By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stereotypes Falling

As a Hispanic who is very organized and efficient and abhors delay, I take exception to the stereotype of Latins as too lax. Well, our Italo-Hispanic Pope is putting that stereotype to rest with his swift action today naming an advisory group of eight cardinals, just one month after being elected Pope. You will find many other posts and articles giving you the details of his latest move (here is the NY Times story).

But I want to focus on the general stereotype I hear once in a while in the U.S. about "those Italians" failing to run the Vatican well. That type of remark comes from people in a country--our U.S.A.--where the Church has paid millions for scandals exacerbated by astounding negligence and obtuseness: scandals that have resulted in several diocesan bankruptcies. Neither Italy nor Spain has experienced anything remotely similar to that level of mismanagement.

And yet, we find American Catholics drawing up blueprints for Vatican reform. Well, that's chutzpah or, more accurately, a great denial of reality.

The Latins Ignacio de Loyola and Domingo de Guzman (St. Dominic) were quite efficient and effective. So was Josemaría Escrivá. So were and are many others I do not know. But I do know Jorge Bergoglio is in the class of the efficient, effective, and decisive. But Latin efficiency should really be no surprise. Caesar was known for his effective speed as he made his way around Gaul.

(Images of Julius Caesar, Dominic, and Loyola are in public domain. Image of Escrivá is used under Creative Commons License.)