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Catholicism and Latin America

August 20, 1989

What a great big bust is your great big article, "A Continental Shift."

There is a revolution now going on in the Catholic Church in Latin America and the No. 1 American chronicler of it is Penny Lernoux, long a professional reporter from Latin America and author of this year's thorough and detailed "People of God," which correctly identifies the real element (of change), the peasant comunidades de base , with their spreading influence. And, while it is no doubt true that the Protestant evangelicals are also making inroads into Latin America, this seems to me and to Lernoux to be merely the result of the peasant revolution. She finds, for example, that evangelical preachers were sent into Central America by the Reagan Administration chiefly to spread anti-Communism.

In any case, there is this wide difference between the two movements. the one is imposed by preachers "sent in," the other is growth of the soil, by people themselves. The one is frivolous, the other has substance.

DAVID ALAN MUNRO

Laguna Beach

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