HAVANA, Cuba, JAN. 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Havana is urging the faithful of the island nation to give what little they have to help Haiti in the wake of an earthquake that destroyed its capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, who is also the president of Caritas-Cuba, has written a letter to the Church in Cuba that appeals to the virtue of charity, and asks for a “national collection for this tested people.”
The letter is addressed to all priests, deacons, men and women religious and lay faithful of Cuba, and will be read at all Sunday Masses.
“I am conscious of the difficult economic situation that reigns among us, but in situations such as these we must put our hand out to share with our brothers the little we have,” the cardinal says.
Cardinal Ortega y Alamino explains that for logistical reasons, a collection of goods and materials would be “complicated to distribute,” and urges a “monetary collection, whether in national currency or even in [Cuban convertible peso], with the sacrifices and privations that it entails.”
“Caritas International has activated an emergency plan to help the Haitian people,” he continues. “The money from the collection, after its conversion, will be sent to the mentioned Caritas International emergency plan, whose officials will be in charge of making our aid reach the Haitian people.”
Recalling the Gospel parable of the widow’s mite, the cardinal invites Cuban Catholics “to share, from our poverty, with the brother nation of Haiti.”