Latin Mass & Hispanics

Are Hispanics “Catholic”?

Here’s an article that mentions the incorporation of “Afro-Brazilian rites” into the Roman Catholic liturgy in Brazil. In fact, this is a widespread phenomenon across all of Central and South America. Given that the vast majority of inhabitants in these places are Amerindian, mestizo, or African, they identify neither with Europe nor with European traditions. Parishioners, priests and bishops recently have demanded the expunging of “European elements” from their liturgy (which is occurring in the U.S. too), and want to replace them with various Amerindian elements (e.g. Aztlan) or African elements (as in Brazil) depending upon the backgrounds of the people.

For the record, I don’t have a problem with the incorporation of indigenous elements. This, for example, is part of the beauty of Orthodox Christianity. It emphases the homogenous ethnicity of its various congregations while simultaneously worshiping universal elements of Christianity. This is much closer to the original Christian churches than those today plagued by liberal notions of multiculturalism, universal entitlement and globalist humanitarianism. But we should label this Hispanic trend for what it is, and it is not Western. It is part of their own unique history, and not a part of our, Western, tradition.

And not only have many of these people been converting to Pentecostalism, which is more than happy to eradicate any European liturgical practices in favor of indigenous ones, but many of them have been converting to Islam. I don’t know the numbers for Central and South America, but for the past few years in the U.S. over 200,000 Hispanics have converted to Islam, and this phenomenon will continue.

Regarding immigration, this should raise doubts about the prospects of “assimilation” of these people. I suspect that they will assimilate many Americans, but doubt the opposite will occur.

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31 thoughts on “Latin Mass & Hispanics

  1. The Spoiler

    Yea, I know that Mestizos are vehemently opposed to Latin Mass and other types of European tradition.

  2. Bede Post author

    I am not saying that one is better than the other. I am talking about two distinct traditions.

    Mestizos are rejecting Western traditions wholesale, as they are not Western.

    We, however, as people of European descent, should cherish Western traditions, because they are our traditions.

  3. Bede Post author

    “Culture” is a very modern concept, only from the 19th century. The more ancient concept is genealogy. In terms of genealogy, they are Mestizo, mostly Amerindian with a little Spaniard mixed in. Or they are African. Why do you think they are expunging all European elements from the liturgy and replacing them with Amerindian or African elements?

  4. Bede Post author

    Spanish and Portugese Catholicism in Spain and Portugal are Western. In South and Central America Catholicism is becoming very anti-Western. It looks as if we are both on-line right now.

  5. Bede Post author

    But Mestizos and Amerndians are not Europeans. They can be Christian, but not Western. They are primarily Asiatic. I am speaking in terms of genealogy. And they do not seem to self-identify as Western: just look at all the Amerindian and African elements they are putting in their liturgy.

  6. Bede Post author

    Congratulations on having a free night. Pour yourself some wine or coffee (or the drink of your choice) and relax.

  7. Bede Post author

    No, it is not based upon the modern concept of “race” per se, but on the ancient Biblical and Greco-Roman notions of ancestry. Who are these peoples’ ancestors? What are their ancestral traditions? This is a very basic concept among ancient cultures, and was central to ancient Christianity.

  8. Bede Post author

    I would disagree. I am Protestant. I think there are good elements of Protestantism. For example, in the Renaissance, many of the Protestants, avid readers of St. Augustine, wanted to return to a Church of St. Augustine, its simplicity and its regionalism.

    The Roman Catholic Church is in decline. Within our lifetime there will be a third-world Pope who will usher in a globalist crusade, and this will be the end of the Catholic Church. Just read Camp of the Saints – at least for Westerners.

  9. Bede Post author

    You cannot reject your ancestors. And what you describe often involved much synthesis.

    Hispanics, by and large, in terms of ancestry, are tied to Asia or Africa. And this is how they now self-identify.

    I am friends with a number of Catholic Priests who have spent time in Central and South America, and there is a wholesale rejection of Western rites and Western traditions. There is a massive movement to expunge all European traditions and replace them with African or Amerindian traditions.

    Vatican II is a mess. Conservative forms of Protestantism are truer to the older forms of Catholicism than this globalist nightmare. I do, though, have respect for the breakaway Catholics who reject Vatican II and even for those who have stayed with the Church, even though they sense it’s taken a wrong turn.

    As an Orthodox, how can you downplay ethnicity? It’s built into Orthodox Christianity and part of its beauty. It is very close to ancient Christianity in this respect.

  10. Three Solas

    The problem with Catholicism is that it is heretical on the most essential issue, salvation.

    Once they get their house in order on sola fide, then we will talk.

  11. Bede Post author

    No, but Orthodox Christianity allows for homogenous ethnicity. You have “Greek Orthodox,” “Russian Orthodox,” etc. Recently there has been a movement of Anglo-Saxon Orthodox, for people of British descent. You do have Orthodox communities based upon ethnicity. This is very close to ancient Christianity.

  12. Jan Rogozinski

    Dear Three Solas and other ‘fundamentalists”

    So many of you are Deformed Jews. Read the New Testament! The Messiah has come! Christ is risen!

    If you ever do read the NT, you will note that EVERY TIME Jesus says to some one “your faith has saved you,” the person he is addressing has just DONE something. Dropped down from the roof to see Jesus, walked ten miles to see Jesus, touched His robe, given half his goods to the poor. Whatever. In the four Gospels, Jesus Christ consistently teaches us that works is faith, and faith is works. How can you miss that?

    As an Orthodox Christian, I can testify that every Orthodox group uses about the same text (maybe 95% identical) of the Divine Liturgy. At the same time, it also is true than many of the faithful are chauvinists for their own “ethnicity.” The worst are the Greeks.

    Yet one may ask why the Papists should copy this Greek heresy of Chauvinism..

  13. Bede Post author

    “it also is true than many of the faithful are chauvinists for their own “ethnicity.” The worst are the Greeks.”

    I do not see what the problem is, as this should be celebrated, not shunned. The beauty of Orthodox Christianity is that it does not ignore the historical / ethnic. It is not a left-wing “proposition religion,” so to speak. A congregation is historically grounded in its ethnicity, but it also acquires the universal message. This, I believe, is perfect harmony of the historically particular and the universal.

    I am not Orthodox, but the Orthodox Christians I know (whether they be Greek, Russian, Serbian or Anglo-Saxon Orthodox) are proud of their ethnicity and use it foster a real sense of community. Mind you, the word ‘religion’ in the Latin means “binding.” A congregation held together by kith and kin is probably more tightly bound than any other you could find.

  14. Three Solas

    Jan,

    The only passage that can be honestly interpreted as saying faith plus works is required for salvation is James 2:14-26. But an essential rule of Biblical interpretation is that scripture interprets scripture. When faced with a difficult passage, you look at the rest of the Bible for context. There are very many verses that CLEARLY state salvation is through faith alone. It is an unmistakable theme that runs throughout the New Testament. It is the very essence of the Gospel. Jesus did the work so you don’t have to. In the light of the OVERWHELMING scriptural evidence, the passage in James is clearly referring to what a true faith will look like, not that the works are an essential part of meriting salvation. The notion that sinful man could ever merit salvation runs contrary to the theme of scriptures as well. I could cite pages full of proof texts, but I will spare you, since I suspect you have had this debate with “Fundamentalists” before. I will just cite two.

    Romans 3: 20-22

    Eph 2: 8-9

    Read those and then get back to me. Why do we have this debate in Christianity? The Bible could not be clearer on the subject.

  15. Three Solas

    BTW, what do the Jews have to do with this? It was people who wanted to ADD WORKS such as circumcision who were considered Judaizers. The doctrine of faith alone is the farthest thing from that.

  16. Bede Post author

    I am an authentic Christian, which is why I reject the left-wing notions inherited from the Enlightenment. I want to return to the classical notion of the importance of common ancestry. If belief is all that matters, then you have essentially a post-Enlightenment proposition religion, akin to the left-wing notion of a proposition nation.

    What I am saying, regarding ancestry, is similar to Judaism, but it is also present among all the pagan religions. It is present in ancient Christianity, but has become unpronounced in the last few centuries. Like CS Lewis, I think the only way Christianity can be saved is by returning to its pagan roots, and an essential part of this is recognizing the importance of the classical concept of ancestry.

    But we are way off track. This thread is not about Orthodox Christianity.

    This thread is about Hispanics and how they do not identify with the West. This is a widespread phenomenon, and well documented. All over Central and South America Hispanics are removing “Western elements” from their liturgy and replacing them with Amerindian or African elements. This is even happening in the U.S. I do not begrudge them because of this, nor am I saying that they are not Christian, but they are not Western. (They themselves do not even want to be considered Western.)

  17. Bede Post author

    I would recommend that everyone read this article, published here today at Conservative Times. It not only applies to the South, but to any community of people seeking authenticity. It is very relevant to the conversation we are having here.

  18. J.D.

    “… every religion has tenets, beliefs and propositions that people hold when they belong to the religion. How that’s left wing is not clear to me.”

    I think what Bede is trying to drive at is something that Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant can agree on: Christianity is not a religion — it is the living, mystical body of Christ.

    Hence it is always risky in seeking to identify the essence of the Faith with “tenets, beliefs and propositions.”

    “Jews care about common ancestors. Christians care about belief and deeds.”

    Actually I should think the entire notion of apostolic authority is rooted in a recognition of the metaphysical and mystical reality of *inheritance*. To my limited understanding, both Catholic & Orthodox Churches see the Faith as something transmitted in a manner analogous to the propagation of life, from generation to generation down through time — as well as laterally across geographical and cultural boundaries.

    EOD, I’m not sure how your comment:

    “The Orthodox Church is most certainly not ethnically based in any way.”

    meshes with your criticism of your own Greek Orthodox co-religionists, criticism that (if one sees ethnicity as an evil) could very easily also apply to Orthodoxy in most of the rest of the world.

    My impression has always seconded that of Bede, that the Orthodox Churches are the most ethnically-oriented of all — Serb, Greek, Russian, etc. The phenomenon of “Orthodixie” (no disrespect intended, believe me) sprouting in the South would be analogous to the early days of the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe around the time of Cyril and Methodius.

    For the record — not that it should matter too much for the discussion, I hope — I am Catholic, myself. The Orthodox Church says my wife is Orthodox while the Catholic Church says she is Catholic.

    “God only knows what kind of Protestant you are.”

    Well, yes — and let’s keep this in mind. Actually this is a great discussion so far, one of the most sane debates on CT to date, so let’s all try to stay charitable.

    I think Bede’s basic point is:

    “I do not see what the problem is, as this should be celebrated, not shunned. The beauty of Orthodox Christianity is that it does not ignore the historical / ethnic….. A congregation is historically grounded in its ethnicity, but it also acquires the universal message.”

    To say we should celebrate (or even accept) the destruction of cultural and ethnic identity based on some disproportionate fixation on Galatians 3:28 is rather like saying that we should celebrate the queer movement / feminism’s attack on gender distinctions based on the very same passage, or celebrate the destruction of the family unit based on Matthew 10: 35-37.

    If it is a choice between family and God, of course one must choose God, as did Abraham. If it is a choice between ethnic loyalties and God, of course one must choose God.

    But in and of themselves family and ethnicity are good elements of a Creation to be redeemed, and cannot — nor should not — be willed away, a la John Lennon’s nihilistic “Imagine”.

  19. Anglo-Saxon Orthodox

    Good site. This article was just forwarded to me on an anglo-orthdox listserve.

    Ethnicity is very important for authentic orthodox christianity. this is how it was in days of old.

    I am Anglo-Saxon Orthodox. If you are of English ancestry, and around the North Carolina area, email me:

    anglosaxonorthdox@yahoo.com

    Thomas

  20. Filmer

    “Like CS Lewis, I think the only way Christianity can be saved is by returning to its pagan roots, and an essential part of this is recognizing the importance of the classical concept of ancestry.”

    Bede, I wouldn’t go that far. Christianity really is about what you believe, just not exclusively. This is more true for conservative Protestants than it is for Catholics or Orthodox. See Three Solas above. The point is that Christianity does not exclude concerns about ethnicity, kin, etc. In fact, you could say it presupposes them.

  21. Bede Post author

    Filmer,

    I agree. Perhaps I overstated a bit.

    I don’t know exactly what CS Lewis meant by that, but I presume that he meant that Christianity, since the Enlightenment, had become so drenched in cliched abstractions that it no longer had any vitality. It needed to become more grounded in actual traditions than exhibit mere abstract propositions. He might have had Nietzsche in mind in recognizing the importance of tribal loyalties. I don’t know.

    At its basis, Christianity is about belief and works – different kinds of Christianity rank these differently. Usually, older forms emphasize works; newer, beliefs.

    And you are right, original Christianity does not renounce the ethnic. It, I believe, in fact presupposes it. It is part of one’s overall identity. The very etymological meaning of ‘religion’ from the Latin means “binding,” the type of binding that one has grounded in a community of strong ancestral ties.

    Traditional Christianity and most of Western Civilization are firmly grounded in the concept of the ancestral. It is not a coincidence that Marx, Trotsky, Leo Strauss et al. made “the ancestral” their #1 enemy in their quest to eradicate the real West.

  22. J.D.

    It could be that what Lewis had in mind is that Christianity provides a solution for a problem that the pagans could have recognized, but moderns cannot; also that Christianity challenges people to expand and baptize virtues that pagans recognized, but moderns do not.

    For example, to moderns who have subconciously accepted Kantian universalism and deny the worth of bonds to kith and kin, being “brothers in Christ” is a nice-sounding phrase which they may parrot but which cannot sink in to their hearts, since — unlike the nobler Greeks & Romans — such moderns have no conception of the meaning of brotherhood in the less-mystical, more common and earthly sense of blood-ties & family-loyalty.

  23. AngloDox

    I have heard about this… Mexicans want to eradicate any traces of European influences and incorporate native elements.

    I wish them the best..I really do not care. Let them do what they want…so long as they do NOT do it in the U.S.

    They are not my tribal brothers, as mine hail from the great plains of the UK and Europe. My noble and beautiful tribal members have their own European traditions.

  24. AngloDox

    For the ancient pagans and for the ancient Christians ethnicity was very important. Their entire societies were based on concepts of ancestry. Only a fool would argue otherwise.

  25. Filmer

    “Is it the position of the authors of this site that the message of Christ is limited only to people who happen to already be related to Christians? If so, how are you any different than Jews?”

    EOD, are you really not getting it, or are you deliberately mischaracterizing. Of course Christianity is not just for blood kin. No credible person has ever said that. The Bible says “go yea to all the world.” The point we are making is that there is nothing wrong with considering ethnicity from a Christian/Biblical point of view. People have been considering ethnicity down through the ages. Christianity does not invalidate that.

  26. Filmer

    “At its basis, Christianity is about belief and works – different kinds of Christianity rank these differently. Usually, older forms emphasize works; newer, beliefs.”

    Bede, Protestants would argue that faith is in fact older because it is what the Apostles, especially Paul, preached. The Reformation was in part a recovery of the more ancient tradition/concept.

    With all due respect to Catholics like J.D. who I supposes think the Reformation was the primordial rebellion. (Well after the Garden, at least.)

  27. Anglo-Saxon Orthodox

    It sounds to me that you have a very unorthodox notion of orthodoxy. And if you are close to D.C., you probably belong to some left-wing, multicultural denomination, if you even are what you say.

  28. Anglo-Saxon Orthodox

    “We revel in the multi-ethnic, pan-Orthodox flavor of our community!”

    Let’s just all hold hands, sing kumbaya, and celebrate diversity.

  29. Bede Post author

    Both ancient Orthodoxy and ancient Roman Catholicism had tribal elements. For example, it was expected that people would marry in their own tribe, and if not, then a type of dispensation was often required.

    In ancient Orthodox and RC communities, they would not have to accept an outsider. It was not required. There was no PC notion of “humanitarianism.” The only way to enter one of these communities was usually by marriage, and even this would usually require a type of local dispensation.

    Such notions are practiced in Roman law throughout the Middle Ages. And Orthodox communities have prided themselves on their ethnic homogeneity.

    It is only in recent times that PC notions have taken over aspects of Christianity, celebrating political correctness, multiculturalism, etc. Post Vatican II Catholicism, for example, is replete with this political correctness.

    I am not saying that ethnicity is the most important factor. But I am saying that it is complete PC nonsense to say that it is unimportant, or that we should ignore it.

    The ancient way, for pagan or Christian, is to follow the way of his ancestors. To renounce one’s ancestors is to become a modern shadow of a man. To say that ancestry is unimportant is to attempt to live in an a-historical vacuum.

    Living in today’s world of migration and uprootedness, I think that many people fail to realize how rooted the ancients were. They were rooted in tribal communities, within a particular ethnicity, in a particular place, with particular customs. Even the RC Church was very decentralized and reflected various ethnicities.

    They were not leaving their ancestral lands, hanging out with various ethnicities at coffee shops, growing up and living in 5 cities, off to college, etc. They were rooted people. And if they were uprooted, they could not find peace until they returned to live again in their ancestral lands – just like Odysseus or Moses. They tended to distrust anyone outside the tribe. Priests worried about marriage outside the tribe, and would only allow it with special dispensations.

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