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2007-04-23

AMERICA/CUBA - Bishop Jorge Enrique Serpa Pérez of Pinar del Río denies closing of 'Vitral' magazine

Pinar del Rìo (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishop of Pinar del Río, Bishop Jorge Enrique Serpa Pérez, has denied that anything was said about ‘closing’ the local Centre of Civic and Religious Formation, denying the news which had been in circulation for a few weeks, of the closing of theCuban Catholic magazine ‘Vitral’
Vitral is the twice monthly magasine published by the diocese of Pinar del Río situated 147 km west of Havana. The editor is Dagoberto Valdés, a layman, member of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, it has 10,000 subscribers and was first published in 1994,.
The editorial office in the March-April edition announced that due to a scarcity of funds the magasine might have to close, giving rise to concern in Cuba and abroad.
“I have asked the magazine to keep to the truth based on the Gospel and on the Social Doctrine of the Church, and to avoid any expressions of protest or aggression”, said Bishop Pérez.
When Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, the Catholic Church was seen with mistrust by the regime. Some priests were expelled and others were sent to work camps.
In 1992 Cuba abandoned its state of a atheist state and with the visit of John Paul II in 1998, relations with the Church improved and according to Bishop Juan de Dios Hernández auxliary of Havana today relations with the authorities are almost normal.(AP) (23/4/2007 Agenzia Fides; Righe:22; Parole:256)

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