Bishops Say Belief Influx of Latino Catholics Would Restore American Morality a 'Delusion'

At an annual conference of Catholic Latino leaders, Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput revealed that the bishops had hoped that a strong Catholic faith among Latinos would pull the United States back from secularization and immorality. Chaput admitted to Latino leaders, however, that the Catholic culture among Hispanics is not as strong as the bishops had estimated.

“Hispanic culture still has a soul formed by an encounter with Jesus Christ and the humanity and compassion that flow from it,” Chaput said Friday at the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders’ (CALL) national conference.

According to an article at National Catholic Register, Chaput warned the association, consisting of Hispanic business, professional, and community leaders, that the strength of Catholic culture among Latinos is weakening.

Chaput said that U.S. Latinos are leaving the Roman Catholic Church “at a sobering rate.” Though about 70 percent of foreign-born Hispanics are Catholic, only 40 percent of third-generation Hispanics continue in the faith.

Similarly, he reported that the abortion rate among Latinas is higher than the national average, and that Hispanic support for same-sex “marriage” increased from 31 percent in 2006 to 52 percent in 2012.

Disturbed by the statistics, Chaput said that he and Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, view the data as a sobering reminder that the increasing number of Hispanics in the United States is not enough to pull the nation back in a moral direction. Rather, the opposite appears to be occurring.

“I think Archbishop José and I probably underestimated the ability of American culture to digest and redirect any new influence that comes from outside our borders,” said Chaput. “In some ways, the Hispanic social and political profile is barely distinguishable from American national trends. The idea that Latinos, simply by their presence, might restore the moral tenor of our public discourse is a delusion.”

The bishops’ admitted “delusion” that a morally corrupt America had a chance of being saved by an influx of more Latinos was observed by Christopher Manion in May, writing at Crisis Magazine.

Manion noted that, at a prior conference, Gomez, himself a Mexican immigrant and now the new archbishop of Los Angeles, conjured up “an idealized image of Mexican immigrants” when he said they “will bring a new entrepreneurial spirit of hard work to our economy.”

Gomez said that Mexican immigrants “are not afraid of hard work or sacrifice [and] the vast majority of them believe in Jesus Christ and love our Catholic Church. They share traditional American values of faith, family and community.”

Manion reported that, in his address, Gomez was critical of an American heritage that somehow encourages “a wrong-headed notion that ‘real Americans’ are of some particular race, class, religion, or ethnic background,” the archbishop asserted. He said this notion smacks of “nativism” and “bigotry.”

Manion went on to report that a Mexican Catholic bishop, in an editorial in Desde La Fe, the newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico City, went even further, rebuking “the arrogant, xenophobic, and racist attitude of the United States.”

Manion’s response:

Of course, this is the same propaganda line that the Mexican corruptos in government, business, and culture have expounded for years—blaming the gringos, and not the criminal cronyism and corruption of Mexico’s elites, for Mexico’s dysfunctional poverty. Alas, when the victims of that propaganda cross the border into the U.S., no bishop greets them to disabuse them of that deep-seated anti-American resentment (or typically, even to catechize them). In Mexico, they had to game the system to survive. In the U.S., they discover that our comparatively extravagant welfare system is a sitting duck, virtually inviting manipulation. Yet they rarely hear the voice of the Church telling them, “Thou shalt not steal.”

To Latino attendees at Friday’s conference, Chaput added his own criticism of American consumer culture’s “eager little idolatries” and “manufactured appetites” as being “simply too strong.”

Lambasting the secularization of American culture, Chaput said, “As a nation, Americans pay lip service to God on our coinage while forcing him out of our public life everywhere else. And in God’s place we’ve created an avalanche of empty choices and phony little godlings that promise to feed our inner hungers and do nothing but starve us instead.”

Nevertheless, as Manion noted:

Mexican bishops say outright what American bishops and their USCCB staff have darkly intimated for years. In July 2008, Cardinal Mahony [former archbishop of Los Angeles] blatantly charged that opponents of amnesty are immoral. He told an immigration rally that enforcement of current law was “fanning the flames of intolerance, xenophobia and, at times, bigotry.” His brother bishops usually tend to use a slightly lighter touch.

But Cardinal Mahony is certainly not alone. In their 1979 “Pastoral Letter On Racism,” his brother bishops blamed the evil of racism not on the human heart but on “racial injustices in society and its own structures.” So it is structures, not hearts, that must be changed. In the meantime, we all must be racists if we’re not revolutionaries. Such intoxicating Marxism has pervaded the “social justice” movement in Catholic circles for decades. It might help to explain why our bishops today appear to be so helpless in confronting the blatantly anti-Catholic culture war being waged by the Obama Administration.


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