The Catholic Knight has an interesting article over at his site about the growth of Catholicism in the South and the effect that Southerners have on the faith. TCK’s piece is excerpted below:
The news stories keep coming in, one after another, reporting the same thing. The names and places are different, but the gist is the same. Catholicism is moving to the Southland of Dixie, and when it does, two phenomena happen. First, it takes on a staunchly conservative, orthodox and evangelistic character. Second, people in the South (mostly Baptists, Evangelicals and Pentecostals) are for the most part accepting and hospitable.
…North American Catholicism needs the South (Dixie) because the strong Evangelical character of the South has two effects on Catholicism. First, it weeds out the chaff. Nominal Catholics are quickly picked off and proselytised into Evangelical churches. Second, it strengthens the strong, like iron sharpens iron, it makes good Catholics better Catholics, and in turn gives them a strong Evangelistic character. This vibrant, and staunchly orthodox, Catholicism in turn brings in converts, as Evangelicals become attracted to REAL CATHOLICISM, the way the Church was meant to be, not the watered-down liberal Catholicism that is so common in the North and West. North American Catholicism is in sore need of this. As liberal Catholicism breaks down in the North, and enclaves into little more than a cultural expression in the West; a vibrant orthodoxy meshed with aggressive evangelism, is a form of Catholicism North America hasn’t seen in some 400 years! It has been sorely missed, and desperately needed.