Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, January 25, 2015
Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Archdiocese Communications Campaign

Home : News : Local
At Mass, pope recognizes Cubans' struggles, calls freedom a necessity
Catholic News Service photo
The sun sets as Pope Benedict celebrates Mass in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, March 26. Celebrating the outdoor service on his first day in Cuba, the pope acknowledged the struggles of the country's Catholics after half a century of communism.
Catholic News Service photo
The sun sets as Pope Benedict celebrates Mass in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, March 26. Celebrating the outdoor service on his first day in Cuba, the pope acknowledged the struggles of the country's Catholics after half a century of communism.

Catholic News Service photo
Pope Benedict waves to the crowd as he arrives to celebrate Mass in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, March 26. Celebrating the outdoor service on his first day in Cuba, the pope acknowledged the struggles of the country's Ca tholics after half a century of communism.
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Benedict waves to the crowd as he arrives to celebrate Mass in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, March 26. Celebrating the outdoor service on his first day in Cuba, the pope acknowledged the struggles of the country's Ca tholics after half a century of communism.

+ view more photos
Catholic News Service photo
Pope Benedict greets the crowd from the popemobile as he arrives to celebrate Mass in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, March 26.

Catholic News Service


SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba — Celebrating an outdoor Mass on his first day in Cuba, Pope Benedict acknowledged the struggles of the country's Catholics after half a century of communism and described human freedom as a necessity for both salvation and social justice.


The pope spoke March 26 in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, in Cuba's second-largest city. He had arrived in the country a few hours earlier, after spending three days in Mexico.


The Vatican had said the square would hold 200,000 people and it was full; several thousand also filled the streets leading to the square. Cuban President Raul Castro, who welcomed the pope at the airport, sat in the front row for Mass.


Tens of thousands of those at the Mass were wearing white T-shirts welcoming the pope as the "pilgrim of charity"; many wore baseball caps to protect them from the hot sun.


Before the pope arrived in the popemobile, the original statue of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba's patroness, was driven atop a white truck through the cheering crowd. The statue then was enthroned near the papal altar.


In his homily, Pope Benedict recognized the "effort, daring and self-sacrifice" required of Cuban Catholics "in the concrete circumstances of your country and at this moment in history." Though now more tolerant of religious practice than in earlier decades, the communist state continues to prevent the construction of new churches and strictly limits Catholic access to state media.


In a possible allusion to reports that the regime had prevented political opponents from attending the Mass, Pope Benedict extended his customary mention of those absent for reasons of age or health to include people who, "for other motives, are not able to join us."


The pope painted a dire picture of a society without faith.


"When God is set aside, the world becomes an inhospitable place for man," he said.


"Apart from God, we are alienated from ourselves and are hurled into the void.


"Obedience to God is what opens the doors of the world to the truth, to salvation," the pope said. "Redemption is always this process of the lifting up of the human will to full communion with the divine will."


Taking his theme from the day's liturgical feast of the Annunciation, when Mary learned that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, the pope emphasized that fulfillment of the divine plan involved Mary's free acceptance of her role.


"Our God, coming into the world, wished to depend on the free consent of one of his creatures," Pope Benedict said. "It is touching to see how God not only respects human freedom: He almost seems to require it."


The most specific advice in the pope's homily regarded a topic familiar to his listeners in the prosperous capitalist countries of Western Europe and North America: the sanctity of the "family founded on matrimony" as the "fundamental cell of society and an authentic domestic church."


"You, dear husbands and wives, are called to be, especially for your children, a real and visible sign of the love of Christ for the church," Pope Benedict said. "Cuba needs the witness of your fidelity, your unity, your capacity to welcome human life, especially that of the weakest and most needy."


According to the Center for Demographic Studies at the University of Havana, Cuba's divorce rate has almost tripled in four decades, rising from 22 divorces per 100 marriages in 1970 to 64 in 2009. The country's parliament is scheduled later this year to consider the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, in response to a campaign led by Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro.



Despite his challenges to Cuban society, Pope Benedict concluded his homily by repeating an earlier call for patience with the Catholic Church's policy of dialogue and cooperation with the communist regime, a process initiated by Blessed John Paul II during his 1998 visit to Cuba.



Related Stories:
• Cheers, tears, prayer: Cuban-Americans join Cuban pilgrims in Santiago
• Pope asks Our Lady of Charity to protect, guide, help suffering Cubans



Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2015 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved