Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Pastoral Letter from Catholic Bishops of Cuba

New Pastoral Letter from Catholic Bishops of Cuba / Roberto Jesus Quinones
Posted on October 18, 2013

GUANTANAMO, Cuba, October, – The latest Pastoral Letter
of the Catholic Bishops of Cuba, "Hope does not disappoint," has been
distributed to the faithful. Contrary to what happened twenty years ago,
when the document "Love Hopes for Everything" was unveiled, so far this
letter has led to no reaction from the government or the official press.

Several people attribute this to the fact that conditions have changed
significantly. The new document is being made public at a time when
relations between the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and the
government are good, and when the institution can serve the government
as an intermediary in resolving conflicts. The truth is that, without
flourishes, the bishops have prepared a thorough and accurate analysis
of our reality.

For reasons of space, we could not attempt an examination of all aspects
addressed in this new Pastoral Letter. Those interested would find it
useful to read it in full. However, by way of advancement, I would refer
you to several of its highlights.

For example, in the second section, entitled "The visits of the two
Popes mark our history with signs of hope," the bishops discussed the
significance the visits to the Isle of Blessed John Paul II and Benedict
XVI have had on the Catholic Church and the Cuban people. Meanwhile, in
the third section, "The divine and human word of the Church encourages
our hope," it discusses the role of the Catholic Church in Cuba today.

In the fourth section, "The common destiny of material goods and freedom
are a source of hope," it states that among the different options for
the common good, the Church chooses one that defends and promotes the
responsible freedom of man. Also in this section it argues that human
beings can not seek their own good while forgetting or neglecting or
oppressing their brother. And that the structure and organization of
societies and governments, both yesterday and today, can generate groups
of power that do not always represent everyone and which are not
interested in those who are outside their circle of belonging.

Literally, the bishops warn in the fourth section: "No one can claim
freedom for themselves and deny it to others, or seek his own good and
be indifferent to that of others. The freedom that God conceives for man
is a freedom responsible for the lives and the destiny of those around us."

The fifth section, "The changes encourage the hope of our people," makes
reference to the Pastoral Letter "Love Hopes for Everything," and how
some of its petitions have been met, but not others.

For its part, the eighth section, "The hopes of a better future also
include a new political order," is perhaps the most daring of the entire
document. It says that Cuba is called on to be a pluralistic society,
the sum of many realities, the nation of all Cubans, with their
differences and aspiration, and there must be the right to diversity of
the thinking, creativity, and the search for truth.

In the ninth section, "Dialogue among Cubans opens a path of hope," the
bishops insist that this is the only way to achieve and sustain the
social transformations taking place in Cuba. While the tenth section,
"Cuba in the concert of nations: reasons for hope," mentions the changes
in Latin America and in the world, and commits to the inclusion of Cuba
in these contexts, but also reiterates the need to consider the
relations of our country with the United States.

In the eleventh section, "The family and youth, hope of the Nation and
the Church," the bishops examine the matter deeply and honestly, based
on the assertion that twenty years after the publication of "Love Hopes
for Everything," family life in Cuba is very poor, with severe
consequences that affect the lives of individuals and society.

In sum, it is a document that not only responds adequately to the
expectations created by the bishops of the Cuban Catholic Church, with
their previous pastoral letter of 1993, it also traces the historical
role that corresponds to this institution in the complex circumstances
of the present and the near future.

Roberto Jesús Quiñones Haces

From Cubanet, 14 October 2013

Source: "New Pastoral Letter from Catholic Bishops of Cuba / Roberto
Jesus Quinones | Translating Cuba" -

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