Internationale

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Something for the weekend.  The Internationale being sung in Spanish in Havana.  This is dedicated to Cardinal Jaime Ortega, and the Babalu Blog, the go to blog for all activities in Castro’s island gulag, tells us why:

Diplomacy does not seem to be Cardinal Jaime Ortega’s strongpoint. The archbishop of Havana behaved badly to a group of anti-Castro activists who were distributing a statement on a proposed amnesty law for political prisoners to diplomats attending 4th of July ceremonies at the home of Jeffrey DeLaurentis, head of the US Interests Section in Havana.

The cardinal’s harsh comments came shortly after a musical group — clad in colorful Prussian blue uniforms with white caps — had finished playing the last notes of the national anthems of Cuba and the United States on their wind instruments and after a brief welcome by Mr. DeLaurentis.

Relaxed officials and accredited diplomats working in Havana were chatting with dissidents, musicians and Cuban intellectuals — they had been invited to Independence Day celebrations — as waiters served red wine, beer, fruit juice and canapés.

Activists Egberto Escobedo and Jose Diaz Silva approached Ortega, who was chatting with a group of bishops, to hand him a list of fifty-one political prisoners whose release the Forum for Rights and Liberties — a group led by Antonio Rodiles, Angel Moya and Berta Soler — had been requesting every Sunday for twelve weeks in the face of intense harassment by police.

“I don’t want you handing me another list. Send it to the ’worms’* broadcasting on the radio from Miami. If you keep bothering me, I’ll have them call the police,” responded Ortega angrily.

Diplomats, guests and foreign journalists were taken aback. His outburst was the talk of the evening.

“He seemed more like a Stalinist commissar than a compassionate agent of the Lord. We assumed the Catholic church was supposed to welcome all of us. But for some time now there has been a faction of the Cuban church that has not only turned its back on dissidents but has attacked us nearly as forcefully as the government,” said Victor Manuel Dominguez, a poet and freelance journalist.

An official from a western embassy, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed the opinion of his mission that “all that is being asked of Ortega is that he at least listen to a person’s demands, even if he does not agree with them.”

The Cuban archbishop’s verbal hostility stems from statements he made on June 5 to Cadena Ser, a Spanish radio station, in which he said that there are no longer political prisoners in Cuba.

This statement provoked a harsh response from activist Jose Luis Garcia Perez, known as Antunez. Antunez and other activists — including Rodiles, Guillermo Fariñas, Angel Moya and Berta Soler — were present during the cardinal’s tantrum.

“This is what one would expect from a society in which religious institutions that supposedly welcome all believers turns its back on dissidents. But this is what is happening. Intellectuals and a certain segment of the clergy remain suspiciously silent in the face of Sunday assaults on activists and the Ladies in White,” said Rodiles.

Go here to read the rest.  I am showing my age.  I can recall when cardinals were foes of Communist tyrannies instead of  toadies for them.

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14 Comments

  1. Not to worry, once the global warming agenda gives the one-world UN the authority it seeks to control all nations, I’m certain the nice UN will admonish the communist nasties and the world will slip into Pax Romana mode again. Maybe the Vatican will move to Havana and live among the poor….

  2. Another waste-of-space bishop. Blaise Cupich, this twerp, Msgr. Tiso and the ghastly Croat Franciscans during the war all cut from the same cloth.

  3. “I am showing my age.  I can recall when cardinals were foes of Communist tyrannies instead of  toadies for them.”

    You didn’t go high enough in the chain of authority. How is Otega’s conduct different that PF whose own Academey of [pseudo]Science refused to even hear critics of global warming prior to the encyclical. Let’s pray that PF addressed the matter of political prisoners when he visits the Cuban dictatore.

  4. I said earlier that I was disappointed with Cardinal Ortega. Not anymore. I am disgusted with Cardinal Ortega. I think the same of him as I do Bishop Lynch in St. Petersburg, +Cupich, +Mahony and even the ex-Pittsburgher +Wuerl.

    Most American Catholics have no clue about the Church in Latin America. Regardless of Latin American nation, the Church has had a soft spot for hard-core leftist politics. The Castros should be hated throughout this hemisphere but they are almost admired. The hatred for George W. Bush far exceeds anything aimed at the Castros.

    Imagine that – “worms in Miami”. Fidel has long labeled the Cuban exiles in Miami “worms”. The Cuban exiles in Miami are the one immigrant group that has been okay to trash by Hollywood and Big Media. PBS did a hit piece on the Miami Cubans not long after the Elian Gonzalez production.

    Every day we see more evidence of really how bad things are in the Latin American Church. Its infatuation with liberation theology and deep seated class envy cause the Church to bleed members to Protestant churches.

    Reform in the Church will come from the Remnant. Until then we must deal with the ineptitude of the Church hierarchy.

    Communism is the single worst idea in the history of mankind. It has oppressed and murdered more than any ideology in this world’s history. It has killed more than all of the plagues, diseases, and natural disasters. It denies God and freedom of man. Yet, we see what we see just in our own backyard.

    The real anti-Communist clergy came from the old Eastern Bloc and Mao’s China.

  5. Communism suppressed the homeland of my dad’s ancestors for 44 years. Poland was the scratch, then the chip, then the crack, then the fissure, then the tremor, then the Krakatoa of the Soviet empire in Europe.

    Through the dark days of partition and Soviet occupation a quarter century after partition ended, the Church in Poland NEVER stopped in its labors to keep Poland alive and resistance to outside suppression.

    Ain’t happenin’ in Cuba. The Vatican has reached new lows with this papal visit and the most silly recent encyclical. The Roman Pontiff’s remarks about capitalism (really, free market economies) shows the depths of his ignorance about economic matters.

    Castro has murdered Americans. This has occurred in international waters. His regime would not last a week against the US Armed Forces, even now. All it took was a spineless, heartless, cold man in the White House to warm up to the Stalinist 90 miles from Key West.

    I am Catholic because of Christ. I would never be Catholic for any other reason.

  6. Yes, the good Cardinal refers to Cuban refugees in America as “worms.” Now what if a conservative politician referred to immigrants here as worms. The hierarchical BS would hit the wall. We might get a looney Cardinal referring to him as a member of the KKK. Oh wait, they do that where there is reasoned disagreement on illegal immigration:

    http://www.catholic.org/news/politics/story.php?id=36322

  7. I recall my parents who came from Cuba to America in 1961 told me the following: “at the very consecration of the host when the Body of Christ is physically present, at St. Francis Cathedral in Santiago de Cuba at Sunday Mass, the Communists and followers of Fidel walked from the pews and formed a conga line, and sang,’ We are Communists go forward, go forward,’ The Communists who where present at Holy Mass told the other Communists on the line about the Carmelite Nuns present at Mass at the time, ‘check under their skirts that’s where they hide their money.’ To paraphrase Our Lord, you cannot serve the Lord and the hammer and sickle.

  8. The Catholic clergy has always, throughout history, shown a fear and contempt of οἱ πολλοί, the many, whom they equate with the rabble. Despots, whether of the Left or the Right, for one man can be more easily guided than many.

    The fear and suspicion of democracy and the fear and suspicion of capitalism are two sides of the same coin. De Tocqueville described the attitude of the Ancien Régime, the creaton of Cardinals like Richelieu and Mazarin: “The Old Regime, in fact, held that wisdom lay only in the State and that the citizens were weak and feeble beings who must forever be guided by the hand, for fear they harm themselves. It held that it was necessary to obstruct, thwart, restrain individual freedom, that to secure an abundance of material goods it was imperative to regiment industry and impede free competition. The Old Regime believed, on this point, exactly as the socialists of today do. It was the French Revolution which denied this.”

    Compare this with Populorum Progressio (1967): “Organized programmes are necessary for “directing, stimulating, coordinating, supplying and integrating” the work of individuals and intermediary organizations. It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them; and it is also their task to stimulate the efforts of those involved in this common activity.”

    I sometimes fancy a classical education was at the back of it and that the notion of Plato’s philosopher-king lingers on; in the ancient world, lawgivers were revered as heroes and demi-gods and as the creators of society; the legislator alone reflects, invents, acts, whilst the citizens are as clay in the hands of the potter. Thus, they believed it was Pelasges who first taught the Greeks how to eat acorns; before that, the legend says, they grazed the land like cattle.

  9. I meant to write, “Despots, whether of the Left or the Right are preferred, for one man can be more easily guided than many.”

  10. I doubt MPS if what you say is correct. In the Middle Ages the authority of the kings and emperors was always limited by other groups and institutions. Where a ruler became too powerful within a State he inevitably ran afoul of the Church. Catholic influence was greatest in Europe during the Middle Ages and subsidiarity, although the word would not be coined until the last century, ruled the roost in practice if not always in theory.

    If there is a bias against Democracy within the Church it comes as either a hangover from the views of 19th century popes who as the secular rulers of the Papal states tended to view all European Democrats as red revolutionaries, and a fondness for socialism which is a hangover from the last half of the last century.

  11. Imagine that…..the parents of Julius Caesar’s Ghost were labeled as “worms” by Jaime Cardinal Ortega….for fleeing to the US and opposing Castro. An equivalent would have been Cardinal Wojtyla labeling Polish Americans as “dumb Polocks”.

    The church’s opposition to Communism, as with its opposition to Islam, has been nonexistent since Vatican II. Had we not had a Polish Pope, the Eastern Bloc may have not fallen. Does anyone think another Paul VI would have worked with the Reagan Administration to funnel assistance to Solidarity in Poland? Se how much help the oppressed Cubans are getting from the Church in Cuba?

    Cardinal Ortega reminds me of the wimpy English clergy who fell in line with Henry Tudor.

  12. The fear and suspicion of democracy and the fear and suspicion of capitalism are two sides of the same coin. De Tocqueville described the attitude of the Ancien Régime, the creaton of Cardinals like Richelieu and Mazarin: “The Old Regime, in fact, held that wisdom lay only in the State and that the citizens were weak and feeble beings who must forever be guided by the hand, for fear they harm themselves. It held that it was necessary to obstruct, thwart, restrain individual freedom, that to secure an abundance of material goods it was imperative to regiment industry and impede free competition. The Old Regime believed, on this point, exactly as the socialists of today do. It was the French Revolution which denied this.”

    [grinds teeth]: The ‘liberal’ dispensation in Latin American politics, whether or not it actually traded in constitutional government (and see Rufino Barrios for an example of the caudillo ‘liberal’) had as its signature hostility to the Church. Ditto the entire republican dispensation in French politics prior to 1901. Ditto Otto von Bismarck and his collaborators in the National LIberal Party. Ditto the entire spectrum of republican parties in Spain in 1933 except for some Basque particularists and chameleons like Miguel Maura.

  13. Penguins Fan writes: “Until then we must deal with the ineptitude of the Church hierarchy.” I am no longer willing to give them that benefit of the doubt. No one is that “inept”.

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