Getting a doctorate: Published while they are celebrating the opening ceremony in Havana of the first course in a Doctorate in Theology in Cuba / Mario Lleonart

When my wife Yoaxis Marcheco and I not did not find our names on the list of those enrolled for the doctorate in theology (PhD) course to be offered for the first time in Cuba, after a strong year in a preparatory course, offered by the FIET Theological Institute (Argentina) in collaboration with the FTS of Londrina; when we discovered that our two names were the only ones absent; when we realized that we were the object of evident political discrimination; it is likely that our first reaction was human, because none of this is foreign. When we discovered ourselves not even among the guests at the opening ceremony this Sunday, June 9 at 7 pm at Los Pinos Nuevos Church in Calle Suárez, Habana Vieja, is likely that we felt excluded.

Now that July 9th has come the situation has changed unimaginably. Originally we thought of going for the occasion to Havana and at least sitting on the pews of the Church in silent protest. But, what is our situation today?

I cannot be in Havana as I thought because I’m in Gdansk, the place of the shipyards in which the Communist regime in Poland saw the birth of its collapse. In the midst of this we never dreamed, nor much less planned to receive so many proposals in order to achieve our doctorates.

Precisely on this same day the 9th, as a sign from heaven, an Argentine friend, Micaela Hierro, has come to Gdansk to greet us from Germany where he did his first year of a doctorate. And he came in a hurry because the following morning he must be present in his classroom. And it has left us very encouraged in this regard.

The question for us today is, where to do it? Of the universities that are offering us options which offer so we accept? South America, Europe, USA or Africa? What programs suit us more, us and Cuba? Frankly we wanted no more than what was offered in Havana, in our own land, in this project of FIET and the FTS, but the possibilities and proposals are more diversified than we ever imagined.

Our year of pre-doctoral studies (nivelación) with Professor Alberto Roldán of Argentina was extremely motivating for us. This excellent teacher, who directs the digital magazine “Teologia and Cultura,” guided us to the reading of authors and sources not common to Cuba. Frankly he planted in us “the bug” of the study of theology as a source of empowerment and we were ready for this doctorate which will take us further along the path of the so-called “political theology.”

The stab made by the dictatorship through its Office of Attention to Religious Matters (Oficina de Atención a los Asuntos Religiosos) of the Committee Central of the Communist Party of Cuba has only resulted in our facing, today, the difficult decision of choosing between various and tempting options. It is not that it has eliminated the only option that was offered to us: it is that they have multiplied them for us. And we are going to do it! For the glory of God and for the benefit of Cuba.

9 June 2013