May 5, 2014

Hispanics not working out for Catholic Church

It's Cinco de Mayo at the NYT:
Hispanic Growth Is Strength but Also Challenge for U.S. Catholic Church
MAY 5, 2014
Michael Paulson

The Roman Catholic Church has known for years that its future in the United States depends heavily on Hispanics. The church, which is the largest religious denomination in the country, is already about 40 percent Hispanic, and the demographic change is inexorable: Within the next few decades, Hispanics are expected to make up a majority of American Catholics. 
Hispanic parents have been much less likely to send their children to Catholic schools, and their sons have been less likely to pursue the priesthood. 
... A researcher at Boston College, Hosffman Ospino, has undertaken a new effort to understand the behavior of Hispanic American Catholics, and the implications for the larger church. In a study released Monday, Mr. Ospino finds a relatively high level of participation in church sacraments, but a low level of participation in other aspects of parish life, and a concerning lack of personnel and financial resources in parishes with high numbers of Hispanics. 
“There is a bleak picture in terms of resources,” Mr. Ospino said. “And it is noticeable that at higher levels of leadership, the number of Hispanics are lower.” 
There are positive findings: Mass attendance in parishes with Hispanic ministries is 22 percent higher than in the average parish, a promising sign in a church that has seen attendance at Masses dropping over the last few decades. Rates of baptism and first communions are also higher. 
But attendance rates at weekday Mass are quite low, participation in non-sacramental activities like youth groups is low, and contributions to collection are also low, often reflecting economic hardship. Parishes serving Hispanics often have fewer staffers per parishioner than other parishes, according to the study; parishes with high numbers of Hispanic parishioners are also less likely to have a parish school. 
Previous research has suggested that only 3 percent of Hispanic Catholic children go to Catholic schools in the United States, an issue that the leadership of the Catholic Church has been working on for some time. 

This low level of participation in social organizations outside the extended family  is a defining feature of Mexican-Americans. As I pointed out in 2007, Harvard researcher Robert D. Putnam was so stunned by his findings of low social capital and low trust in diverse cities in America that he hushed up his research for half a decade while he worked on his spin.

The Catholic Church in America was built into a powerhouse in the first half of the 20th Century by the organizational and political talents of Irish-Americans. Much of the appeal of massive immigration of Mexicans to current American elites is that their social capital fecklessness makes them less of a personal challenge for elite jobs. If you are Bishop O'Flaherty in a diocese that's now statistically dominated by Hispanics, you still might be able to pull enough strings for your nephew to succeed you. Your uncle faced down the Italians and Poles, so you'd be a poor reflection on the O'Flahertys if you can't do the same to the Mexicans.
        

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, how does it fit into your Asian-white-Hispanic-black rankings that blacks have historically done a much better job of creating self-help organizations and institutions, from advocacy groups to colleges and scholarships to cemeteries? It's stunning to look at Los Angeles with its massive Hispanic and modest black populations and see the huge difference in number and quality of organizations serving each community.

David Cummings said...

I have noticed that a lot of the Hispanics I work with are joining non denominational churches.

Anonymous said...

What level of church participation do blacks have, compared to Hispanics and(non-Hispanic) whites? I know that blacks tend to be more religious, but now this article makes me wonder if a black churchgoer is as likely to be involved in the life of their church as a white churchgoer. I don't think my stereotypes say much either way about this question.

Big Bill said...

There is no Mexican "Dagger John" to save Mexicans from their drunkenness, prostitution and fecklessness. Instead there are Mexican politicians preaching Dagger John's hated "soupery" instead of remoralization.

Anonymous said...

Steve, how does it fit into your Asian-white-Hispanic-black rankings that blacks have historically done a much better job of creating self-help organizations and institutions, from advocacy groups to colleges and scholarships to cemeteries? It's stunning to look at Los Angeles with its massive Hispanic and modest black populations and see the huge difference in number and quality of organizations serving each community.



Blacks especially in the higher social strata that were more attuned to mainline Protestantism. The wealthiest Black congregations for a long time were AME (Methodists). Basically the Black elite modeled after WASPs kind of like elite German Jews did.

It wasn't until the Civil Rights movement that Southern Blacks began to assert more dominance in regards to Black cultural standards. Before than Southern Black culture was sneered at by most respectable Black people.

Flip through this Ebony Mag from the 60s and compare it to one today.

http://books.google.com/books?id=_Gx3HzvAuMYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Anonymous said...

One thing interesting about Hispanics and Catholicism is the syncretism. Phillip Jenkins notes two things are happening:

(1) Hispanics are making Catholicism more like Pentecostalism. (Hispanics love loud, frenetic services.)

and

(2) Removal of some European elements for Amerindian elements. This started a long time ago (e.g. Virgin of Guadalupe was an Amerindian goddess) but it's continuing at a faster rate now.


Here's an interesting video on mestizo Christianity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKc4wn8sh7Q&feature=youtu.be

.


.

Anonymous said...

"that blacks have historically done a much better job of creating self-help organizations and institutions, from advocacy groups to colleges and scholarships to cemeteries?" - like the exclusively black group that set up the NAACP?

Mexicans aren't fashionable, and white leftists aren't too keen on wasting their time trying to help them apparently.

Anonymous said...

White guy married to a Central American here, both of us Catholics. Totally agree with Steve's point about low levels of social organization as it relates to the church--it applies to my wife's country as well and I would assume a lot of Latin America. No social groups whatsoever at church, you just go to mass and that's it.

At times it seems they view the church as something a system to be gamed for one's own metaphysical ends--if you just say the right combination of Hail Marys, Our Fathers, etc, then you'll punch your ticket to heaven AND heal your grandmother's arthritis! The emphasis is very much on orthodoxy over orthopraxy. The culture in my wife's country has lots of dishonesty, stealing, etc, but does that concern the church? No. Sexual impropriety? Oh, yes.

Anonymous said...

Steve, how does it fit into your Asian-white-Hispanic-black rankings that blacks have historically done a much better job of creating self-help organizations and institutions, from advocacy groups to colleges and scholarships to cemeteries? It's stunning to look at Los Angeles with its massive Hispanic and modest black populations and see the huge difference in number and quality of organizations serving each community.

Those blacks orgs were mostly established in the pre-"Bowling Alone" era of a flourishing civil society. Not many Hispanics in the US in those days. Plus the blacks had some help from paternalistic Northern WASPs and Jews. Julius Rosenwald comes readily to mind, but there were plenty of others.

Anonymous said...

(2) Removal of some European elements for Amerindian elements. This started a long time ago (e.g. Virgin of Guadalupe was an Amerindian goddess) but it's continuing at a faster rate now.

Pretty soon they will be ripping the hearts out of sacrificial white victims.

Chicago said...

Seems to be a major concern that Hispanics don't put enough money into the hat. Now they'll have to 'study' that situation. Maybe they were looking for money in all the wrong places. Looks like they'll have to tighten their belts a bit more now that they've burned their bridges to other groups.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

There is a pretty significant gap between growth in Catholic numbers in the US and the number of Latino immigrants to the US which is pretty easy to document. To my observation, most latinos are Pentecostal or areligious. But the Catholic Church is doubling down on them like they're the vanguard of the Second Coming.

Kind of a not-so-secret secret in my neck of the woods is how Catholic parishes are segregating.

Gringo said...

Two anecdotes which led me to conclude that the Roman Catholic Church isn't all that important to Hispanics - more so for immigrants.

Some Hispanic kids- parents from Mexico- who lived 50 feet from a Roman Catholic Church- didn't know that the Pope was the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

I know a school librarian of the Jewish faith who works in an elementary school which is 98% Hispanic. Around Christmas time she read some stories about Christmas to students, which pointed out that Christmas was the birthday of Jesus Christ. The students were surprised- they thought Christmas as all about Santa Claus. BTW, the school is 2 blocks from a Roman Catholic Church.

There are not a lot of priests per population in Mexico or Central America, which means that the influence of the church isn't as great as one might suppose. Which helps explain indifference/lack of knowledge of the Roman Catholic Church among Hispanic immigrants.

Anonymous said...

"The Catholic Church in America was built into a powerhouse in the first half of the 20th Century by the organizational and political talents of Irish-Americans. Much of the appeal of massive immigration of Mexicans to current American elites is that their social capital fecklessness makes them less of a personal challenge for elite jobs. If you are Bishop O'Flaherty in a diocese that's now statistically dominated by Hispanics, you still might be able to pull enough strings for your nephew to succeed you. Your uncle faced down the Italians and Poles, so you'd be a poor reflection on the O'Flahertys if you can't do the same to the Mexicans."

Yeah, Michael Novak has some interesting stuff in his THE RISE OF THE UNMELTABLE ETHNICS about the ways in which the Irish have managed to retain control of the Catholic Church in the USA.

jody said...

"Steve, how does it fit into your Asian-white-Hispanic-black rankings that blacks have historically done a much better job of creating self-help organizations and institutions, from advocacy groups to colleges and scholarships to cemeteries?"

have they? or was it a certain other group who did a lot of that for them.

and hey, isn't it about time they changed the name of the united negro college fund. i mean seriously. NEGRO college fund? it's not 1965 anymore. wow. when will these people get a clue.

Anonymous said...

RE: Black vs Hispanic performance rates,

As others have observed, Blacks have had a fair amount of elite White (chiefly from WASPS and Jews) assistance over the years. Leaving that to one side, I still feel that Hispanics are underperforming relative to Blacks. There's a certain...laziness in Hispanic culture in the USA. For all the "vibrancy" that hack journalists attribute to them, American Hispanics are markedly less creative than American Blacks, who have, despite their many deficiencies, made significant contributions to popular music, comedy, etc.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Mexicans coming here aren't Catholic?

Parochial schools everywhere are in trouble. Actually brick an mortar schools everywhere are in trouble. Partially because of technological obsolescence. And in part because state universities and public schools have infinite funding.

I personally am surprised at the amount of money the state of New York through at sports programs at what were once academic university centers in the SUNY system.

Henry Canaday said...

I spent Easter weekend in Manhattan and went to the 10-o’clock Mass, the one in English, at Nuestra Senora de Guadeloupe in Chelsea. Many of the old Irish churches in lower Manhattan have apparently been renamed for their new congregations.

It was nice service, presided over by an Irish priest of the order founded by that mad, 16th- Century Spaniard with a talent for working with many nations.

Anonymous said...

A few observations from a non-Catholic in Southern California.

First, every Catholic church in the area is as loud and open to Mexicans as they can be. All outdoor signage is in Spanish (or Spanish and English). Newly constructed churches are in a style that is ebullient about its tackiness.

Second, every very religious Mexican I've ever met leaves Catholicism and goes to one of the nutso evangelical groups.

Third, the composition of the Church's workers is interesting. They have addressed the priest problem by recruiting a lot of lay deacons from among the congregations. My first boss, a white Catholic, retired from the law and is now a full time deacon at a church that he says is "100% Mexican." A white Catholic cousin of mine is a part time deacon - his church is 80-90% Mexican, but none of the leaders are.

Because of the child rape scandals, and the fact that the Catholic church is rightly viewed as a treasonous front organization for the wholesale violation of our sovereignty and immigration laws, its hard to see how this ends well for the Catholics.

Anonymous said...

(2) Removal of some European elements for Amerindian elements. This started a long time ago (e.g. Virgin of Guadalupe was an Amerindian goddess) but it's continuing at a faster rate now.

Pretty soon they will be ripping the hearts out of sacrificial white victims.


Chichen Itza and all other structures were built by a people driven off by the more numerous locals who then offered blood sacrifices in the hope that those driven off would use their incomprehensible technology to help the drivers off.

Get writing.

Bert said...

Here in Southern California, Filipinos are slowly taking over the reins as the old Irish die off. Unlike Mexicans they actually know how to organize.

Cail Corishev said...

Most US Catholics don't know that the Church was suppressed by the communists for quite a while in Mexico less than a century ago. They assume, based on some movies and stereotypes, that Mexicans are all hard-core Mary-venerating Catholics going back for centuries to St. Juan Diego, but it's actually much more skin-deep than that. In Latin America in general, Catholicism has been heavily infected with Liberation Theology and other Marxist heresies, so it's no surprise that's it's not a masculine Catholicism that stands up well to competition or time.

US Catholics tend to see themselves as sort of little brothers of the faith, probably because we've always been a minority here and have never had a pope (or even come close to having one considered). We tend to look at Europe with its ancient cathedrals, centuries of learning, and thousands of saints; and Latin American countries with their 70%-90% Catholic membership; and assume that their Catholics are somehow more authentically Catholic than us.

But the truth is that the US is one of the few places in the world where traditional, orthodox, pre-Vatican II Catholicism is alive and well -- as a small minority, but growing. We can't fix our problems by importing "better" Catholics from somewhere else; we're going to have to re-fill the pews and rebuild our communities ourselves.

Tom Piatak said...

I mentioned this in a post at Chronicles last September on how mass immigration was bad for America and bad for the Catholic Church. Here is the pertinent part on how it is bad for the Catholic Church:

It is likely that many of the bishops view today's immigration through the experience of their own forebears, and there is little doubt that past immigration benefited the Catholic Church. For example, large numbers of Slovak immigrants, including the Piataks, began coming to Cleveland in the late nineteenth century. These immigrants founded a Catholic parish in 1887, and they and their children founded seven more Roman Catholic parishes and two Byzantine Catholic parishes in Cleveland over the next forty years, in addition to founding a Benedictine abbey and a high school for boys. By and large, these parishes were staffed by Slovak priests and the parish schools were staffed by Slovak nuns and the funding for them was provided by the immigrants themselves. The Slovak immigrants came from a world where life revolved around the village church and the leading authority figure was the parish priest. This experience inspired them to build churches and schools once they came to America, just as similar experiences inspired other Catholic immigrants to undertake comparable efforts all over the country.

Today's immigration is different. Hispanic Catholics are not funding a boom of new Catholic churches and schools. Although there are many fervent Catholics among them, Hispanic Catholics come from a different world than earlier Catholic immigrants did. Because of the shortage of priests that has characterized Latin American Catholicism from its inception, many immigrants are coming from villages where the priest is able to visit a few times a year, if that. As a result, their attachment to Catholicism is generally more tenuous than among earlier immigrants. Archbishop Chaput just noted that although 70% of foreign born Hispanics are Catholic, only 40% of third generation Hispanics are. In other words, Hispanics are coming to America to lose a faith that was afforded at least some protection by an ambient Catholic culture in Latin America.

Anonymous said...

1. New Mexico – 80/1,000

3. Texas – 73/1,000

21. California – 59/1,000
Big Hispanic states teen pregnancy. New Mexico teen Hispanics remain Catholic while in Texas and California they become Evangelicals which might explain the slight improvement in teen birth but Texas is closed the New Mexico rate. Is Texas really a bigger and more successful version of New Mexico with more Blacks and a little more Asians.
In fact the habits of Upper-Middle Class whites and Asians of some teen sex delayed since they don't want to screw their future. Lower class whites and other minorities have first sex contact a few years younger. Also, liberals allowing for lots of 16 to 18 years to use birth control seems to have an effect as well as much as the social conservatives don't like that.

Bert said...

"Most US Catholics don't know that the Church was suppressed by the communists for quite a while in Mexico less than a century ago."

That's a good point. After the overthrow of Porfirio Díaz the revolutionaries confiscated church properties and destroyed many cathedrals and monasteries.

A Catholic said...

Whether or not having so many Mexicans is good for the country is one thing. Whether Mexicans are "working out for the Catholic Church" is quite another. Parishioners who go to Mass, pray and devoutly receive the sacraments are what parishes are supposed to have. A "low level of participation in other aspects of parish life" indicates that they are real Catholics. The nonsense that modern, liberal Church bureaucrats want us involved in is nonsense. "Resources" is the code word of "pastoral planners" for money to pay parish social workers. The fewer social workers a parish has, the more Catholic it is. That Irish "powerhouse" you refer to did no good for anybody. I prove that assertion with one word: Kennedy. The Catholic faith has about died out in Boston. The fact that they go to church yet avoid the liberal bureaucrats' parish activities means that they are "working out for the Catholic Church."

Idle Spectator said...

"In Latin America in general, Catholicism has been heavily infected with Liberation Theology and other Marxist heresies, so it's no surprise that's it's not a masculine Catholicism that stands up well to competition or time."

You have to do more than simply make this statement without the evidence. Then again, that is your m.o.--stating generalizations as "absolute truth".


"...assume that their Catholics are somehow more authentically Catholic than us."

The only assumption you make repeatedly is that your brand of Catholicism is somehow infinitely better than other brands.

Big Bill said...

The biggest and fastest growing faith in Mexico is worship of Santa Muerte (Saint Death). In the last ten or fifteen years since the religion "came out of the shadows" it has gained something like 5-15 million adherents. You may have seen the skeleton bumper stickers, votive candles and paintings in Mexican stores, restaurants and (now) churches.

The amount of Santa Muerte articles, juju and paraphernalia sold in Mexico is now greater than the stuff sold honoring the Virgin of Guadelupe, who is the patron saint of Mexico.

Liberation theology is not home-grown in Mexico and it is not self-sustaining. It is pushed by Euros or Euro-educated hispanics.

Without constant Euro-Marxist reinforcement of liberation theology, the Mexicans revert to their pagan practices: philters, herbal remedies, prayers to folk saints (Jesus Malverde, Santa Muerte) etc.

Anonymous said...

Protestant pastors with moribund congregations like to "evangelize" by setting up food pantries, diaper giveaways, free tutoring, free translation services for legal problems, emergency funds for rent, utility bills, funerals, etc. The church's attendance grows by a big percentage when they open up their Hispanic Ministry. But, of course, the Hispanics may drift away if another local church starts a bigger and better Hispanic Ministry with bigger and better giveaways.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous jody said...

and hey, isn't it about time they changed the name of the united negro college fund. i mean seriously. NEGRO college fund? it's not 1965 anymore. wow. when will these people get a clue.

Yes, haven't they considered that whites may be dissuaded from donating money to organizations the names of which they are not even permitted to say out loud. Why should I, as a white man, care in the least about the NAACP, an organization which has a name I am not allowed to enunciate.

Anonymous said...

Interesting coincidence that on Cinco De Mayo, you posted this and the story regarding the Latina candidate for Congress.

So for Cinco de Mayo, two stories from a Latino perspective.

Anonymous said...

>>Idle Spectator said...
""""""""You have to do more than simply make this statement without the evidence. Then again, that is your m.o.--stating generalizations as "absolute truth".""""""""

Idly, Idly, Idly. Back to stating the Gouldian assumptions and on the eve of science writer Nicholas Wade's book that takes apart many of your cherished held assumptions. Because he's in a court of law and must, MUST by golly, present all evidence forthwith here and now like pronto!


And you stated this on no less a semi-sacred day for Cinco De Mayo, no less! Cinco de Mayo, otherwise known as the Patron of all things Margaritas and Tequilas as served in second rate chain Mexican-themed restaurants.

Idly, what IS absolute truth? What IS truth? Or one can simply fall back on the ol' "there's your truth, my truth, and there's what actually happened."

You tell us, Idly. You tell us what truth actually is.

Nostalgic said...

Brazil is supposedly the "largest Catholic country" but in fact in the last decades most of the population and specially the poor moved to "evangelical" neo-pentecostal churches inspired by US tele-evangelists. I think that in Mexico (and even more among Mexicans-americans) this is happening too.

In fact, Brazilian-created "Igreja Universal", a scammy evangelical church born in Brazil, is promoting itself in Los Angeles to the Latino community, I saw a few of those churches and they were frequented mostly by Mexicans.

So much for traditional Catholicism, which in South America used to be the religion of the middle and higher classes. (now it's liberalism for the rich, evangelical churches for the poor)

Anonymous said...

The vocations crisis being what it is, I doubt that there are a lot of bishops with a priest for a nephew these days. Any scheming that is going on is probably between ideological rather than ethnic factions.

Anonymous said...

But the Church is growing well in Asia and Africa, no?

Also, while not strictly about only Catholics, what about this?

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/04/china-estimate-of-the-day-speculative.html


Uncle Peregrine said...

Cail Corishev wrote:

"US Catholics tend to see themselves as sort of little brothers of the faith, probably because we've always been a minority here and have never had a pope (or even come close to having one considered). We tend to look at Europe with its ancient cathedrals, centuries of learning, and thousands of saints; and Latin American countries with their 70%-90% Catholic membership; and assume that their Catholics are somehow more authentically Catholic than us."

I hope there is NEVER a pope from the United States. If other countries allowed an American Pope or U.N. Secretary General, it would mean that we are no longer the most powerful country that others need to fear and resent.

roundeye said...

Is there a lot of Santa Muerte in LA? Seeing more bumper stickers and the like in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Guesses on Hispanic^K^K^K Mexican under-performance vs blacks.

1. As many have mentioned, white patronage
2. Head start--American blacks have had about 150 years to get stuff together. Chico and the MAn notwithstanding, the average Mexican-in-America is second-generation or so.
3. It's easier for elite Mexicans to assimilate, so while that smart personable Joseph "Joe" Jackson III is a deacon at the AME church and is on the committee at the local Boys and Girls Club and golfs with his Alpha Phi Alpha brothers, the smart, personable Jose "Joe" Gonzalez coaches soccer in the suburban youth league and golfs with his Phi KAppa Psi brothers.

--Discordiax

Anonymous said...

My personal observation is that churches with Tridentine masses and a standard of dress are growing while the parishes that pander to Hispanics with Spanish mass are shrinking.

White people prefer wearing suits to Mass (or at least slacks and a polo) while the Hispanics are fine plopping in ten minutes wait in flip flops and a GOT BLUMPKIN? t shirt.

Anonymous said...

The good news is that the incidence of babies born to teenage mothers has been on the decline for two decades.

The bad news, according to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, is that of the 350,000-plus teen births the national still sees annually, one out of five of them is a repeat pregnancy. In other words, babies are being born to teenage mothers who already have at least one baby, and sometimes more.

The CDC report goes on to say that most of these young women report using birth control. But the overwhelming majority of them relied on less effective forms of contraception, such as condoms or other over-the-counter products. Researchers believe tens of thousands of these pregnancies could be prevented, and parenthood delayed to a more responsible, appropriate age, if these teens had better access to more reliable forms of contraception – doctor-prescribed birth control pills, implants, patches or IUDs.

The state with the highest incidence of repeat teen pregnancies? Texas – where 22 percent of teens under 20 who give birth have already had at least one child.

Is this the same Texas, you ask, that threw away millions in funding for women’s health services in order to wage jihad against Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of low-cost reproductive care in the state?

Proof that Hispanics don't
help Catholics or social conservatives.

ben tillman said...

Steve, how does it fit into your Asian-white-Hispanic-black rankings that blacks have historically done a much better job of creating self-help organizations and institutions, from advocacy groups to colleges and scholarships to cemeteries?

It's the legacy of Jim Crow. Mexicans can just get their help from "White" institutions or the taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

A previous commenter had it right: the meaningful Church growth in the 21st c. is going to be in Asia, specifically, China, not the superficial Christianity of LatAm and Africa.

Once we reach the tipping point around 2030 when there are more observing Christians in China than in the US, look for the latter to be even more vilified by the MSM than today, as "fifth columnists".

North Korea, once the Pyongyang regime falls, will also be a prime growth area. 70 years of Communism have obliterated all traces of Buddhism or Confucianism, leaving it virgin mission territory. Even now, most Americans seem unaware that *South* Korea has undergone the biggest religious shift of any developed country in the world since WW2--from supermajority Buddhist/Confucian, to majority Christian (even a Catholic plurality) in two-and-a-half generations. Remarkable, when you think about it.

(John Knox, e.g., is read more today in Korean translation than in English anywhere, let alone in Scotland)

Anonymous said...

""""The good news is that the incidence of babies born to teenage mothers has been on the decline for two decades."""""""

Yes, that is true. There is a lower incidence of babies born among white mothers.

But you have to finish the thought.


""""The bad news, according to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, is that of the 350,000-plus teen births the national still sees annually, one out of five of them is a repeat pregnancy. In other words, babies are being born to teenage mothers who already have at least one baby, and sometimes more."""""


To finish the thought, the African-American total percentage of babies born out of wedlock (and in many, many cases, without any knowledge of whom their biological father actually is) the total percentage hovers around 80%.

This trend is not on the decline by any means. If it continues unabated by the year 2024, the total percentage of all African-Americans born out of wedlock (and without any direct knowledge of whom their actual father is) will be on the cusp of hitting 90%.

That's ninety percent out of 100, or nine out of every ten blacks on the street that grew up without a father at all in their lives, and, in most cases, do not not for certain the identity of their biological father.

Anonymous said...

""""""A previous commenter had it right: the meaningful Church growth in the 21st c. is going to be in Asia, specifically, China, not the superficial Christianity of LatAm and Africa."""""""

That's nice.



"""""Once we reach the tipping point around 2030 when there are more observing Christians in China than in the US, look for the latter to be even more vilified by the MSM than today, as "fifth columnists" """"""""


You highlight China and Korea as prominent examples of growing Christian numbers. You left out an important Asian nation in the equation.

JAPAN.

The total percentage of Christians in Japan is about two percent. There have been Christian communities in Japan for as long as China and certainly before Korea and yet it has made few inroads into the island nation as a whole.

And they especially won't listen to any Korean missionaries coming to Japan to attempt to convert them.

All these centuries and yet Japan remains uninterested in converting in large numbers to Christianity, even though they do have Japanese Christian communities.

'Tis a puzzlement, a puzzlement.

James Kabala said...

I'm not sure where you got the idea that American Catholic bishops (as opposed to Italian Renaissance prelates) are commonly succeeded by their nephews.

Anonymous said...

"The Catholic Church in America was built into a powerhouse in the first half of the 20th Century by the organizational and political talents of Irish-Americans..."


The legendary Irish-American skill at politicking is very strange from a long-term historical perspective. Before the early 19th Century, Irish politics tended to be fractious and backstabbing- hence the (probably apocryphal) line from George Bernard Shaw- "Put an Irishman on the spit and you can always get another Irishman to turn him". The English never had much trouble using the "Divide and Conquer" approach. In that context, the emergence of Daniel O'Connell and his mass-movements for Repeal and Catholic Emancipation is something sudden and unexpected. Was it really all the result of one man's organizational genius? Did the decades of oppression under the Penal Laws breed a new level of solidarity amongst Irish Catholics? Or was that the period during which the level of inbreeding dramatically declined? Probably all three? I have no idea, but it seems like an important question. In any case, Irish-Americans flooded into American cities with lots of pre-existing experience in how to create and maintain effective political machines.


"It is likely that many of the bishops view today's immigration through the experience of their own forebears, and there is little doubt that past immigration benefited the Catholic Church."

Irish-Americans who fall victim to this Ellis Island mythology are being particularly obtuse. While the Irish were viewed with suspicion from some quarters for their Catholicism, the reality is that the Irish were extremely well-suited to integrate into 19th century America. Ireland had been politically linked with England, though certainly not fully integrated, since the late 12th century, and Irish missionaries were visiting England as early as the 630s AD. In 1850, Ireland was probably 50% English-speaking, and its legal system was totally based on English Common Law (Gaelic Brehon law having been extinguished around 1610 or so). Anglophone America getting immigrants from Ireland in 1850 isn't like America getting immigrants from Mexico or Nigeria in 2014; a closer comparison would be something like Iceland getting immigrants from Finland, or Germany getting immigrants from Poland. Different peoples, sure, but not so different that they've never met each other in a thousand years.

But hey, Thomas Nast caricatured your great-great-grandfather by giving him a monkey's face in 1875, so I guess that means you have a moral duty to never, ever express skepticism about any immigrant from anywhere.

Rohan Swee said...

Tom Piatak: These [Slovak] immigrants founded a Catholic parish in 1887, and they and their children founded seven more Roman Catholic parishes and two Byzantine Catholic parishes in Cleveland over the next forty years, in addition to founding a Benedictine abbey and a high school for boys. By and large, these parishes were staffed by Slovak priests and the parish schools were staffed by Slovak nuns and the funding for them was provided by the immigrants themselves. The Slovak immigrants came from a world where life revolved around the village church and the leading authority figure was the parish priest. This experience inspired them to build churches and schools once they came to America, just as similar experiences inspired other Catholic immigrants to undertake comparable efforts all over the country.

Today's immigration is different. Hispanic Catholics are not funding a boom of new Catholic churches and schools.


The old Catholic immigrants funded schools and hospitals. The new Catholic immigrants bankrupt schools and hospitals.

I have to laugh at the way my local Catholic (and other Christian) churches fall all over themselves doing "Hispanic outreach". There just aren't that many Hispanic immigrants in the city, but every church seems to offer Spanish services, has prominently displayed dual-language notice boards for everything, and Spanish-language ones for their outreach programs. It's a SWPL-y sort of place, and I often have a comic vision of the Nice White Ladies of both sexes in these churches viciously competing for the very limited numbers of status-enhancing prize Mexicans and Central Americans available.

Anonymous said...

"Kind of a not-so-secret secret in my neck of the woods is how Catholic parishes are segregating."

"Mr. Ospino finds a relatively high level of participation in church sacraments, but a low level of participation in other aspects of parish life".

True on both counts around here. Mine is a big, active parish doing lots of Masses every weekend. There's a huge Latin American population, but if you never went to the afternoon Spanish Mass, you'd never guess it. The KofC is mostly old white guys, though there's a tiny sprinkling of "diversity" among the contingent of local cops who've joined. I think the head of the parish youth group is either first- or second-generation South American, but she looks as European as they come and speaks without any hint of an accent. I've been to the Spanish Mass a handful of times because I wanted to sleep late, and I once chatted about the Rosary with a Colombian gentleman, but other than that, we live separate existences. It's not the worst situation in the world, by any means, but neither does it say much for the magic of "assimilation".

Anonymous said...

The Spanish culture, which is admittedly not the same as the Mexican culture is responsible for the Jesuits and Opus Dei.

If America attracted more upper middle class Hispanics would it also get more organised Catholics (and anti-clericals) coming through?

James Kabala said...

"The Spanish culture, which is admittedly not the same as the Mexican culture is responsible for the Jesuits and Opus Dei."

And the Dominicans! (O.P., not D.R.)

Anonymous said...

"Back to stating the Gouldian assumptions and on the eve of science writer Nicholas Wade's book that takes apart many of your cherished held assumptions."

You know what, I would like to apologize to Idle Spectator for my rant. Indeed, the wrong view of science constantly betrays itself in the desire to be right.

Anonymous said...

"""""Indeed, the wrong view of science constantly betrays itself in the desire to be right.""""""


Yes, Karl Popper's famous quote. But will you also apologize to Nicholas Wade as well?

Anonymous said...

I call BS on the Irish bishop's nephew. Look at the number of recent Hispanic bishops in California. Half the dioceses are led by Spanglish-spouting Mexican-origin bishops. Jaime Soto of Sacramento hasn't internalized that the Anglos fund the weekly collection and the annual appeal. I am tired personally of the half-assed pandering to the Hispanics, with readings and prayers in Spanish when 2/3 of the congregation is white and speaks English. I refuse to contribute to anything other than the parish essentials and St. Vincent de Paul's efforts to feed the hungry.

Anonymous said...

You highlight China and Korea as prominent examples of growing Christian numbers. You left out an important Asian nation in the equation...JAPAN. The total percentage of Christians in Japan is about two percent. There have been Christian communities in Japan for as long as China and certainly before Korea and yet it has made few inroads into the island nation as a whole...All these centuries and yet Japan remains uninterested in converting in large numbers to Christianity, even though they do have Japanese Christian communities. 'Tis a puzzlement, a puzzlement.

Only a puzzlement if you haven't read much history. Bottom-line: Christianity missed its narrow window of opportunity in Japan (circa 1550-1600) but actually came close. The Jesuits arrived at a time when both Shinto and Buddhism were comparatively weak in Japan (after an age of scandals) and managed to crack double-digit percentages in terms of population converted. It was the Tokugawa reaction which clamped down on all "foreign" religions.

But it's pointless to extrapolate anything from the Japanese experience to the rest of Asia--they are just as inscrutable to other Asians as they are to us.

Anonymous said...

North Korea, once the Pyongyang regime falls, will also be a prime growth area. 70 years of Communism have obliterated all traces of Buddhism or Confucianism, leaving it virgin mission territory. Even now, most Americans seem unaware that *South* Korea has undergone the biggest religious shift of any developed country in the world since WW2--from supermajority Buddhist/Confucian, to majority Christian (even a Catholic plurality) in two-and-a-half generations. Remarkable, when you think about it.

Most Americans are also probably unaware that South Korea has the second largest Christian missionary "force" after the United States. They are everywhere, including in Afghanistan and Iraq (ill-advisedly if you asked me, but I respect their zeal).

However, your stats are a bit off. South Korea is a plurality Christian country (stats vary but roughly 25-35% of South Koreans are Christians), but unlike people of other faiths there, Korean Christians have high participation rates. Among the Christians, Protestants (many of them "evangelicals") are the majority, not Catholics. But Catholicism is growing fast in Korea.

There is a small but rapidly growing underground Christian movement in NORTH Korea. I know the people who undertake secret missions into North Korea via China. They take INCREDIBLE risks for evangelization.

And, of course, a large majority of Korean immigrants to the United States are Christians. I live in Northern Virginia where I see Korean Protestant churches seemingly every other block. There is also an entire Catholic parish that is specifically Korean.

Cail Corishev said...

Here in a Midwest town that's 1% Hispanic (no more than 4% of the Catholic population), it's the nice white ladies and the liberal priests who insist on having a Spanish Mass. The Hispanics themselves never would have asked for it or tried to organize anything.

Incidentally, those same liberal priests and nice white Boomers opposed having a Latin Mass, even though that's universal and is how the Church used to serve all cultures and languages instead of fracturing to try to please each one.

Anonymous said...

Christianity missed its narrow window of opportunity in Japan (circa 1550-1600) but actually came close. The Jesuits arrived at a time when both Shinto and Buddhism were comparatively weak in Japan (after an age of scandals) and managed to crack double-digit percentages in terms of population converted. It was the Tokugawa reaction which clamped down on all "foreign" religions.

And of course, those Jesuits came with other Iberians who traded arquebuses to Christian Daimyos/warlords. It revolutionized Japanese warfare during the Sengoku period ("Warring States").

It also helped that a lot of local Buddhist sects were heavily armed and were a thorn to various Daimyos. Oda Nobunaga in particular waged a savage total war against some of the sects. By the way, it was Nobunaga who pioneered the technique of rotating volley firing for arquebusiers in Japan. The famous Battle of Nagashino was where the finest cavalry of the fearsome Takeda clan was mowed down by Oda clan's arquebusiers. It's often considered one of the most pivotal battles in Japanese military history.

Another thing that hurt Christianity in Japan was that bulk of the Christian Daimyos and populations were in the western part of Japan that suffered heavy casualties during the Imjin Wars (Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea).

Tokugawa Ieyasu sat out that war pretty in the east and then defeated the western faction at the Battle of Sekigahara after Hideyoshi's death and the Japanese retreat from Korea. And Ieyasu wasn't a fan of Christians (even though he was Nobunaga's close ally before Nobunaga's death by treachery).

He and his line intensified Hideyoshi's persecution of Christianity pretty hard after the Shogunate was established. But a small number of "Kirishitans" survived and maintained their faith secretly:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Christians_of_Japan

Anonymous said...

By the way, Asians at Ivy League universities have made the latter much more evangelical than ever before and may perhaps explain the hostility that Jewish administrators have toward Asian students:

"In the past twenty years, many traditionally white campus religious groups have become Asian American. Today there are more than fifty evangelical Christian groups at UC Berkeley and UCLA alone, and 80% of their members are Asian American. At Harvard, Asian Americans constitute 70% of the Harvard Radcliffe Christian Fellowship, while at Yale, Campus Crusade for Christ is now 90% Asian. Stanford's Intervarsity Christian Fellowship has become almost entirely Asian."

https://nyupress.org/books/book-details.aspx?bookid=10096

Anonymous said...

If asians are christianizing the best colleges in America as in the post above, that could lead to conflict with the jewish and liberal atheist elite who currently dominate these institutions.

Anonymous said...

""""""Another thing that hurt Christianity in Japan was that bulk of the Christian Daimyos and populations were in the western part of Japan that suffered heavy casualties during the Imjin Wars (Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea).

Tokugawa Ieyasu sat out that war pretty in the east and then defeated the western faction at the Battle of Sekigahara after Hideyoshi's death and the Japanese retreat from Korea. And Ieyasu wasn't a fan of Christians (even though he was Nobunaga's close ally before Nobunaga's death by treachery).

He and his line intensified Hideyoshi's persecution of Christianity pretty hard after the Shogunate was established. But a small number of "Kirishitans" survived and maintained their faith secretly:""""""""


Some of these events are covered in Kurosawa's epic Kagemusha film (winner of Cannes Film Festival's highest award for director). In the film, Tokugawa has a Cardinal's hat in his rom and speaks Latin (the Christian phrase for the trinity, in the name of the father, son, holy ghost) and amen'.





"""""""But it's pointless to extrapolate anything from the Japanese experience to the rest of Asia--they are just as inscrutable to other Asians as they are to us."""""""


Well, then perhaps today some more missionaries could be sent over to Japan in an attempt to convert them. Could be a challenge, but the church has always been up to meet the challenge.

After all, if Christianity could survive in China and even in North Korea, then Japan can't fare any worse for the trying.

Anonymous said...

""""""If asians are christianizing the best colleges in America as in the post above, that could lead to conflict with the jewish and liberal atheist elite who currently dominate these institutions.""""""""

Not necessarily. Jews do not like to appear as racist so, much in the same way that they tend to not comment upon blacks' religiosity in general, they would probably tend to ignore the religiosity in Asians as well.