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Rome Reports

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What's next for the Church in Latin America?

More than 40 percent of the world's Catholics live in Latin America. In fact the country with the most Catholics is Brazil, followed by Mexico. The election of Pope Francis has re-energized the Church at home and abroad.  GUZMAN CARRIQUIRY  Pontifical Commission for Latin America  "There's definitely an overwhelming attraction and it also includes passive Christians. It goes well beyond the walls of the Church.â?  But now the question is what's in store for the future of the Church in the Americas? The Vatican's Pontifical Commission for Latin America discussed some of the highlights and challenges. GUZMAN CARRIQUIRY  Pontifical Commission for Latin America  "Over the years we've seen a spiritual migration of Catholics who are turning to evangelical and neo-pentecostal denominations, and in some cases even cults.â?  Guzman Carriquiry says, religious illiteracy and  a growing hostility against the Church have helped triggered this phenomenon.  This is why Pope Francis is highlighting the need for a missionary Church, that goes beyond its comfort zone to evangelize and one that leaves clericalism behind.  Cardinal Marc Ouellet, says the Pope is getting that message out loud and clear.  CARD. MARC OUELLET Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops  "Pope Francis doesn't have a communication strategyhe is the strategy.â?  GUZMAN CARRIQUIRY  Pontifical Commission for Latin America  "The Holy Father's election was unexpected and his pontificate is unpredictable.â?  In his first year as Pontiff, the Pope met with 13 Heads of State from the Americas. Even though it's still unclear if his pontificate will strengthen Catholicism in that part of the world, one thing is crystal clearthe Pope definitely has the attention of his native continent.  KLH  MG/AA -JM -PR Up:RCA