Papal visit won't strengthen Cuban government, Cardinal Bertone assures
Catholic World News - March 22, 2012
A visit to Cuba by Pope Benedict XVI will not strengthen the Castro regime, according to the Vatican Secretary of State.
In fact the papal trip will fuel the movement toward democracy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told the Italian daily La Stampa. “I don’t believe the visit will be exploited by the government,” he said.
Cardinal Bertone said that during his trip the Pontiff will press for an end to longstanding government bans on construction of churches and parochial schools. In general the Pope will seek to “open new spaces for the Church’s presence and activity,” the cardinal said.
Cooperation between the Castro regime and the Cuban Catholic hierarchy in advance of the papal visit has shown that the government is prepared to allow greater freedom to the Church. Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana delivered a nationally televised address about preparations for the Pope’s arrival, breaking a ban on Church use of the state-controlled media.
However the cooperation between Church leaders and government officials has also prompted some anti-Castro activists to question whether the Cuban hierarchy has conceded too much to the government. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants to the US, told a Washington audience that he fears the Church has gained concessions from the government “in exchange for looking the other way” regarding human-rights violations.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our July expenses ($15,467 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!