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Catholic Church seeks to open dialogue with Cuba

Cuba Cathedral of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion

Maurizio De Mattei | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 04/23/24

The Church is emphasizing the need for "concrete solutions" in Cuba.

After decades of tense relations, the Catholic Church may be gaining a foothold in the nation of Cuba. The Church is now proposing a dialogue with Cuba that would attempt to address the economic crisis, while strengthening the Church’s bid for religious freedom in the historically closed Cuban island. 

In an April 18 interview with NBC, Father Ariel Suárez, assistant secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, explained that a dialogue would require “different political actors” to come to an agreement in order to create a space to explore different opinions and find “concrete solutions” to people’s needs. Cuba is currently in the midst of a dire economic crisis. 

“I think we need to finally say with more clarity that Cubans can love Cuba with different visions, with different perspectives,” said Fr. Suárez. “And it’s important to put above all those differences, the love for Cuba and the desire to improve the life of its people now and in the future.”

The priest’s words fall closely in line with a statement from the Diocese of Cuba, which called for participation from many “different sectors of society” in order to find paths to “forge ahead.” The statement came after March protests rocked the streets of several Cuban cities, with protesters calling for political change to address shortages of essential needs: food, power, and medicine among the greatest concerns. 

Suárez said the bishops have made invitations for prayer “in order to find solutions so that we can get out of this distressing situation, so that the country’s officials can have wisdom and audacity when making decisions that favor the lives of the people.” 

The Cuban government has yet to answer the Catholic Church as to whether or not it is open to discussions. Read more about the history of Cuba’s relations with the Church at NBC.

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