HAVANA TIMES — Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the archbishop of Havana, said recently at a conference in Germany that the Cuban Catholic Church is recognized as a legitimate interlocutor by the island’s government.
Since 2010 the Church has been in dialogue with the authorities and “not only with President Raul Castro” on topics such as “the grave economic situation of the country, and the fears and demands of citizens,” but also “the aspirations and hopes” of Cubans, said the priest.
The religious leader admitted to not knowing “how far the dialogue can advance or its real scope or potential outcomes.” “However,” he added, “dialogue is the only path that the Church must pursue to procure a good material and spiritual life for society and the Cuban people.”
Cuba is immersed in an economic and spiritual or existential crisis, Ortega said, adding that the process begun in 1959 has not succeeded at realizing itself, “at least not as expected,” where the “Cuban dream” would meet “the aspirations of the righteous poor of this land.”
Nevertheless Ortega said the Catholic Church is encouraging the changes “timidly taking place” on the island and it hopes that other changes will be introduced “for the good of the country and its citizens,” he added.