Time for a quick trip into the thick tmatt file of guilt, full of GetReligion topiccs I had hoped to get to several days ago.
During the papal trip to South America, the New York Times veered away from political analysis in one story and hit on one of the most important two-part developments in world religion in the past few decades.
Part one: The rise of Pentecostal Protestantism in the once solidly Catholic culture of South America. Click here for tons of information from the Pew Forum. Part two: The rise of the Catholic charismatics soon after that in the same region, and elsewhere in the Global South.
This led to an interesting, and to me troubling, Times team use of an important doctrinal term. Then, that mistake hinted at a key hole in the story. Let's start at the colorful beginning:
QUITO, Ecuador -- The rock music boomed as the congregants at this simple, white-walled church sang and clapped, raising their arms skyward as they prayed aloud and swayed to the beat. The sermon included jokes and a call-and-response with people in the pews. There was even a faith healing testimonial.
But just when it seemed like a Protestant revival meeting, the blessing of the host began and the parishioners filed to the altar to take communion, as in any other Roman Catholic Mass.
Afterward, many of the worshipers bought T-shirts and scarves with the logo of Pope Francis’ visit to their country this week.
“They’re not so Catholic, are they?” joked the priest who presided over the service, Ismael Nova, referring to the Masses he conducts at San Juan Eudes parish church. “They’re different.”
Not very Catholic? Really now.