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  • Latin Immigration Is Turning The U.S. Catholic Church Upside Down

    Latin immigration is transforming the Catholic Church in the U.S.

    A Wall Street Journal analysis points out that a flood of Latin Catholic immigrants are sweeping the Southern and Western states and filling their churches to the brim, while churches in the North and East experience decline.

    Los Angeles’ Archdiocese, for example, baptized more infants than New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., combined.

    “In the West and South, they’re saying ‘I need a bigger church … the church can’t catch up fast enough,’” Mark Gray, senior research associate for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, told The Wall Street Journal. “In the Midwest and Northeast, they’re thinking about paying the heating bill, the air conditioning bill, the parish staff, and their old parish might need a new roof. They have a lot of needs and too few parishoners.”

    The wave of immigrants has changed the demographics of the church, which was once mostly white. A May Pew study found that 41 percent of Catholics are racial and ethnic minorities, up from 35 percent in 2007.

    The Pew study found, however, that the flood of immigrants has not caused a spike in Catholicism for the country as a whole. The number of Catholics in America has declined slightly, from 54 million in 2007 to about 51 million in 2015.

    Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the U.S. this week.

    Read the full WSJ analysis here.

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