Castro, the Catholic Church, and the firing squad
- From: PL <pl.nospam@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 16:22:04 GMT
Castro, the Catholic Church, and the firing squad
The Cuban Catholic Bishops Conference that now urges the faithful to pray for the health of the Red Wolf, has never publicly dared ask for prayers for their decimated flock, including the thousands of political prisoners agonizing in Castro's prisons
Friday, August 18, 2006
by Armando Valladares
On the 4th of this month, a bucket of cold water fell upon the growing hopes for freedom held by Cuban Catholics on the island and those in exile. The bloody dictator, Castro, temporarily relinquished power for medical treatment after nearly a half century of persecutions, crimes and the almost complete destruction of society. Even worse, he applied a diabolical strategy against Catholics, which he made explicit at the University of Havana where he said: Let us "produce apostates rather than martyrs."
The recent shocker was a communiqué of the Cuban Catholic Bishops Conference (COCC) issued almost simultaneously by the Cuban Catholic Information Agency and the official organ of the Cuban Communist Party, Granma International. It earnestly asked "all" Catholic communities on the island to pray that God "might accompany President Castro in his illness;" that He might "illuminate those who have provisionally received the responsibility of government;" and that the "desire for peace and fraternal coexistence among all Cubans might not be disturbed by any external or internal situation."
Making no secret of its satisfaction, Granma International interpreted the Bishops' message as a call to "pray for the recovery of President Fidel Castro" and "a cry of alert" that the "stability and social harmony prevailing in Cuba" may not be altered by internal or external events.
The Cuban Catholic Bishops Conference (COCC in Spanish) that now urges the faithful to pray for the health of the Red Wolf, has never publicly dared ask for prayers for their decimated flock, including the thousands of political prisoners agonizing in Castro's prisons and all those unjustly condemned and executed.
Trustworthy witnesses in Cuba say an unprecedented tension among the people and a heavy silence filled with expectation has taken over the streets; it is a silence so tangible it could be cut with a knife.
Some even go as far as to say that all it would take is the cry, 'the wolf is naked,' to unleash upheavals like the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Ceaucescu's bloody dictatorship in Rumania.
The shepherds chose precisely this critical juncture to sound the alert to prevent "internal events" from disturbing the artificial and fraudulent "peace" which in Cuba is nothing but the fatal peace that follows the firing squad.
Once again the shepherds shield the wolf rather than come to the defense of their own flock.
The next day, the Cuban Bishops' communiqué was echoed by none other than the Cardinal Primate of the Americas and Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Msgr. Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez. He not only called on the Dominican people to pray "for the health" of the tyrant but branded as "inhuman" the legitimate hopes of the Cuban exiles who went to the streets of Miami to express their hope that the physical deterioration of Castro might bring a prompt liberation of the island. (Cf. Listin Diario Digital and La Plana Digital, Dominican Republic, August 4 & 5, 2006).
This is the very same cardinal who, in August 1998, before Castro's arrival in the Dominican Republic, called on the people to give him a "joyful and warm welcome" (Cf. A. Valladares, "Castro en República Dominicana: el Pastor abre sus brazos al lobo…" in Diario Las Americas, Miami, August 20, 1998).
For years now I have had the painful obligation in conscience to write articles denouncing ecclesiastical collaboration with Cuban communism. I did this for a number of reasons. I had survived more than twenty years as a political prisoner in Castro's dungeons. During that time, my Catholic faith was strengthened by the cries of young martyrs who died by firing squad shouting 'Long live Christ the King, down with Communism!" To make matters worse, I had to resist, along with my companions in misfortune, ecclesiastical pressure to accept ideological 'reeducation' and wear the prison uniform of common criminals. However, I was finally able, almost miraculously, to leave the island-prison, having "hoped against all hope," as St. Paul puts it.
Most of these articles have been kindly published in Miami's Diario Las Americas. These articles, in Spanish, are available upon request from ArmandoValladares2005@xxxxxxxxx
The Bishops' communiqué that I have just commented on shows the unfortunate determination of the Cuban Catholic bishops to persist in Communist-Catholic collaboration even if the temporary separation of tyrant Fidel Castro from power becomes definitive. This collaboration with the Communist regime, which has lasted for decades, is a calamitous burden on their consciences as Catholic bishops, and will not be lost on God or History.
Armando Valladares, a former political prisoner in Cuba, author of the book Against All Hope narrating 22 years in Castro's dungeons, was U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva during the Reagan and Bush administrations. This article appears as a courtesy of the Tradition, Family and Property website: www.tfp.org – John Horvat, editor.