The Church Offers a Dialogue to the Regime Despite the Fact That Its Relations Are Going Through the ‘Worst Moment’

 The Christian Democratic Party of Cuba issues a statement supporting the bishops’ proposal

Meeting of the Cuban bishops with the Government, in April 2023 / Revolución Studies

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 22 April 2024 — The Christian Democratic Party of Cuba (PDC) issued a statement this Monday in which it supports the Catholic Church as a “fair and impartial mediator” to “find a peaceful and inclusive solution” on the Island. The organization in exile does not mention it explicitly, but appreciates the “open, sincere, and well-intentioned offer, which can open the door to a better future for our people in freedom, respect, harmony, well-being and peace,” referring to the proposal for dialogue between the Government and the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba (COCC), expressed by its secretary, Ariel Suárez, on the American NBC network last Thursday.

In the protests of March 17, Father Suárez said in that interview, the pain “became a cry,” which was “heard” and “accepted” by “all levels of the country.” “At least everyone has agreed in considering that that cry reflected anguish, it reflected desperation and that it was obviously asking for a situation different from the one that was being experienced,” the priest said.

The bishops “have invited us to pray,” Ariel Suárez also recalled, alluding to the prelates’ message issued this past Easter, but not only that. Furthermore, he mentioned, “they have confirmed the pain of the people and have also invited the Church, if the different political actors so consider it, to offer a space for dialogue,” so that “all these positions, different but not necessarily contradictory,” can help to “seek concrete solutions that this people needs.”

“We must say more clearly that we Cubans can love Cuba with different visions”

“We must say more clearly that we Cubans can love Cuba with different visions, with different perspectives, and that it is important to put the love for Cuba and the desire to improve the life of this people in its present and in its future above these differences,” the priest concluded.

Similarly, this Sunday the president of the COCC and bishop of the diocese of Holguín, Emilio Aranguren, alluded to that newspaper in statements to Radio and Television Martí. “In Cuba we use the words we all understand. It is important, therefore, to have the willingness and the space to talk about the common good, which is exactly our thing, which is why I consider that the important thing is to have the willingness. Logically, the Catholic Church desires, and is willing, to exchange with all the groups that make up society,” said the prelate.

A source from the archdiocese of Havana tells this newspaper that what Ariel Suárez expressed “is a subtle message” that the bishops send to the regime to say that the Church can mediate “despite the regrets.” The suggestion comes, in effect, at a bad time in the relations between the regime and the prelates, as was reflected in this year’s Holy Week.

During Holy Week, the Cuban Communist Party prohibited processions and celebrations in numerous churches. “At the diocesan level, the tension with the Party’s Religious Affairs Offices is worse than ever,” this source asserts.

In addition, he explains that “if there is dialogue” it is something “very timid” and that, in any case, as he insists, “the Government is very tense.” “The usual thing in this type of case is that things are known after the conversation, because the condition that the Government places on the Conference is that it maintains secrecy and does not leak any information.”

The general opinion within the Cuban Catholic Church is that the Vatican, at this time, “is not helping much either.” After last year’s meeting with the COCC, the island’s leaders froze any type of contact with the Church.


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