Friday, July 13, 2007

Latin bishops support Cuba's church

A Latin American conference of Catholic bishops concluded in Havana today. The bishops met Wednesday with Cuban vice presidents Carlos Lage and Esteban Lazo. They concluded their conference by expressing hope that church-state dialogue in Cuba would continue, and by calling on Cuban authorities to permit Cuba’s Catholic clergy to have greater access to Cuban jails and to offer, according to AP, “some type of religious education to youth.”

According to EFE, the new bishop of Holguin, Emilio Aranguren, expressed hope that the Cuban church will be able to undertake the same range of activities as its counterparts elsewhere in Latin America. “There are times when the mission of the church is limited and one thinks that it is only worship, preaching, giving catechism; however, the mission of the church has another dimension of charity, of service, of outreach, because the church is called to live in society, and in society it has a mission,” Aranguren said.

The conference received messages from Christian Liberation Movement leader Oswaldo Paya and from wives of political prisoners. The conference “put these situations in the hands of the Cuban Conference of Catholic Bishops” for discussions with Cuban authorities. The Radio Marti website ran a story with a distorted headline, "CELAM asks Cuban church to dialogue with the government about opposition's demands."

[Photo of Santiago cathedral]


Anonymous said...

another idiotic attempt to "dialogue" with the regime. that's the same stuff Pope John Paul II asked for almost a decade ago.

leftside said...

The "preferential option for the poor" is back in, reports IPS:

Globalisation, the bishops say, has led to the emergence of "new faces of the poor" and excluded, among whom they mention immigrants, victims of violence, human trafficking and kidnappings, displaced persons and refugees, the "disappeared," people with HIV/AIDS, those who live on city streets, miners and landless peasants.

"The Church's Social Pastorate must welcome and support these excluded people wherever they are," the Latin American ecclesiastical hierarchy said in Aparecida. In the face of today's globalisation that favours wealth accumulation and promotes inequity and injustice, the Church proposes another, characterised by justice, solidarity and respect for human rights, they said.

The 136-page document, divided in three sections and 10 chapters, gives an overview of the regional situation and expresses particular concern about problems such as drug addiction and drug trafficking, violence which mainly targets the poorest sectors and raises crime indices, and the dual marginalisation experienced by low-income women, indigenous people and Afro-descendants.

The "preferential option for the poor" is the basis of Liberation Theology, whose proponents' involvement in the struggles of the poor and marginalised sectors of the Latin American population often brought them into conflict with a more conservative Catholic Church hierarchy in the past.