HAVANA, MAR. 12, 2001 (Zenit.org).- An internal document of the Cuban Communist Party proposing ways to hinder religiosity and the Church´s pastoral work is clearly “anti-religious,” the archbishop of Havana said.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, in statements to the Italian news agency ANSA, explained that the Cuban Church “began an in-depth dialogue with the government quite some time ago,” and warned that the suggestions made in the document are “an attack on the faith of children.”
The internal document alerts Communist militants to the danger “of religious meddling in the area that is part of the conquests of the revolution for the people´s benefit.”
The document includes, as part of the Church´s “meddling,” educational activities “with the use of illegal computers,” concern for the handicapped and their families, distribution of medicines that are unavailable in pharmacies, and material and recreational assistance for the elderly in parishes.
To counteract the influence of the Church´s charitable work, the Communist Party proposes energetic action against unauthorized Church centers, and an increase of cultural activities for children, youths and adolescents, in order to debate religious films and books “scientifically and materialistically.”
In his statements to ANSA, Cardinal Ortega pointed out the contradiction posed by an entity that admits it is atheist but insists on addressing strictly religious questions from its point of view.
On Feb. 27, ZENIT published statements of Bishop Flavio Roberto Carraro, president of the Italian bishops´ Commission for the Evangelization of Peoples, who, after visiting Cuba, reported on the Communists´ efforts to combat the effects of the Pope´s 1998 visit to the island.
The Communists want the island “to forget” the visit in order to “reduce the possibilities of the Church´s charitable assistance to people because, if the Church helps people, it means there is need,” Bishop Carraro said. “This would mean that the revolution has not succeeded in satisfying the people´s needs.”