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New Los Angeles coadjutor: secular culture saps Hispanic Catholic identity

May 28, 2010

In an exclusive interview with Catholic News Agency, Archbishop José Gomez, the newly installed coadjutor of Los Angeles, speaks at some length about the challenges of pastoral ministry toward the rapidly growing Hispanic community in the US.

Will they live by the Church’s teachings and promote and defend these teachings in the public square? Or will their Catholicism simply become a kind of “cultural” background, a personality trait, a part of their upbringing that shapes their perspective on the world but compels no allegiance or devotion to the Church?

The greatest obstacle to effective pastoral work with Hispanic Americans, the archbishop says, is the influence of the surrounding secular culture-- which he describes in terms similar to those Pope Benedict has used in describing Europe:

"Practical atheism" has become the de facto state religion in America. The price of participation in our economic, political, and social life is that we essentially have to agree to conduct ourselves as if God does not exist.


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