Raul Castro attends opening for new seminary building in Cuba
November 04, 2010
The Catholic Church opened a new seminary building in Cuba, and President Raul Castro attended the inaugural ceremony, in a vivid demonstration of the Church’s new influence.
The new building, dedicated to Sts. Charles and Ambrose, is the first major Catholic institution opened in Cuba since the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. After years of open hostility toward the Church, the nation’s government has shown a growing appreciation for Catholic leadership in recent months; Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana was instrumental in securing the release of political prisoners earlier this year.
In a message to Cardinal Ortega, made public at the opening ceremonies on November 4, Pope Benedict XVI said that the seminary should be “a sign and a stimulus for a renewed commitment to strive for the careful human, spiritual and academic preparation of the those who, in that institution, ready themselves for the priestly ministry.”
In his own remarks, Cardinal Ortega thanked “both the former president, as well as current President Raul Castro, who honours us with his presence, for the state's support of this work."
- Cuba opens first Catholic seminary since the revolution (BBC)
- Papal Telegram for New Seminary Building in Cuba (VIS)