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.
Virtually everyone in Latin America (and North America as well) has every reason to be thrilled with the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy. Still, there are some who continue to raise questions about his actions during Argentina's guerra sucia.
In winning election as Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio defied the papal pundits, even though they should have seen him coming. His rise marks the decisive shift within Roman Catholicism toward Latin America and the developing world.
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
A closer look at what happened during the pope's visit to Cuba this year, and how this trip differed from John Paul II's in 1998.
Padre Alejandro Solalinde wants to help migrants. The Mexican drug cartels want him dead.
How the Fourteenth Amendment became controversial
Arizonans have plenty to be anxious about, but indulging in a crude nativism won’t stop the flow of undocumented immigrants or prevent violent crime along the border.
Obama meets the neighbors, and tries to rekindle Latin America’s faith in Washington.
Stranded in Nogales: A reflection on the lives of new deportees.