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U.S./ A Loss of Identity threatens American Catholics

The trend to reduce the meaning of a Catholic identity to folklore, to cultural traditions and to a content-free spirituality threatens American Catholics in general, not only Hispanics  

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I don’t know how much Senator-elect Marco Rubio is known outside of Florida and the political establishment in the United States, but I m sure many will soon hear a lot about him. He is one of the winners in the recent midterm elections, a young (39), attractive, seemingly very smart Republican conservative supported by the Tea Party movement, Latino (of Cuban descent), practicing Catholic and practicing evangelical Christian in a church affiliated with the Southern Baptists.

Yes, you read correctly: the new Senator from Florida is apparently a Catholic and a Protestant in good standing on both sides.

In a November 26 article in The New York Times, writer Mark Oppenheimer (Marco Rubio: Catholic or Protestant) notes that “while (Rubio) presented himself on his Florida Statehouse Web site and in interviews as a Roman Catholic, bloggers and journalists have noted since his election that he regularly worships at an evangelical megachurch whose theology is plainly at odds with Catholic teaching.”

For much of the last decade, he reports, “Mr. Rubio has attended Christ Fellowship with his wife and children. He ‘comes very regularly to worship service’ at the church’s Palmetto Bay campus, said Eric Geiger, the executive pastor. According to Mr. Rubio’s campaign Web site, he contributed almost $50,000 to Christ Fellowship from 2005 to 2008.” Christ Fellowship, however, though it calls itself “non-denominational,” is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

According to the article, Rubio “retains ties to the Catholic Church, too. ‘On the final Sunday of the campaign, for example, he attended Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa,’ according to an e-mail from Alex Burgos, his spokesman. ‘On the morning of the election, he attended Mass in Coral Gables.’”

Now, the Southern Baptists constitute an ecclesial community recognized as such by the Catholic Church and as such participating in official ecumenical dialogues. They have their own doctrinal convictions that are clearly opposed to Catholic doctrine in crucial areas of faith.