Pope Francis' Impact on Hispanics? We Talk to Father James

Posted: Apr 20 2014

It’s exciting!  There’s a new Pope, and he is of Latin American roots which has meant electric excitement in the Americas, having a Pope from this side of the world. At the same time, the new Pope’s Latin American background got us to thinking about what kind of impact this would have on Hispanics in the U.S. and Latin America.And while only 54% of U.S. Hispanics identify as Catholics, many are predicting the election of Pope Francis I will encourage more Hispanics to be more active in their Catholic faith, and even help bring many Hispanics who have left – back to the fold.  .”  An article from Catholic World Reportquotes a priest saying “Latinos are hungry for direction in their faith.”  The article continues saying: “it is not hard to bring Latinos back to the Church”. 


  1. Father James Farfaglia, who is the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Corpus Christi, Texas  about how the election of this new Pope might impact Hispanics.  Father James tells us “The impact of a Latin American/Spanish speaking pope will have a huge impact. This is a great boost to Hispanic Catholics. Spanish speaking Catholics make up a huge number of practicing Catholics not only in the Latin America, but in the U.S. as well. Research data is showing that Spanish speaking Catholics will become the largest group of Catholics in the U.S. Without a doubt, Hispanics are the future of the U.S. Catholic Church.”Father James also discussed why Catholicism is so rooted in Latin American culture.  While 54% of U.S. Hispanics identify themselves as Catholic, 80-90% of Latin Americans (country dependent) identify themselves as Catholic.  Father James says “the Catholic Faith was brought to Latin American by Spain. The challenge lies in the fact that we are losing a lot of Catholics to other religious groups [in the U.S.].   I think that the example of the new Pope will really energize the Catholic Church in Latin America and here in the U.S.  For example, here at home, it is really important that all priests learn Spanish and speak it well.”Now as for the overall impact of the Pope and the future of the church, many are excited about the impact Pope Francis will undoubtedly have in poverty stricken Third World countries, and his overall impact on the Church.  Father James says: “the future of the Church is in Latin America and the future of the Catholic Church in the U.S. is with the Hispanic population. After Pope Francis, it would be great to see a pope from Africa and a pope from Asia. The future of the Church is with Latin America, Africa and Asia.”-Hispanic.com Staff


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