Study: Hispanic Catholics are shifting beliefs

Hispanics in the U.S. are going through a shift in their religious identity. A majority of Latinos are still Catholic, but many are turning away, according to a study released on Wednesday.

"My parents are Catholic so I became Catholic," Sacramento resident Angelica Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was raised in the Catholic faith and now she's continuing the religious tradition with her own three daughters.

While a majority of Latinos like Rodriguez are Catholic, the numbers show a shift.

A poll done by the Pew Research Center shows that in 2013, 55 percent of Hispanic adults identified themselves as Catholic. That's a large decline from 67 percent in 2010.

At Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in downtown Sacramento, all masses are conducted in Spanish.

"I really don't see numbers reducing, to the contrary," Father Rodolfo Llamas said.

Llamas was brought in by the diocese two years ago to reach out to the Latino community. Llamas said on Sundays, they see close to 5,000 parishioners. However, he does admit the church is going through a change.

"I wouldn't say that the church is in crisis," Llamas said. "I would say it's purifying itself."

According to the study, Hispanics leaving Catholicism tended to either become evangelical Protestants or religiously unaffiliated.

"This phenomenon is not only in the Catholic church. I think it's in all the religious experience," Llamas explained.

While people continue to leave the church, Catholic leaders said they are certain only the true faithful will remain.


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