VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2001 ( Bishop Marcelo Arturo González Amador of Santa Clara is Cuba´s sole representative at the Synod of Bishops. On Friday, he addressed the synod. The Synod Secretariat published the following résumé of his remarks.

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I come from a small Church, which has had to keep its gaze on the One who died, on the suffering and resurrected Christ, to encounter in him the reason for its existence, the indispensable strength in the midst of trials and the patience necessary for living in hope, interpreting each instant of its history as a time of grace, the hour of God.

My reflection is based on No. 9 of the "instrumentum laboris": the new face of the bishop. All this leads me to think of five aspects.

1. We are men of God and men want us to be like God: saints. They seek us to encounter in us that which they cannot encounter in others, God; they want us to speak about God, with our experience, and want us to speak to God about them.

2. They want to see us totally free, without dependence or limitations, without submission or affiliation to any power, to anyone; without conditioning and manipulation of any type. In other words, they want us totally distant from political and economic power, fully available to Christ, the only source of salvation.

3. The faithful want us to be men capable of illuminating thought and uniting will, in other words, to create an environment of consensus.

4. Daily life leads us to enter into relationships with all people. These people expect from us sensitivity to all human misery and the courage to defend human rights, by legitimate means and without wrong intentions, without hoping for a reward in exchange. ...

5. The Church and, first of all, we pastors are called to take concrete steps, to make definite gestures of support and accompaniment for everyone, but in particular to the people who live in marginalized and difficult situations.

Finally, I would like to express to the Holy Father the gratitude of the Cuban Church for his person and his constant daily commitment. Thank you for those five days in the month of January 1998 when he walked on the land of Cuba as a "Message of Truth and Hope." I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to thank all the sister Churches for the support which they have offered to the Church that lives in Cuba.