Full text of Archbishop Thomas Wenski's homily critical of Marxism
We are, like Pope Benedict XVI, pilgrims of charity here in Cuba. We
come from Miami and the United States - in our group we have people born
here, the children of people born here and people of other national
heritages. We are united in one common faith. As the theme of the
jubilee of the 400th anniversary of the discovery and presence of Our
Lady of Charity states so well: A Jesus por Maria, la caridad nos une
(To Jesus through Mary, charity makes us one). Our presence here today
in this historic cathedral is also another witness to this unity that is
ours in the Body of Christ which is the Church.
On behalf of all of us, I wish to express our gratitude to His Eminence,
Cardinal Ortega, for making it possible for us to celebrate Mass in this
the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Habana. The stones of this
cathedral have witnessed over the centuries the unfolding of much of the
history of Cuba - with all its lights and shadows. And these stones will
witness in years to come the further unfolding of the history of Cuba
and its people. We come here as pilgrims to pray that - as Pope John
Paul II said in his visit 14 years ago - that the Cuban people will be
the protagonists of that history; and that inspired by the Word of God
and the values of the Christian heritage that has shaped Cuban identity
for more than 400 years the Cuba people will build for themselves and
their prosterity a future of hope.
In the Psalm today we prayed: O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come
to you.The psalmist prays: "Let this be written for the generations to
come and let his future creatures praise the Lord. 'The Lord looked down
from his holy height; from the heavens he beheld the earth. To hear the
groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.'"
Those doomed to die, Jesus tells us in the gospel today, are those who
die in their sins because they have refused to recognize him as the "I
am" of human history. In yesterday's feast of the Annunciation when the
Word was made flesh Jesus is revealed both as the human face of God and
the divine face of man. As Pope Benedict said yesterday in Santiago: God
has created us as the fruit of his infinite love; hence, to live in
accordance with his will is the way to encounter our genuine identity,
the truth of our being, while apart from God we are alienated from
ourselves and are hurled into the void. The obedience of faith is true
liberty, authentic redemption which allows us to united ourselves to the
Love of Jesus in his determination to conform himself to the will of the
Father." Again as the Pope said yesterday: "...when God is put aside,
the world becomes an inhospitable place for man, and frustrates
creation's true vocation to be a space for the covenant, for the 'Yes'
to the love between God and humanity."
Jesus Christ fulfills the desire of the longing of our hearts that the
world may become a home worthy of humanity. For the world to become a
home worthy of humanity it cannot close itself to transcendence, it
cannot shut itself off to God and to our vocation as men and women to
live with God, not only in this present moment but for all eternity.
Ideological materialism, represented in this country and in those
countries of what was the Eastern bloc, denied man's transcendence, it
denied that that human person was created for more than just to die one
day. As the Pope observed on his flight to Mexico, Marxism is a spent
ideology. This caused a bit of a furor among the press corps; however,
as Archbishop Dionisio Garcia observed, "the Pope's comments about
Marxism didn't tell us anything we, in Cuba, didn't already know."
However, as Cuba transitions, the Pope and the Church want a transition
that is worthy of the Cuban's aspirations, a transition worthy of man.
To go from the ideological materialism of Marxism to a practical
materialism such as that of many Western societies would not be worthy
of man. The Church certainly wants a "soft landing" but a landing that
is open to a future of hope. As the Holy Father wrote in Spe Salvi, a
world without God is a world without hope, a world without a future. To
people intoxicated with the love of power, the Church witnesses to hope
by sharing with the world - and with the Cuban people, the power of love.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski Archbishop of Miami