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Canadian cardinal rues Latin American immigrants’ loss of faith

Catholic World News - December 13, 2012

In Rome for a conference commemorating the 15th anniversary Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto rued the loss of faith among the descendants of Latin American immigrants to secularized Canada.

“I think that the challenge is always when you have people from other countries bringing their own culture and the wealth of their faith, then you have the second generation or the third and fourth and there is the danger that they will be absorbed into a secular culture,” he said. “Apart from being secular, it is also less rich. It is plastic; it is not something to celebrate. A lot of it is very, very superficial with a distorted anthropology and a distorted sense of the human person. So what a tragedy it is when people come with a very deep and fruitful culture and it gets watered down.”

“I think it’s very true too that when a country or a community depends upon a religion based upon a culture, then it’s not a lasting thing,” he added. “There have to be deeper roots. When a faith is largely cultural, then it will disappear when it is absorbed by another culture. We really only have a certain amount of time to develop the deep roots and hope that they can be strong enough to resist the secularized nature of their surrounding environment.”

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