. Benedict is appreciated for the work he did internally with the church, attracting many back with his elegant interpretations of the catechism. The church has been steadily growing and he did a great deal in terms of healing the child abuse problem. Shortly before resigning he sounded an alarm about the increasingly aggressive secularism in the world and I imagine the Cardinals are mindful of this. It is the internal life and works of the church that ultimately attracts people to it. I am still putting a word in with the guy in charge for Luis T., from the Philippines, particularly since he is so able to engage the young. We just want a good shepherd and God doesn't discriminate. Again, thank you for a positive article.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't be stupid. Sexual abuse of children is not even discussed in third world nations . We have pictures of innocent "Eve " figure of speech Holy Pope of Rome shaking the hand and kiss on the cheek and kiss of The Pope's ring finger of Latin America Father Marcial Leader of the Legion of Christ.
This must be about cleansing the priests to see them have holy holy temples before the True God the Father the Son and The Holy Ghost and in our world exposed to secular atheist /agnostic Babylon the Great where sexual sins have been made into a false religion celebrate priests need to enter back into the holy priesthood to reflect Revelation 7 and revelation 12
this can be done by this man
"On June 16, 1992, Bishop O'Malley was chosen to head the Diocese of Fall River. He was installed on August 11, 1992.

As Bishop of Fall River, O'Malley first attempted to settle the sexual abuse scandal in Fall River diocese. In Palm Beach, he tried to overcome the abuse scandal there too. He also worked closely with the Portuguese and Hispanic population, which make up a large percentage of the Catholics in the United States.

In 1998 John Paul II appointed O'Malley to the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops. In 2003, he became the archbishop of Boston, succeeding Cardinal Bernard Law, who had resigned as a consequence of the scandal there."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
waxwing01,

Shiny side in or shiny side out? Inquiring minds want to know.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley has had the rare blessing of seeing with his own eyes in the distance the Island of all the souls of the Holy Popes of Rome and yet he still lives at 68 years old which is sign to me standing between the Lilith sanctuary in the west and the Island out to sea in the east is a very humbling experince
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah, shiny side out it is then.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
footnote
and final Holy Holy Holy Priests reflect Revelation 14
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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