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    » 03/26/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN - CUBA

    Pope: in Cuba true progress calls for respect for the spiritual dimension of man



    On arrival in the Caribbean island, Benedict XVI acknowledges the improvement of the situation of the Church, but "many areas remain in which greater progress can and ought to be made, especially as regards the indispensable public contribution that religion is called to make in the life of society".

    Santiago de Cuba (AsiaNews) - "Real progress calls for an ethics which focuses on the human person and takes account of the most profound human needs, especially man's spiritual and religious dimension": this is the answer that Benedict XVI has indicated to the economic crisis "which has left humanity devoid of values and defenceless before the ambition and selfishness of certain powers which take little account of the true good of individuals and families". Benedict XVI's address to Raul Castro, who welcomed him upon his arrival in Santiago de Cuba spoke about the importance of recognizing human values and those of faith in an officially atheist country.
    Already mid-flight to Mexico, his first stop on this trip, the Pope had defined Marxism as "superseded" now - without repeating that statement - he explains why.

    There is no crowd at the international airport: the regime had not allowed for it, although very committed to the success of this papal visit.

    Benedict XVI recalled the historic visit of Pope John Paul II: then welcoming the Pope was Fidel Castro: " His visit to this island was like a gentle breath of fresh air which gave new strength to the Church in Cuba, awakening in many a renewed awareness of the importance of faith and inspiring them to open their hearts to Christ, while at the same time kindling their hope and encouraging their desire to work fearlessly for a better future."

    "One of the important fruits of that visit - he adds - was the inauguration of a new phase in the relationship in Cuba between Church and State, in a new spirit of cooperation and trust, even if many areas remain in which greater progress can and ought to be made, especially as regards the indispensable public contribution that religion is called to make in the life of society".

    It 's almost a warning to Raul Castro, who in his opening, as well as touching on the predictable themes of peace and the exploitation of rich countries, defended the progress of the Revolution, and spoke of "collaboration" with the Holy See: the Church, in Pope's words, appreciates what has been done, but says there is still much to do. Not surprisingly, in his discourse Benedict XVI speaks to the children and families, but even inmates, reminding all that Christianity is in the soul of the people, by listing the Christian "fathers" nation, and, referring to the Virgin of "El Cobre" - which celebrates the 400th anniversary - he asks for Her intercession " to guide the future of this beloved nation in the ways of justice, peace, freedom and reconciliation."

    "I come to Cuba as a pilgrim of charity, - said Benedict XVI - to confirm my brothers and sisters in the faith and strengthen them in the hope which is born of the presence of God's love in our lives. I carry in my heart the just aspirations and legitimate desires of all Cubans, wherever they may be, their sufferings and their joys, their concerns and their noblest desires, those of the young and the elderly, of adolescents and children, of the sick and workers, of prisoners and their families, and of the poor and those in need".

    "Many parts of the world today - he added - are experiencing a time of particular economic difficulty, that not a few people regard as part of a profound spiritual and moral crisis which has left humanity devoid of values and defenceless before the ambition and selfishness of certain powers which take little account of the true good of individuals and families. We can no longer continue in the same cultural and moral direction which has caused the painful situation that many suffer. On the other hand, real progress calls for an ethics which focuses on the human person and takes account of the most profound human needs, especially man's spiritual and religious dimension. In the hearts and minds of many, the way is thus opening to an ever greater certainty that the rebirth of society demands upright men and women of firm moral convictions, with noble and strong values who will not be manipulated by dubious interests and who are respectful of the unchanging and transcendent nature of the human person".

    "I am convinced that Cuba, at this moment of particular importance in its history, is already looking to the future, and thus is striving to renew and broaden its horizons. Of great help in this enterprise will be the fine patrimony of spiritual and moral values which fashioned the nation's true identity, and which stand out in the work and the life of many distinguished fathers of the country, like Blessed José Olallo y Valdés, the Servant of God Félix Varela, and the acclaimed José Martí. For her part, the Church too has diligently contributed to the cultivation of those values through her generous and selfless pastoral mission, and renews her commitment to work tirelessly the better to serve all Cubans".

     

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    See also

    29/03/2012 VATICAN - CUBA
    The Pope blesses the future of Cuba and meets Fidel Castro
    In his farewell address at the airport in Havana, Benedict XVI invites Cubans to overcome the "limitations" to the fundamental freedoms and the "restrictive economic measures" to make progress on the island. The urgency of the dialogue and the overcoming of "unmovable positions" and "one-sided points of view" to the bishops and the faithful he asks "enthusiasm" and "consistency" in evangelization. Fidel Castro delighted at the beatification of Mother Teresa and John Paul.

    02/04/2012 VATICAN - CUBA
    With Good Friday recognised as a holiday, Benedict XVI wins "small" victory
    The Holy See welcomes the Cuban government's decision to make it easier for people to attend Good Friday celebrations. The Catholic Church seeks greater space and freedom on the island.

    06/07/2012 CHINA – CUBA
    Hu Jintao to the aid of Cuba's Raul Castro. Silence on U.S. Embargo
    Hu Jintao promised credit lines for technology development, agriculture and health. Strengthening economic and cultural exchanges. China is the second largest partner in trade with Cuba The various developments in the economy and religious freedom. The visit of Benedict XVI last March.

    28/03/2012 VATICAN - CUBA
    Fidel Castro to “gladly” meet Benedict XVI
    The announcement was made by the Leader Maximo on a government site. Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI met Raul Castro, asking that Good Friday be declared a holiday, to allow Christians to celebrate the Passion of Christ. In 1998, John Paul II succeeded in a similar request for December 25, Christmas Day. The pontiff also makes "humanitarian requests," perhaps for political prisoners. The Vice President Murillo excludes any "political reform".

    28/03/2012 VATICAN - CUBA
    Pope: in Cuba, religious freedom creates conditions conducive to peace and harmonious
    On the last day of his visit, Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in front of 600 thousand people. "The truth which stands above humanity is an unavoidable condition for attaining freedom, since in it we discover the foundation of an ethics on which all can converge and which contains clear and precise indications concerning life and death, duties and rights, marriage, family and society, in short, regarding the inviolable dignity of the human person. "



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