AMERICA/CUBA - Mgr. Serpa and the prisoners in Cuba: Being imprisoned, “shut in”, is not the same thing as being “shut out”

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 local churches   evangelization   politics  


Havana (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishop of the Cuban diocese of Pinar del Río, His Exc. Mgr. Jorge Serpa said that in Cuba there are political prisoners, and these are people with long convictions for whom he has asked a review of their cases. The magazine "Palabra Nueva", of the Archdiocese of Havana, published yesterday, 11 January, an interview with Mgr. Serpa, who is the head of the Commission for Prison Pastoral Care of the Cuban Catholic Church, where the Archbishop insists that in Cuba there is a large prison population and the country is among the top ten in the world for the largest number of inmates.
"I personally met a group of thirty people, of whom only three were baptized" the Bishop said.
In the interview sent to Fides, Mgr. Serpa, in addition to noting that in Cuba there are many cases of theft and corruption, offers his concrete testimony, talking about his prison visits, both to individual inmates and groups.
The final question of how the Church thinks of celebrating the Year of Mercy with the prisoners, Mgr. Serpa responds: "The Church has always supported the freedom of her children, wherever they are. As Pope Francis said during his visit to the Prison in Palmasola, in Bolivia, in July 2015: 'Jesus wants to help you get up, always. And this certainty makes us work hard to preserve our dignity. Being imprisoned, "shut in", is not the same thing as being "shut out"." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 12/01/2016)