The following comes from a July 5 CuencaHighLife article by Paola Lopez:
Thirty years ago, Gustavo Negrete took his wooden cross and joined other indigenous Ecuadorans to greet Pope John Paul II. But he has no interest in seeing Pope Francis on Sunday.
Like a growing number of indigenous people in Latin America, Negrete has turned his back on the Roman Catholic faith that was violently forced upon their ancestors by Spanish conquistadors.
In his case, the 46-year-old Quechua became an Evangelical pastor.
Ecuador will be the first stop in the first Latin American pope’s eight-day trip to the region, which will include visits to Bolivia and Paraguay.
When John Paul visited Ecuador in 1985, 94 percent of the population identified as Catholic. Today, 80 percent of the country’s 16 million people are Catholic. Seven percent of Ecuadorans are indigenous people.
Pope Francis “is going unnoticed today in indigenous communities,” Negrete told AFP, as he held his Bible.
“The concept that we had in that era — that a representative of God was coming — no longer exists,” he said.
Negrete said he gave up Catholicism when he realized that the church did not punish “drunkenness, the mistreatment of sons and wives” in indigenous communities.
Ecuador and Bolivia lack official figures on the number of indigenous people who are Protestants.
But Manuel Chugchilan, president of the Feine organization that groups indigenous Evangelicals in Ecuador, said that the number of protestant churches soared from 40 in 1980 to 2,500 today.
He said Protestants reached areas where the Roman Catholic church was absent and gained the trust of indigenous people because of the “change of life” that they offered.
Alcoholism and violence have disappeared, while families prosper because they focus on their children’s education, Chugchilan said.
Another telling figure is the number of pastors and priests.
While the Ecuadoran Episcopal Conference says that only 20 of 3,000 Catholic priests are indigenous, the Feine counts 700 pastors of native origin.
I once thought the same thing, but then I had to face reality — the Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew, and he did turn water into wine (alcohol) not grape juice at that wedding. It was John the Baptist who was the abstainer, and the Lord was accused of being the “wine bibber”. They certainly would not have accused him of that if he never drank wine, and there was no way of storing grape juice without it fermenting at that time. Even the Orthodox, Coptic and other ancient Christians use wine in their Divine Liturgies.
Also, it was the Catholic Church that compiled and decided what was to be accepted in the Old Testament and in the New testament (the Bible) in the early days of the Church; it did not com down from the sky. There is proof in…
Continued for my post at 1:59 p.m.: There is proof in the New Testament that the Lord Jesus and some of the Apostles used and quoted from the books in the Old Testament that the Catholic Church kept and most Protestants took out at the Reformation or Rebellion, whichever you want to call it. Those are among the many things that convinced me the Catholic Church was the one Jesus Christ actually started. One can find booklets, procedures and books about how the Bible was compiled and the books that were taken out on the Catholic Answer website and many other Catholic sites.
I should also have clarified that my point in saying that the Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew is that wine was and still is part of Jewish weddings and was and is always used at their Passover services. There might be a few exceptions for people who cannot tolerate wine or alcohol, but in general most Jews use wine in their services at times. St. John the Baptist had taken a vow against using anything from a grape vine. Drunkenness is a sin in both the Old and New Testament and Christ warned against it, and those who cannot control themselves should abstain from using it.
I am sorry for having been so long winded, but I wanted to make clear as to why would encourage people to remain Catholic.
Also, perhaps some of the priests, such as Fr. Serra, did punish drunkenness and adultery on the part of both the Spanish and the indigenous, and they did not like it, and some thought they were being too harsh. All most of us know is what our relatives passed down to us in what they told, but most often the other side of the story is left out, lost in history.
And then, there were the million and a half who attended the Pope’s Mass in Guayaquil this morning. What a wonderful sight that was. If you missed it, it is on the Vatican YouTube station.
Perhaps I’ve misunderstood Nigrete’s statement. Not only does the Church not punish drunkenness and the mistreatment of wives, the Church doesn’t punish anything. That is left up to local Governments, the best of which have a moral framework based upon Christian principles. But while the Church herself does not provide punishment, she will certainly condemn drunkenness and the mistreatment of anyone. Is Nigrete claiming that his new church actually punishes misbehavior? How?
This story has nothing to do with punishment! When these tribal people respond to Jesus in manner in which the Gospel takes root in their households their lives change. The pastor is talking about positive outcomes not negative ones. As a tribal member he already knows that they state (even the Church to the extent he views it as an “arm” of the state) cannot be trusted to act properly towards his people. The lives within these tgribal household are changed for the better in spite of the actions (or negligence) of the state.
To read this story as if the pastor is seeking punishment is reading through a very biased lens. The question to ask is why does the Protestant “gospel” enter into a household and change lives (boots on the…
Steve Golay, if the article is correct, it was the pastor who complained about the church not punishing drunkenness and ill treatment of wives and children. That is why most people commented on it. It is not clear what he meant. It seems the Catholic Church gets it from both sides. It is often accused of being too strict in the confessional or too permissive. The same thing is said of governments ran mostly by Catholics. Quite frankly, I think the pastor might be able to control the actions of the people more because he is one of their own. Probably, too, he kicks out (excommunicates) from his Church anyone who does not go along. The very same thing the Catholic Church would be condemned by many Protestants when and if they do it.
By the media, one could conclude that many people do not like Pope Francis. The members of the Curia do not like him because he is shaking the place up. The Vatican Bank does not like him because he wants more transparency. The conservatives do not like him because of his joyful, yet direct, encyclicals. The indigenous people and the poor do not like the Church, and hence, the Pope, because the Church has often support the oppressive status quo. The liberals do not like him because he is too little and too late. The liberals have already left the Church.
All of this means that Pope Francis is on the right track…with God!
God Bless Francs and Keep him Safe!
Pope Francis needs to write Motu Proprios and Encyclicals on FAITH and MORALS.
The morals of many Catholics will send them to hell.
We need our Pope, we do not need his personal opinions that have little to do with Saving Souls for eternity.
He has done nothing to REQUIRE that ALL Seminaries are teaching the Faith completely and accurately including complete study of the CCC.
It is impressive to read in this article, that “alcoholism and violence have disappeared,” and that “families are prospering,” because of their “focus on their children’s education.” If this is true– wonderful, wonderful! How did the indigenous Protestant pastors manage to accomplish this? Did they truly reach their people– with Christ’s teaching, and daily religious practice?? As for the Catholic Church— WHAT A SHAME!! Better get busy, Pope Francis! We need CHRIST!! Through CHRIST, in the practice of our True Faith– all evils can be overcome!
The Catholic Church does much for the poor, but does it teach, preach, the practical connection between the type of moral behavior which this minister appreciates in the evangelical church and getting out of poverty? The disposable and not so disposable income that gets thrown away on immoderate drinking, gambling, and the like might become available for education and better living conditions. Evangelicals seem to know that; Catholics, if they know it, don’t seem to promote it, maybe because promoting such behavior is judgmental of the poor.
Thank you Caroline! Thieves, such as Judas, do not care about the poor. They care about robbing the truth in order to accommodate other dark hidden deeds. Pray for our faithful priests to remain faithful.
Last Sunday I watched a Protestant minister on television and he asked the people attending his service to humble themselves (because of the Supreme Court’s ruling) and to get down on their knees to ask pardon and to demonstrate that they realize that God still reigns as the Sovereign King. The entire audience got down on their knees to humble themselves before God. This minister then recited the verses below. continued…….
2 Chronicles Chapter 7 : 11 And Solomon finished the house of the Lord, and the king’ s house, and all that he had designed in his heart to do, in the house of the Lord, and in his own house, and he prospered.  And the Lord appeared to him by night, and said: I have heard thy prayer, and I have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice.  If I shut up heaven, and there fall no rain, or if I give orders, and command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people:  And my people, upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their…
We punish ourselves with the sins we refuse to admit or reject. Sin blinds many souls, some sins only take us further away from the loving protection of our Lord. We injure our relationship with God when we refuse to turn away from sin. There is nothing more beautiful, more joyous, here on earth, then when an adult turns away from their sins and return in the loving arms of God.
Anne T., Just making a comment on the Holy Bible. The Roman Catholic Church is the author of the Holy Bible, She and only She has the correct interpretation of scripture. So what does that mean, plenty. First of all there are more than a dozens of different bibles in the English language alone on the market. Depending on who their authors are (not the Roman Catholic Church) they have complete books, and passages missing. They have been misinterpreted and re-written by their authors reformed ideas. Take a little time and compare the most accurate English translation of the Latin Vulgate which St. Jerome authored long before any protestant bibles were written. It is the Douay-Rheims Chandler Holy Bible with Bp Chandler’s…
No the Roman Catholic Church is NOT the author of the scriptures, the Holy Spirit is. QUITE the difference.
Exactly, Bruce. That is why I became Catholic. Thank you for the information. I do have the Douay-Rheims, but not that particular one. Nevertheless, even the older King James Bible can bring one into the Church if one does not overlook the blatantly Catholic passages in it, which most Protestants do.
One does need, though, to get instructions from or read good books by good Catholic priests and theologians before one understands the Bible and Church history fully. I am still learning in my senior years.
I like to listen as much as possible to Fr. Mitch Pacwa and others, who understand the Bible and Biblical history very well. Fr. Pacwa also speaks about seven languages, including Aramaic, one of the languages Jesus Christ himself…
i noticed that the longer version of this article from which CuencaHighLife sourced has a somewhat lighter tone in which things seem more hopeful at the end of the article fr acosta states that many indigenous have become evangelicals not from conviction but out of self=interest. he may be alluding to the prosperity gospel that american evangelicals preach and back up with funding from the US. could fr negrete’s allusion to prosperity be within that context. no fine grain focus was given in the longer article.
Continued and ended: spoke.