Can the Pope Keep Hispanics in the Catholic Church?
The Spanish-language service at the Roman Catholic Saint Elizabeth church in New York City attracts a crowd, even midweek.
Many of the church's members are new immigrants from majority Catholic countries in Latin America.
A recent study found that almost 90 percent of Hispanic Americans have a favorable opinion of Pope Francis. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church will visit the city this week.
Sister Celia Cid says Pope Francis, a son of immigrants, understands the needs of Hispanic Americans.
"He identifies with the struggles on many different nationalities, different countries and what they are going through," she said. "It's a great hope for me to have him come because this city is a melting pot. It is a city built on immigrants."
But almost 25 percent of Hispanic Americans are now former Catholics. Some leave for evangelical and Pentecostal churches. Others just slowly withdraw from the Catholic Church.
Father Ambiorix Rodriguez is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. He was raised in Manhattan where he is now a priest. Father Rodriguez told VOA that Pope Francis has an answer. He said the Pope advises Catholic spiritual leaders to go out and connect with people outside of the church building.
"He is telling the church we can no longer stay inside, self-enclosed, worrying about who we have, who is here, but no, the church needs to go out," Father Rodriguez said.
Young adults make up the largest group of Hispanics leaving Catholicism. Today, many people under the age of 30 describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated.
Alias is a young Catholic Church member who is invigorated by the Pope's openness.
He said, "If the Catholics who have drifted are based on ‘Oh, you don't understand me,' or 'It's too complicated,' or 'I'm tired of traditional habits,' the Pope is actually saying, ‘You know what? I am moving forward.'"
Alias also said the pope's use of social media to connect with the next generation is one way he is keeping young people invested and interested. Pope Francis is the most-followed world leader on Twitter, a popular social-media site. His user name is @Pontifex.
"The youth are the future people of tomorrow. They are ones who are going to keep this church alive," Alias said. "If the youth are not being influenced or moved by it, you're going to lose a lot of members because it starts there," he said.
The Pew Research Center study says that almost 33 percent of American Catholics are Hispanic. The study also found that Hispanics are leaving the religion at a high rate. In 2010, 67 percent of Hispanic Americans identified themselves as Catholic. By 2013 that percentage had dropped to 55 percent.
I'm Jim Tedder.
It comes a week before the government releases first-ever economic data that will show more Hispanics, elderly and working-age poor have fallen into poverty.
The general consequently promised to withdraw his troops speedily from Mexico.
They live in tight little self-enclosed worlds.
As cold as it was, I suddenly was invigorated thinking about how wonderful this extreme cold really was.
1."He identifies with the struggles on many different nationalities, different countries and what they are going through," she said. "It's a great hope for me to have him come because this city is a melting pot. It is a city built on immigrants."
going through 经历；承受；通过
With someone I love I can go through all the hardships of life together.
Do you know which channel to go through?
2.Young adults make up the largest group of Hispanics leaving Catholicism. Today, many people under the age of 30 describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated.
make up 弥补；化妆
They'll do all they can to make up the economic losses.
If you do not use make up, now is the time to begin.
最近一项研究发现，几乎90％的拉美裔美国人赞同教皇弗朗西斯的观点 。罗马天主教会的领袖将于本周访问这座城市 。
“他很理解那些在不同国籍、不同国家挣扎的人们以及他们正在经历的事情 。”她表示 。“对我而言，他的到来将是一个伟大的希望，因为这座城市是一个大熔炉，是由移民组建而成的城市 。”
但是，目前几乎25％的拉美裔美国人已经成为前天主教徒 。一些人离开天主教后到福音派和五旬节派教会 。其他人也逐渐地退出天主教会 。
神父Ambiorix Rodriguez，是来自多明尼加共和国的移民 。他在曼哈顿长大，现在他是那儿的一名牧师 。神父罗德里格斯接受美国之音电视台采访时称，教皇弗朗西斯对此已给出答复 。他说教皇建议天主教的精神领袖到教堂外面与人们进行沟通 。
“他告诉教会，我们不能再待在教堂里、自我封闭、不断担心我们还有多少教徒？还有谁愿意留在这儿？而是到外面传播福音 。”神父罗德里格斯说道 。
青少年填补上了那些离开天主教的拉美裔人的位置 。如今，很多30岁以下的人称自己为无教派人士 。
Alias还表示，使用社交媒体与下一代人进行沟通、联系是教皇吸引青年人加入天主教的一种方式 。教皇弗朗西斯在Twitter这一社交网站上成为关注人数最多的世界领袖 。他的用户名是@Pontifex 。
Alias 说“青少年就是未来 。他们将会为教堂带来新的生机 。如果青少年没有受其影响或不被感化，我们将会失去很多教徒，因为未来就是从他们这里开启的 。”
皮尤研究中心的报告显示，几乎33％的美国天主教徒是西班牙裔美国人 。研究还发现，拉美裔美国人离开天主教的人数逐年增加 。2010年，拉美裔美国人中有67％认为自己是天主教徒 。然而到2013年这一比例已经下降至55％ 。