HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban press appears to be re-editing that old maxim of “the selfless aid of the Soviet Union,” replacing the USSR with the Vatican. It remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to “sell” citizens the illusion of such help once again.
The political influence of the Catholic Church is bound to continue growing in Cuba. Some years ago, Catholic dissident Oswaldo Paya warned Cubans that the Church was starting to behave like a political party and condemned it for “wanting to replace the opposition.”
Behind the political leadership sought by the Cuban clergy and Vatican we find – among other things – the desire to evangelize citizens and to spread the philosophy and values of the Church (some of which are as positive as fraternity, mercy and the care of the elderly and ill).
These issues have already been extensively addressed by the island’s official press, which seems to be in a kind of honeymoon with the Church. Here, I will play the “devil’s advocate” (some will feel there’s no better term for it, given the context), delving into the other aspects of Catholic doctrine.
Blogger Harold Cardenas, to mention one example, revealed what the Pope thinks about the union of people of the same gender. Pope Francis wrote that fighting against such unions is a “holy war” (does he mean a jihad?) and that “the devil” is behind the legalization of same-sex marriages.
Curiously, a group of Cuban experts drew up a new Family Code that, among other things, recognizes the union of people of the same sex. A decade later, the Cuban parliament hasn’t even bothered to discuss it. Is this a mere coincidence?
Increased influence by religious institutions will affect more than the gay community. The Catholic Church is also opposed to the distribution of condoms and, for the purposes of preventing the spread of AIDS, Pope Benedict XVI suggested sexual abstinence by single persons and strict fidelity among married couples.
If the doctrine of the Church were imposed on Cuba, we’d start seeing long lines of people waiting to confess, as sex outside of marriage is considered a grave sin. Cubans will likely continue to make love, but they will do so with guilt and plenty of confessions, as God decrees!
Of course, if they could, the first thing they would prohibit is abortion. I recall Pope John Paul II say in Cuba that abortion is a crime. Thus, all Cuban women who have had abortions will go straight to hell, as though we were back in the time of King Herod.
For the Vatican, children are a gift from God, even when carried by a 9-year-old child left pregnant by a rapist. The “merciful” Catholic Church excommunicated the child, her parents and the doctors involved because they arranged an abortion for her to save her life.
Needless to say, they also make no concessions for divorce, because, “no one is entitled to tear asunder what God put together.” The problem is that God seems to make plenty of mistakes in his amorous experiments and no one wants to spend the rest of their lives bearing the cross of his error.
It would be hard to convince Cubans to renounce their right to divorce or persuade women to accept waiving their right to decide over their maternity. They would need to change people’s mentalities, and you can only achieve that through the media and education.
It is clearly no coincidence that the Catholic Church has set up schools in its parishes, while applying pressure to have religious authorities be appointed to all levels of the country’s educational system and secure a permanent space on television and the radio.
This is no evil plan designed to harm Cubans. On the contrary, they mean to “save” them. The problem is that those who have never raised a family are the ones dispensing the advice, and they insist that all those without children ought to have them.
Every month, the Catholic Church loses thousands of followers across Latin America owing to its archaic doctrines, doctrines it can take to Cuba to continue down the road traced before the revolution, when divorce and abortion laws were approved.
Every time religion partners up with political power, scientists are burnt at the stake, entire peoples perish in bloody crusades, the massacre of indigenous populations is sanctified, slavery is justified, a holy war on gay marriage is declared and raped children are stigmatized.
The ironic thing is that, 2,000 years ago, the founder of this religion suggested the separation of Church and State, for the benefit of both. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s,” the son of the carpenter wisely said.