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Catholics in the American CenturyRecasting Narratives of U.S. History$
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R. Scott Appleby and Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451409

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451409.001.0001

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The New Turn in Chicano/Mexicano History

The New Turn in Chicano/Mexicano History

Integrating Religious Belief and Practice

(p.109) Chapter 5 The New Turn in Chicano/Mexicano History
Catholics in the American Century

David G. Gutiérrez

Cornell University Press

This chapter returns to the subject of immigration, from when the American Catholic century began. Senator Edward Kennedy led the reform of the nation's immigration laws. Latino Catholic immigrants, in particular, currently make up at least one-third of the U.S. Catholic population, and their importance for both church and society only increases. Roughly seven out of ten of these Latinos identify as Catholic, and there is a continuous effort to sustain the allegiance of Latino Catholics against the twin competitors of secularization and Protestant evangelicalism. The chapter suggests that the rapid secularization of Euro-American Catholics makes the role of Latinos even more crucial for Catholicism's future. The sharpest declines are in once heavily Catholic areas such as New England, where detachment from the institutional church is transforming the religious ethos of the region.

Keywords:   U.S. immigration laws, Latino Catholic immigrants, U.S. Catholic population, secularization, Protestant evangelicalism, Euro-American Catholics

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