Washington (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the United States (USCCB) has created a guide to assist pastors of culturally diverse parishes. The pastoral aid, published in English and in Spanish, aims to respond to the new needs of the Catholic population of the United States, where the participation of members of other languages and ethnic groups have increased. According to the note sent to Fides, culturally diverse communities grew dramatically in the previous decade, going from 22 percent in 2000 to 33 percent in 2010. Today it is estimated that 6,300 parishes around the country serve ethnic, language and culturally diverse communities.
The Committee on Cultural Diversity developed the guide through consultation with pastors that have successfully achieved a high level of ecclesial integration and inclusion among their culturally diverse parishioners.
The Catholic Church in the United States has a large number of loyal Latin Americans and other groups who have arrived from the Asian continent. According to testimony sent to Fides, it is difficult to calculate the actual number , because many are undocumented and are afraid of being tracked down by the authorities and expelled, so they live the life of faith almost underground. Aware of this reality, the Church has repeatedly asked the authorities to solve the problem (see Fides 25/02/2014). (CE) (Agenzia Fides 12/03/2014)