Catholic Church in Puerto Rico Article

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The Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, seat of the Diocese of Ponce.

The Catholic Church in Puerto Rico is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in communion with the Pope in Rome.

Present situation

Religious breakdown in Puerto Rico (2010) [1]

   Catholic (69.7%)
   Protestant (25.1%)
  Other Christian (1.9%)
  Other (1.4%)
   Irreligious (1.9%)

The CIA World Factbook reports that 85% of the population of Puerto Rico is Catholic, with the remaining 15% divided among Protestantism, Islam, and Judaism. However, the CIA report provides no date or source for the data; it may be outdated. Some sources, including Pew Research Center, put the Catholic percentage at approximately 70%. [2] An Associated Press article in March 2014 stated that "more than 70 percent of whom identify themselves as Catholic" but provided no source for this information (they may have used the 2010 Pew Research data). [3]

However, in a November 2014 report, with the sub-title Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region, Pew Research indicated that only 56% of Puerto Ricans were Catholic and that 33% were Protestant; this survey was completed between October 2013 and February 2014. [4]

When discussing Catholicism in Puerto Rico, Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan offered this comment in 2007. "Its deepest roots are Latino ... U.S. rule began in 1898, at the end of the Spanish–American War, but indigenous, African and Spanish cultures "shaped its identity for 400 years" and that influence "cannot be undone overnight”. The shift from Spanish to U.S. rule brought a wave of anti-Catholic sentiment that led to the prohibition of the processions that are a mainstay of Latin American religious practice, as well as government policies that prohibited schools from teaching in Spanish. Since the approval of the Puerto Rican Constitution in 1952, popular religious traditions such as processions and festivals honoring communities' patron saints have taken root again. [5]

There is also an Byzantine Catholic community of the St. Spyridon Parish in Trujillo Alto under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Roberto González Nieves. [6]

Puerto Rico also has their very own (yet to be approved by the Vatican) Marian apparition of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, [7] [8] [9] popularly known to locals as "Elenita de Jesús". Misconceptions (even within the Church) and Masonic cover-ups tried to bury her identity, which is why they changed the last name in Elenita de Jesús's death certificate. [10]

However, journalist, Vionette G. Negretti, disproved many misconceptions (some by Father José Dimas Soberal report) by finding the official documents (birth and death certificate) of Elena Huyke; they were obtained by Dutch genealogist Mathijas Vonder. Said documents and others issued by the Spanish authorities prove that Elena Huyke was born in Curaçao in 1847, she arrived in Puerto Rico with her family and lived in the municipality of Arroyo, per the Spanish census of 1870. She returns to Curaçao with her father in 1880 and dies in Curaçao in 1925. Elena Huyke left Puerto Rico 19 years before Our Mother arrived at The Holy Mountain and died outside Puerto Rico 16 years after the burial of Our Mother.

Although many have tried to discredit the events relating to the Apparition of Elenita de Jesús, she left evidence that cannot be contested. Elenita gave her followers detailed instructions to do post-mortem, among those was to collect her blood-which was saved for many years, until 2013 when a DNA test proved not only Our Lady’s existence but her archaic genealogy. [12]

Adding to this evidence is the presence of The Holy Spirit at the sacred site The Holy Mountain (Santa Montaña) [13] [14], visited by religious groups and persons of faith [15] and protected by the Diocese of Caguas. The Holy Mountain (Santa Montaña), is located at an altitude of 2,226 ft above sea level, in the Espino neighborhood of the Municipality of San Lorenzo, is a locality near where the municipalities of San Lorenzo, Patillas and Cayey meet [16]. On 1954 by mandate of the government of Puerto Rico for all official purposes, including cartography—Cerro Las Peñas (The Stones Hill) was named Cerro de Nuestra Madre (Our Mother’s Hill). [11]

The Our Lady of Mt Carmel Diocesan Sanctuary, is located at the top of La Santa Montaña in Puerto Rico. It was built and dedicated in 1985 by the bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Caguas, Monsignor Enrique Hernández Rivera.

When these events get approved by the Vatican, it will make Elenita de Jesús apparition, the only continuous apparition of Our Lady.

List of dioceses

San Juan bankruptcy

On January 11, 2018 Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of San Juan filed for Chapter 11 banpruptcy, stating that the current pension plan was unworkable and applied for a new plan which has an estimated $10 million in assets and $10 million in liabilities. [17] On March 27, 2018, local Judge Anthony Cuevas issued an embargo against the Archdiocese of San Juan which would remain in effect until they could find $4.7 million to pay for the teachers pension. [18] It was also ruled that the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico was a single entity and that the embargo would apply to all the suffragan dioceses of the Archdiocese of San Juan. [19] [18] On August 30, 2018, the Archdiocese of San Juan filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, noting that they were unable to find the $4.7 million. [20] Federal Judge Edward Godoy protected the Archdiocese under Chapter 11, paralyzing the seizure of assets and helping them avoid the owed retirement payments. [19] However, it was also ruled that the bankruptcy would apply to all the other Catholic dioceses in Puerto Rico. [19]

Episcopal conference

The bishops in Puerto Rico form the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference ( Spanish: Conferencia Episcopal Puertorriqueña). [21] [22] The episcopal conference allows the bishops to set certain norms for all of Puerto Rico, including the form of the liturgy.

See also


  1. ^ "Demography - Puerto Rico". Pew Research. Pew Research, DC. January 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "Demography - Puerto Rico". Pew Research. Pew Research, DC. January 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Associated Press (March 12, 2014). "Catholic Church and Puerto Rico officials at odds in widening sex abuse investigation". FOX News. FOX News. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "Religion in Latin America". Pew Research. Pew Research Center. November 13, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  5. ^ "Catholic Church in Puerto Rico is looking to rekindle faith, regain identity, archbishop says". Archived from the original on 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
  6. ^ Puerto Rico Welcomes First-Ever Eastern Catholic Parish
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  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ a b c
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  21. ^ Conferencia Episcopal Puertorriqueña (C.E.P.). website. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  22. ^ Cheney, David M. "Catholic Church in Puerto Rico". Retrieved 2009-07-27.

External links