Perhaps I should no longer be surprised every time I read another news story detailing the complicity of the Catholic Church in Cuba with the Castro dictatorship. Maybe it is time that I stop being astonished by the so-called representatives of Christ on earth doing the bidding of a brutal and murderous dictatorship. After all that has happened in the just the past few months, one would think I would start becoming desensitized to the way the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Cuba has allowed itself to become the messenger boys of the cruel and vile Castro regime.
Nevertheless, I am still surprised, still astonished, and I don’t think I will ever be desensitized to the specter of men of the cloth bowing to the will of atheistic dictators.
The Cuban dictatorship has offered Reina Luisa Tamayo and her family the opportunity to leave the island. There is no reason to believe this offer is any different from the offers made to the prisoners of conscience on the island: Freedom in return for banishment and forced exile. And the conduit used by the regime to send this message to her is the Catholic Church.
Reina Luisa has stated that she wants her husband and children to leave, but that she will not leave until the remains of her son, the martyred Cuban hero Orlando Zapata Tamayo, are given to her. One can understand her decision to leave the island once her demand is met; she has been relentlessly harassed, oppressed, beaten, and held hostage in her own home for months now. The repression she and her family have been subjected to is intolerable, and one can understand and rejoice in the notion of this courageous and dignified woman finally being free of the regime’s vile persecution. What I cannot understand, and what no one with a shred of decency should understand, is how the Catholic Church in Cuba has lent itself to the molestation of this woman and her family.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega would like us all to believe that he has stepped in to save Reina Luisa Tamayo from the Castro regime. He would like the world to view his intervention as the Catholic Church negotiating the end of hostilities against Reina Luisa and her family. In reality, however, the Cardinal is nothing but a pawn of the Castro regime.
What the Cardinal has done in this case is no different than a priest watching a woman be beaten and abused by her husband for months and doing nothing about it. While the wife is beaten on a daily basis, the priest refuses to stand up to the husband and demand that he stop because he doesn’t want to offend the sensibilities of the man. It is only when the abusive spouse begins to experience bad publicity does the priest get involved to help the violent husband “fix” his problem. It is then when the priest sits down with the husband and agrees to get involved by approaching the abused wife and persuading her to leave town, never to return. While the wife must hastily pack her things and move to another city to begin again, the husband remains in the home, unaffected by his actions and with the help of the priest, free of the bad publicity his beatings brought.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega’s complicity with the regime is not only a betrayal of the Cuban people, it is a betrayal of Christianity, the Church, its parishioners, and above all, a betrayal of Christ.
It seems that asking if the Catholic Church in Cuba has any shame left is just a rhetorical question.