Vatican sounds alarm on fundamentalist groups in Guatemala
The Holy See denounced what it sees as an aggressive campaign by fundamentalist religious groups to infiltrate Guatemala in recent years.
The criticism came in a statement published on Wednesday following the annual meeting of the administrative council of the Populorum Progressio Foundation held last month in Guatemala. The foundation was created by John Paul II in 1992 to assist Indian and Afro-American peasant populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The meeting was attended by German Archbishop Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and six Latin American bishops.
"In recent years," the statement says, Guatemala "has been resisting a strong attack planned in the rich countries of the north, with abundant economic means at their reach, described as a genuine religious earthquake, caused by a multitude of sects, generally of Protestant and Anglo-Saxon origin."
The Cor Unum press statement, distributed by the Vatican Press Office, adds that Guatemala "represents an emblematic case in Latin America, where a Pentecostal, atomized and fragmented Protestantism ... is trying to proliferate."
Such Protestantism has "abundant economic resources, offering a panorama of very varied denominations and tendencies," the statement says. It points out the case of the province of Solola, where evangelical places of worship outnumber Catholic sites 498 to 194.
Pontifical Council Cor Unum
Comunicato del Pontificio Consiglio "Cor Unum"