Cuban Faces of 2016: Juan De La Caridad García Rodríguez, Archbishop Of Havana (b. Camaguey, 1948) / 14ymedio

Juan de la Caridad García new archbishop of San Cristóbal de Habana. (Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba)

14ymedio, Havana, 28 December 2016 – Cuban faces of 2016: Ordained as a priest in 1972 and consecrated as a bishop in 1997, Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez belongs to a new generation of prelates within the Cuban Church. He served as a priest in Ciego de Avila and as a bishop in Camagüey until his appointment as Archbishop of Havana in April of this year.

The arrival of Garcia Rodriguez at the head of the capital diocese occurred after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Jaime Ortega y Alamino for exceeding the age of 75 years, as established by the Code of Canon Law. After receiving the news, the lay Catholic Dagoberto Valdés considered that it was “a gift from the pope to the people of Cuba,” because the Camagüeyan priest “truly smells like the sheep,” as the pontiff wishes.

Weeks after taking office, the new archbishop generated a festering controversy stating that he did not want there to be in Cuba ” capitalism or anything like that, but that socialism progress” to go “forward in a fair and balanced society of brotherhood.”