In that interview Roa praised the Holy See's posture vis-à-vis the government of Cuba, but accused the country's bishops of taking sides with foreign powers.Besides the fact that Castro's ambasadors lack any sort of credibility, I wonder how he can say the Church is pro-U.S., when recent stories are reporting the Pope's opposition to U.S. embargo on Cuba.
The cardinal said Roa's comments make it seem that "all the responsibility for the difficulties of Church-state relations in Cuba fall on the bishops, ignoring all that corresponds to the government of our country," and that that episcopate serves the interests of the United States in the island nation.
The archbishop of Havana added: "We, the bishops of Cuba, are used to reading all kinds of newspaper articles, where we are accused of being 'collaborationists with the Castro government,' of supporting a specific dissident group or leader and of other contradictory things.
"This, although unpleasant, is possible in newspaper articles, but the insinuation, repeated by Mr. Roa that the Church in Cuba through her bishops has always responded to foreign powers is totally new and gratuitous."
"His opinions on the Cuban bishops and their estrangement from priests are unacceptable and false," stated the cardinal.
In the paragraphs of the interview that refer to the Church in Cuba, Roa "uses disrespectful and at times offensive language, never used before by any ambassador of Cuba to the Holy See in public documents," added the prelate.
Cardinal Ortega added: "This is an unpleasant surprise and I want to affirm our total rejection of the content of his words and of his wounding and anything but conciliatory style."
Ninoska Perez hit the issue on the nail--the double standard that seems to exist when it comes to Cuba. What is about Castro that seems to fool the world? What charm or magic does he posses? Is not his atrocities evident? What is there to admire about Castro's revolution?
"The Holy See wishes ardently that the obstacles that currently impede free communication and exchange between Cuba and the international community may be overcome as soon as possible, thus consolidating, by means of a respectful and open dialogue among all, the conditions necessary for genuine development," the pope said.
For some observers, the statement came as no surprise. The Vatican has repeatedly opposed economic embargoes designed to achieve political purposes. But for some Cuban exiles, many of them Catholic, the pontiff's message was a slap in the face.
"It's nothing different than the same attitude that the pope has had in regards to Cuba, which is really sad because it's not the same attitude he had toward Poland or toward communism [in other countries]," said Cuban exile activist Ninoska Pérez Castellón. "It's really disappointing."
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