I’ll Skip the Pope’s Cuba Visit

Alfredo Fernandez 

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 9 — With God’s blessing, I don’t plan to attend the mass set for this coming March 28 in Revolution Square. Though it will be presided over by the Pope, for me he’s only a figure representing power, someone who I can’t associate with anything other than backwardness and false morality.

In 1998, when Pope John Paul II visited Havana, I attended the Mass held on January 24 in Jose Marti Square.

I remember that back than I was living in the outlying Electrico neighborhood. This meant that to get into town to get a good seat among the million people who turned out, I had to leave home at midnight the night before. Even so, the closest I got was some 60 yards from the “Sacred Father.”

In those days, I was much more misinformed than I am now. That’s why I only knew about the good side of John Paul II, who — with his image of the “tender grandfather” — it was impossible not to admire.

Later, my intellectual curiosity compelled me to investigate more and I discovered the other darker side of John Paul II. This same gentleman who had proclaimed his position “on the side of the poor,” years earlier had forced Nicaraguan priest Ernesto Cardenal to kneel down and beg for forgiveness. Cardenal was one of the representatives of Liberation Theology, that radical tendency within Christianity that supports the poor).

Yet at the same time, John Paul II was an intimate friend of no one less than Marcial Maciel, the head of the orthodox order the Legion of Christ. Despite his “strict and proclaimed morals,” Maciel was proven to have an extensive record of sexual abuse against children, as well as against the daughter of a “parishioner.”

In short, I won’t be heading for the Square this coming March 28. Nor will I attend any of the activities in the streets to welcome the “much awaited” Benedicto XVI.

Too much information has ended up making me distrustful of such an old power as that of the church. This is especially so when the current “Vicar of God” has openly and repeatedly declared his repulsion toward abortion and homosexuals.



Alfredo Fernandez

Alfredo Fernandez: I didn't really leave Cuba, it's impossible to leave somewhere that you've never been. After gravitating for 37 years on that strange island, I managed to touch firm ground, but only to confirm that I hadn't reached anywhere. Perhaps I will never belong anywhere. Now I'm living in Ecuador, but please, don't believe me when I say where I am, better to find me in "the Cuba of my dreams.

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5 thoughts on “I’ll Skip the Pope’s Cuba Visit

  • Juan Serrano there were no lies in the accusations against Maciel, who in fact had at least two false identities, at least two “wives”, and children from four women. He sexually abused two of his children (apart from the 100 or so other child and adolescent victims of abuse) and he used large amounts of money from donations for his own use (for example he habitually took $20,000 for pocket money on any of his trips, he flew concorde from europe to the USA for a dental appointment, had his wives living in very expensive homes with lifestyle to match etc). I am an exlegionary and I have met the victims several times, and am in contact with them. As an outsider you may want to believe different to the truth but there is no doubt that JPII knew about the sexual abuses yet preferred to dine with Maciel and evoke him as an efficacious example for youth.

    And by the way, marriage in the bible is quite comfortable with a man having concubines, it encourages a man to marry his dead brother’s widow, or to marry a woman he has raped.

    Juan Serrano, you catholics only follow the biblical principles that you LIKE. Let me guess that you dont avoid eating shellfish or flesh from animals with un-cloven feet? And do you not incur god’s anger by not putting to death men who sleep with men as with a woman? For that is what the bible says.

  • How hateful and ignorant you can all be against Catholics and against Catholicism

    1-Liberation theology proclaims that “justice” can be proclaimed with bloody revolutions. The Church is against this Communist way of thinking because Marx’s ideas often times go against teachings of self mercy and humanitarian needs. Plus, don’t you what these ‘Socialist carnivals” did to Catholics in Eastern Europe. We do not need any revolution and more blood spills

    2- The founder of legiandaries of Christ was yes guilty of part of his crimes. However, they were lies in the accusation by some of his former memebers. If you wanna read more, then read the “En defesa del Papa” by the Italian journalists Paolo Rodari and Andrea Tornielli.

    3- A marriage shall always be between a man and a women. We Catholics have a right to self consciousness and the right to follow biblical principles

    4- Abortion is murder

    5- Some much ignorance and bias against Catholicsm just disgusts me. I’ll pray that Jesus shines your path my friend.

  • He only represents the head of a church. That’s it. No special powers. Keep it moving, nothing to see here.

  • Thank you Alfredo. Well said!

  • Thank you Alfredo,

    Given that the Church is:

    Misogynist : regarding abortion, birth control and not allowing women to become priests

    Homophobic: based on primitive Bronze Age morality

    Pro-imperialist and pro capitalist: preventing its priests from joining the poor in countries fighting against capitalist tyranny (Cardenal and many others)

    Totalitarian: Rule from the top which cannot be questioned anywhere in its hierarchal and patriarchal undemocratic structure.

    Pederast: unrepentant child rapists: The Pope himself protects the priests who are child molesters

    I am amazed that the revolutionary people of Cuba having long fought against all of these things would remain faithful to such a socially backward organization.

    It should be noted that the most ardent supporters of the Church are often the most vociferous opponents of true (democratic) socialism and have been enemies of the Cuban revolution since its inception.

    Personally I would declare any Pope persona non grata although in the current climate of the U.S and European war on Cuba using the Pope’s visit to ease the war might have some benefit.

    The question I always ask of Catholics and especially ardent Catholics is whether they would leave their adolescent sons overnight in the care of a Catholic priest.

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