This perception (which is nothing but that) is the source of great tension and debates inside and outside the Church. Do such measures represent an unrestrained ability of the Church to set the public agenda in the countries of the region, in ways similar to those of
Is the Catholic Church falling in patterns similar to those of
I think that even the
However, the clock is ticking and some definitions will come in the coming days. Such possibility is stressed by the fact that it is expected that the pope will attend, as his predecessors did, the General Conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM, for its initials in Spanish). It is not clear yet if what will be the Fifth of such conferences will happen either in
What is clear is that, after a statement of Msgr. Carlos Aguiar Retes, first vice-president of the CELAM, on the possibility of such trip a wave of expectation swept both
Benedict XVI’s silence about Latin America is more compelling when one considers that the region is the global stronghold of Roman Catholicism, and that Brazil, Mexico, and the United States (with a large Hispanic population) are the three countries with the largest Catholic populations worldwide.
The pope, so far, has been trying to smooth the relations with the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches. The move makes sense from an European perspective when one considers the challenges that Catholics, Orthodox, and Lutheran churches face there, and the fact that it is far easier to find a solution to the dispute with the Orthodox churches than to find it with the Lutheran or Anglican churches, mostly because of the issue of the female priesthood.
It is clear that if the Catholic and Orthodox churches expect to have a future in
However, it would be a huge mistake if the