¡Ay caray! I hope this isn’t true

30 06 2008

And those Catholics that are staying in the Catholic Church are redefining their churches, giving it a Latino makeover of sorts, including more lively music and a more natural embracement of the mystical. A growing majority of these Catholics refer to themselves as “Charismatic” and share with evangelicals the belief in God’s intervention in the everyday in the form of supernatural phenomena such as speaking in tongues, miraculous healings and relevations (and you thought selling Sábado Gigante to your client was tough).

-from this site

Of course, I suspect that it is, as I have said in the past.

In any event, I have been thinking recently that if one of the only reasons that the Church is growing in the United States is due to the influx of immigrants, and most of those immigrants are Latinos, then where are all of the Latino Catholic bloggers? Don’t get me wrong: I am not one of those people who thinks that only a person of a certain race, ethnicity, gender, etc. can understand the problems and perspectives of that group (I’m a Platonist, afterall). But it would be nice to see more bloggers whose religious backgrounds do not come from the American suburbs, perhaps a generation or two removed from the Catholic ghettos of yesteryear. And let’s face it, a disproportionate number of Catholic bloggers are converts and it shows. That’s why the Catholic blogosphere is a bit boring for me.

If you know any Latino/Hispanic/etc. Catholic bloggers, please forward me a link. So far, one of the only ones I know is my cuate over at Roamin’ Catholic, and he’s nuevomejicano, so his family has been in this country probably a lot longer than all of yours. Maybe I can start my own blog ring.

I’m out. ¡Arriba Coahuila, paisa!

20 Years Ago Today

30 06 2008

A Debate About Syncretism

30 06 2008

First, I must give credit to the Cruising Down the Coast of the High Barbaree blog for directing me to this article on the syncretic attitudes of Hindus and Thomas Christians in Kerala. It is well-worth a thorough read, and Josh S. and I get into an interesting discussion on the post cited above.

Of course, my Lutheran interlocutor on the thread cited this article as representing the dangers that apostolic Christianity has of falling into superstition, and no doubt a number of Catholics will also find the actions of the Thomas Christians described here highly objectionable. I personally think that they crossed some lines that should not have been crossed.

On the other hand, in a lot of ways, the Christianity of the laity is often about what we can get away with. ( I am thinking here specifically of some of the quirks of my grandmother, que Dios la tenga en Su gloria). I am beginning to think that the shepherding of our pastors in the Church is not as simple as they lead and we follow. As I have written in the past, the cult of the saints in my mind did not arise as a “from the top-down”, but rather as a “from the bottom-up” phenomenon. In other words, the emergence of the Catholic ethos was not a strictly “by the book” affair, and it can at times resemble a wrestling match between God and man, pastors and laity, as to the shape and flavor of their beliefs and practices. While I think the Christians of Kerala have taken their syncretism too far (as have some Mexicans in their cult to Holy Death), I do not see these actions as part of a process that is contrary to the Gospel, but rather as one that is very much a part of it. It is just an issue of regulating these things so that they don’t get out of hand.