Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Now more than ever we are in the hands of God"

Dagoberto Valdes, erstwhile director of the Catholic diocesan journal Vitral, gave an interview to Liberpress, which as best I can tell is a website based in Argentina.

He doesn’t comment directly on the actions of the new bishop in his diocese, but his disagreement is pretty clear; he wants the church’s civic and religious education to continue. His dedication to the church and to his work within its laity is unshaken. And he displays patience, lots of it.

A few translated excerpts:

“To identify the church only by its [clerical] hierarchy is a theological error, just as it would be to conceive of a church without pastors, because they have a role that is as indispensable as that of the laity and the believers.

“[The church] should continue, as it has until now, opening spaces for dialogue and reconciliation, and also spaces for education, promotion and defense of justice and peace, of human rights and the rights of peoples. It should not abandon its ethical and humanistic work of civic and religious education, as it has for centuries and centuries, through light and shadow.

“Some who see the situation [‘la cosa’] as being very closed, recommend that we leave Cuba, that we leave the church, that we go into a partisan opposition. Well, right now we have no concrete plan, we are in a time of pruning and a pruned tree needs time and sap from its roots to sprout again…

“We are not leaving Cuba, we are not leaving our church, and we are not leaving the place we have chosen in civil society.

“We should not allow our attention, or that of others, to drift from that which is the essential problem of this historic hour: liberty and democracy in Cuba, liberty and responsibility for all Cubans, without distinction or exclusions.

“…when freedom and democracy dawn for this people, there by the kitchen where the daily bread is warmed, will be our mother the church to serve breakfast early, to encourage those who come out to work for Cuba, to educate the smallest and the neediest in freedom and love.”

[Photo of cathedral in Bayamo]

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