Julia G. Young
From Chile to Mexico—and among U.S. Latinos—there was a collective gasp of excitement over the election of Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis. To assess the possible impact of the new pope on Latin-American Catholicism, however, it is necessary to understand several complex and deeply entrenched challenges.
As Timothy Matovina points out in his comprehensive Latino Catholicism, many depictions of U.S. Catholic history relegate the significance of Hispanic Catholicism "to a romanticized and bygone day of the Spanish missions.”
Catholicism in Latin America
Some Catholics have likened the Obama administration to that of 1920s authoritarian president Plutarco Elías Calles. The comparison is erroneous, misleading, and ahistorical.