Friday, March 30, 2012

Cuba better now than then

Patience, progress: differing opinions on dealing with Cuba's regime

A woman attending Mass with Pope Benedict XVI holds a sign in Spanish that reads, "God loves you," in Revolution Square in Havana March 28.
The Cuba that Pope Benedict XVI visited March 26-28 is a country where the Catholic Church enjoys significantly more freedom and official recognition than it did when Blessed John Paul II made the first papal visit to the island in 1998.

Since that time, the communist regime has made Christmas a national holiday, and it now allows Communist Party members to identify themselves as practising Catholics. In preparation for this year's 400th anniversary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, the venerated statue was allowed to circulate on a pilgrimage throughout the country, an event that President Raul Castro said "brought our people together, believers and nonbelievers."

Such progress in religious freedom is what church leaders and Pope Benedict himself have said they hope to build on in the aftermath of his visit. But in other dimensions of human rights, the reform record of the Cuban regime has been less encouraging.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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