AMERICA/CUBA – The Bishops: “increasingly urge the involvement of Cubans in a nation project that involves and motivates everyone, without exclusions or marginalization”

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Havana – Faced with the climate of tension and confrontation that has been increasing in recent times, the Cuban bishops express some “considerations that spring from our hearts as Cubans and pastors of the People of God”. In their message at the end of the plenary assembly of the Cuban Bishops’ Conference, the bishops first of all reiterate: “Every person deserves esteem and recognition of their dignity, for their condition as a human being and a child of God, for being a free citizen, subject to rights and duties. Consequently, every Cuban should be able to express and share freely and with respect, his personal opinions, his thoughts or his convictions, even when he disagrees with the majority”. They therefore consider that “any act of violence, whether physical, verbal or psychological, seriously injures the soul of the Cuban nation and contributes even more to the pain, suffering and sadness of our families”. In this way it is not possible to build a future of hope, moreover “violence contradicts the will of God”.
In their message, the Bishops of the island affirm that they believe that “there is an increasing urgency for the involvement of Cubans in a national project that involves and motivates everyone; that takes into account the differences, without exclusions or marginalizations”.
In addition, they consider it necessary “to implement mechanisms where, without fear of intimidation and reprisals, everyone can be heard and dissatisfaction is channeled in the face of the harsh daily realities that overwhelm so many, especially the most impoverished and vulnerable.” So they insist: “It is essential to implement the necessary changes, so long desired, that favor a dignified and happy life for all children, here, in this land of ours”. Finally, they invoke an act of indulgence, which would alleviate social tension, for those still in prison since last summer and urge everyone not to spare their efforts “to pave the way for understanding, reconciliation and to peace” in order to find the best solutions to the problems that concern us.
From November, 8 to 11, the Catholic Bishops of Cuba held their 158th Plenary Assembly, during which they also elected the members of the Presidency and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Conference, and of some Commissions. Mgr. Emilio Aranguren Echeverría, Bishop of Holguín was elected President; Vice-president: Mgr. Arturo González Amador, Bishop of Santa Clara; General Secretary: Mgr. Juan de Dios Hernández Ruiz s.j., Bishop of Pinar del Río. The Bishops exchanged ideas and experiences with the outgoing and incoming Director of Caritas Cuba, underlining the work of Caritas during the period of the pandemic, the present and the future. Among the other issues that the Bishops addressed, in addition to the analysis of the social situation, include the beginning of the synodal process in the dioceses, the renewal and / or updating of the Department of Pastoral Coordination, the participation of the Cuban Church in the Continental Ecclesial Assembly, the current state of ecumenism in Cuba, the preliminary draft of the Family Code.