Friday, May 21, 2010

The Church as "mediator"

Cardinal Ortega spoke with reporters in Havana yesterday about the four-hour meeting with President Raul Castro where the issue of political prisoners was discussed at length. Some new details from the press accounts, with quotes from the Cardinal:

  • “It was a dialogue about Cuba, about our realities. What is new and important about it? That we didn’t go to treat problems of the Church or needs of the Church.”

  • The issue of political prisoners “is being discussed seriously…the Church is interested in a general easing of the situation of the prisoners ... including not only the sick, but the sick in first place…with respect to the sick, we expect it.”

  • “The meeting proved that the Church can play the role of mediator and resolve old conflicts.”

  • The upcoming visit of the Vatican secretary of state responds to an invitation extended long ago and is not related to “the efforts that the Church has made in recent weeks before the authorities in favor of the Ladies in White and the prisoners.”

  • The relationship with the state cannot be a “strategic alliance” because that term “has a military or political sense” to it. “The Church can act in society carrying out this role and the role of attending to the spiritual needs of the people, charitable social service departing from the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Constitution, never by an alliance of any kind.”

Press accounts from MSNBC, the Herald, and Notimex. Others rounded up at Penultimos Dias.

Video above from Cuban television, h/t Diario de Cuba.

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