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9:41AM

Why the next pope should be a Latino

First, there is just the global distribution argument.

Then there's the dynamism/adaptation argument: a recent NYT story talk about how parts of the Brazilian church are "countering evangelicalism and secularism with livelier worship."

Why?

Market shift:

So both the center of global gravity in the church and its most likely form of marketing salvation.

Brazil is experiencing a huge expansion of its middle class.  People undergoing such tremendous socio-economic churn want moral handholds.  But they also want it in a form that they find conducive to their daily lives, and the traditional Catholic church has simply changed too slowly in response to the competition.

I saw a version of this in Ethiopia two years ago.  Place is booming and all sorts of change happening.  The classic Ethiopian Christian faith - very Catholic in form - just wasn't getting it done.  But you'd see these evangelical churches (mostly Pentacostal) everywhere and they'd be packed (I mean, with crowds extending out into the street!) - and jumping.

My fear with Benedict is that he retires so he can - in his typical control-freak fashion - determine his successor.  Let's hope it's something more than personal ego at work here.

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Reader Comments (3)

I personally think it is in fact about ego, but it's even bigger than that. It's about the current aging generation of Vatican traditionalists fighting for their lives as they're being almost literally overrun by third world countries and the Liberation Theology movement.

In my opinion nothing will change until this older generation dies off and makes way for younger less hide bound Cardinals.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris Patti

The term Latino is more of a marker for where someone was born. So, indeed, there could, for example, be a Latino Pope from Colombia of Italian descent, and it will ironically, as far as ethnicity, be back to the normal, "Italian only" pope.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNahmann

Having served as a Franciscan missionary in Central America in 1970s, I observed the continued poverty of the vast majority of Central Americans, most of whom are Roman Catholics. I was and am a staunch supporter of of "Liberation Theology" based on Gospel teachings. If the Church truly "opts for the poor" I also strongly agree that the next Pope should be from a third word country - either Latin America or Africa. I would also suggest that our government stop supporting corrupt governments that continue to oppress the poor.

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