Spanish-American Culture Analysis

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One of the most common themes in Fr. Deck’s works is the importance of culture in regards to religion; he talks specifically Hispanic-American culture but does not shirk the importance of other cultures. For example, at the National Symposium on Adolescent Catechesis Deck espoused the importance of culture in regards to the evangelization of Hispanic Adolescents. He drew attention to the lack of any specialized attention towards Hispanic culture as a whole despite the fact that the church has constantly noted the importance of the evangelization of Hispanic youth. Deck goes on to argue that the Catholic Church is experiencing issues with evangelizing because their methods have become sterile and ineffective due them never changing. Fr. Deck…show more content…
He went on to voice his concern that because the church was not taking the time to address Hispanic youths, many teenagers remain at risk of either participating in or being the victims of gang violence. He supported these arguments by citing studies from the Instituto Fe y Vida, a pastoral organization in California dedicated to supporting Hispanic youths. His final and perhaps most important observation at the symposium was that “The approach to ministry of every form including catechesis, in my view, must be differentiated in an age of growing diversity” (44). While this quote, when coupled with Deck’s Hispanic background, can be viewed solely as him wanting the church to adapt to Hispanic culture, it also shows that his theological and pastoral views about the practices of the Catholic Church also place value on diversity in general and how he believes that all of the various cultures of the world need to have their attributes taken into account by the church in order for them to be treated fairly. In short, while…show more content…
Deck’s theological works are often based on very practical matters, which is very common amongst Hispanic-American theologians and their works. He does not skirt around the facts in his works, instead he bluntly states them and uses them to form this works. He often notes that Latinos/Hispanics are quickly becoming the largest demographic amongst the Catholic Church in the United States; citing changing demographics in states such as Iowa, Alaska and North Carolina to show that the presence of Latinos is no longer a purely regional matter (A Latino practical theology: Mapping the road ahead, 274-275). With these observations in mind, Deck has identified several realities, issues and potential solutions relating to Hispanics throughout the Catholic Church in the United States. As touched on earlier, he has argued that the church leadership needs to add more Hispanic priests to its ranks to better tend to the unique cultural needs of its increasingly Hispanic membership. Fr. Deck also warns that, perhaps as a symptom of the previous issue, the clergy is turning its back on, or even actively shunning, popular religion while becoming overly professional and less close to the members of their respective parishes. Deck has expressed concern that these practices are directly harming and belittling the beliefs of Hispanics, who have always had popular religion popular religion play a central role in their religious lives, that by doing so the church may be alienating a large

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