HAVANA, December 11. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba prayed for a solution to the dramatic situation experienced by the people of the Island in the 2023 Christmas Messagein which he mentions the lonely and helpless elderly, prisoners and people who suffer most intensely from the lack of medicine, food and hope.
“The Cuban people often feel like they are traveling in the middle of the night. We are ending a very difficult year, because the situation regarding food, medicine and services in general is dramatic.
The growing emigration of children, young people, entire families, workers and professionals adds to the suffering due to material deficiencies, the pain of separation, and is leaving many older adults in loneliness and helplessness,” said the highest representatives of the Church. Catholic in a text published by the magazine Vida Cristiana.
“The salaries of the majority are not enough to adequately nourish themselves, without thinking about other needs that human beings have to live with dignity. Prisoners continue to be missed at home and in the Christian community.
In the hearts and faces of so many of our brothers, there is confusion, sadness and hopelessness. The economy has not blossomed as expected, and the possibility of enriching ourselves with legitimate opinions and plural thoughts is not sufficiently recognized and valued,” they lamented.
The conference begged “that God grant joy, peace, tranquility and hope” to the Cuban people, because “without these feelings in the heart, the human being loses enthusiasm for life, the ability to undertake initiatives and mobilize to carry them out.”
“We have to create together, with responsibility and commitment, the real possibilities so that the Cuban people, who are happy, creative, enterprising, develop all their potential. And we can find in the Homeland the scope and freedom to develop the projects of personal, family and community life,” he added.
The Catholic bishops invited people to “celebrate Christmas as a family and in the Christian community” and to live it “from the depths,” “despite the limitations.”
“May it be a good time to share at home, to visit the sick and those who are alone (…) May each child receive a present on Three Kings Day. May we give each other smiles, company, time to listen to each other and reconcile.” , they asked.
In August 2023, the Conference of Catholic Bishops lamented that “Cuba is experiencing one of the most difficult moments in its history” when presenting the guide of the Catholic Church for the period 2023-2030. Then he denounced that “inflation, scarcity and emigration generate burden, hopelessness and apathy on the Island.”
Members of the Cuban Catholic Church often criticize government abuses and have sometimes also been victims of repression.
Last July, Cuban Father Alberto Reyes, priest of the Archdiocese of Camagüey, denounced that members of the Church who expose the injustices that occur in the country are called and threatened by the regime.
Reyes explained that “the cause of the deterioration of religious freedom in Cuba” is the “totalitarian government” that governs the country and that, in seeking absolute control, it also needs to “have control over the Church: what is allowed, what is not.” is allowed, according to their interests.”
In that sense, he pointed out that although masses can be celebrated in temples, the Church’s access in Cuba to the media and the educational system “is nil,” and “it is negligible” in the case of the health system. . For processions and Eucharists on public roads, the permit is subject to “the conditions they want to give.”
“We have been threatened with being prosecuted and imprisoned if we continue publishing in the media our opinion about the situation in the country when it does not coincide with the official version of the Government,” said the father.