AMERICA/CUBA - "Nobody has the right to transform churches into political trenches": the Archdiocese of Havana on occupation of the church of Our Lady of Charity
Havana (Agenzia Fides) - The Archdiocese of Havana issued a statement regarding the 13 people who have occupied the church of "Our Lady of Charity", in the center of the capital, where they spent the entire night. "Nobody has the right to transform churches into political trenches," said the statement, which continues: "Other groups and other dissidents have been mobilized to take up other churches, but they refused to do so, considering it a disrespectful act towards the Church".
The pastor of the church of "Our Lady of Charity", Father Roberto Betancourt, received a letter from the protesters in which they explained the reason of the occupation: ask the Pope to put pressure on the regime so that the reforms are implemented. Protesters promise to leave the place of worship once they receive a reply from the ecclesiastical authorities.
The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Havana, Ramon Suarez Porcari, went there on Tuesday evening, March 13, when the church was occupied, to listen to the demands of the dissidents, and assured them that their message "would be transmitted". So he asked them to leave the temple, but the group refused. The Church, according to the note, discussed the situation with the Cuban government, which pledged "not to act in any way."
According to the statement which Fides received, this gesture in Havana is part of "a strategy prepared and coordinated in various regions of the island, to create situations of conflict, in view of Benedict XVI’s visit." The Archdiocese of Havana says that the Church listens, accepts, and intercedes for everyone, "but cannot accept attempts to actions that distort the nature of her mission or could threaten the religious freedom of those who visit the churches." "Nobody has the right to destroy the spirit of celebration of the faithful Cubans and many other citizens, who wait with joy and hope Pope Benedict XVI’s visit," the statement concludes.
(CE) (Agenzia Fides 15/3/2012)
- 2013-03-20 AMERICA/CUBA - Good Friday: granted non-working day
- 2013-02-13 AMERICA/CUBA - Pioneers of the economy in the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba
- 2013-01-26 AMERICA/CUBA - In Granma the government returns two schools and land to the Catholic Church
- 2012-12-13 AMERICA/CUBA - 50 days after the hurricane, thousands of people are still homeless and without services
- 2012-11-21 AMERICA/CUBA - Cardinal Ortega’s Letter for the Year of Faith, "a meditation on this historic moment to promote the encounter of the Cuban people with Jesus"
- 2012-11-14 AMERICA/CUBA - A "sheet" that managed to arrive where the Church did not arrive...for 50 years
- 2012-11-06 AMERICA/CUBA - "Hurricane Sandy hits Cuba: houses and churches destroyed, lack of food, electricity and telephone line, but nobody talks about it": dramatic testimony from Santiago de Cuba
- 2012-04-03 AMERICA/CUBA - Good Friday as a public holiday and a Cardinal Ortega’s message broadcast on national television
- 2012-03-26 AMERICA/CUBA - Cuban Catholics are ready to welcome Pope Benedict, "Pilgrim of Love"
- 2012-03-22 AMERICA/CUBA - "The expectation that I hear in all the Christian communities for the arrival of Benedict XVI is the same as 14 years ago, for John Paul II’s visit," says Fr. Raul Rodriguez