Sunday, December 24, 2006
Maybe it's just because today is Christmas Eve, but the Times is having a good day. This long essay, "Nuevo Catholics," from the magazine is a thorough and engaging look at the transformation of the Catholic Church in America associated with Latino immigration, especially immigration from Mexico. The discussion of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Cristeros, and the deep devotion of Spanish-speaking Catholics is rich, and welcome.
True, there are a few tinny moments, like this:
Within certain orders active in Los Angeles, above all the Jesuits, campaigns for social justice continue to loom large, and it sometimes can seem as if the social commitments of the church of an earlier era are alive and flourishing in L.A., no matter what the current Vatican line may be.
"Current Vatican line"? Whatever. Is the suggestion that the "current Vatican line" is somehow not consonant with concerns about social justice? I also think the piece also moves a bit too quickly, in the effort to highlight Cardinal Mahoney's commendable commitment to the Latinos in his diocese, past the quite reasonable concerns about his leadership generally, and about his role in the sexual-abuse scandal. Still, it's an inspiring Christmas read, I think, and one that leaves the reader -- this reader, anyway -- with a lot of hope.