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No Cultural Divisions in Roman Catholicism

March 08, 2003

I read with great dismay "South L.A. Church's Troubled Waters" (March 1), describing the divisions and tensions along racial lines between African Americans and Latinos in a Catholic parish, with each group pushing its own cultural values. I too am Roman Catholic. When I kneel down to hear Holy Mass I don't kneel next to a Mexican American, African American or Irish American. I kneel next to a fellow Roman Catholic.

Together we share a common Catholic culture, a culture that includes art, music, history, language and a tradition so deep and rich that I will never understand why so many have abandoned it in favor of division. For centuries the Catholic Church was truly "universal"; today the church is divided into thousands of individual churches, trying to be unique.

I hear the traditional Roman rite of Mass, the Latin Mass, and I do participate, spiritually. It is the birthright of every Catholic to reclaim the Mass and tradition of our grandparents and their grandparents before them. The article asks: "Is this a black church or a Latino one?" It is a Roman Catholic one!

Steve Sandoval

Duarte

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