“I am a mouse, a coward, but God gives me the strength”

I have always subscribed to the notion that the vast majority of the problem with the Catholic Church in Cuba lies with its hierarchy. It is the leadership of Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, and the Cuban bishops and priests that blindly follow his direction that has led the Church to the dark place where it is now. Although blame can also be assigned to laypersons and churchgoers that have chosen to look the other way while their Archbishop sacrifices members of their flock to the wolves, in the end, God’s most severe judgment will be reserved for the leadership that knowingly and willingly led His Church astray.

However, not all Catholics in Cuba have surrendered their faith and their country to Cardinal Ortega. There are priests in Cuba who have refused to have the role of defenders of the innocent and advocates for freedom that their God, Church, and faith calls them to be compromised and impaired by the whims and machinations of a corrupt prelate. While Archbishop Jaime Ortega lives a charmed life in Havana, throwing wine and cheese parties for members of a murderous dictatorship, and enjoying privileges reserved for the Castro elite, there are priests in Cuba risking their lives to help not only the political prisoners rotting in Castro prisons, but the nation of Cuba and its 11-million people who have been enslaved by a brutal and vile dictatorship.

In Santiago, Cuba, at the National Basilica Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity, Cuba’s patron saint, there is a priest by the name of Jorge A. Rodriguez who has risked everything to take a principled and Christian stand against the tyranny in Cuba. Directly opposing the tact of placating and surrendering to a wicked regime taken by his Church superiors, Father Rodriguez confronts the brutality of the Castro regime on a daily basis, and openly prays for the freedom of his country.

Father Rodriguez does not consider himself an extraordinary man, and he often wishes he could stay quiet and not provoke the ire of the regime and of his superiors. “I am a mouse, a coward,” he says, “but God gives me the strength.” Father Rodriguez explains that if he were to remain silent to the atrocities going on around him and keep them hidden inside, it would cause him to burst. It this determination to seek justice and to do the will of God, combined with the strength God provides him that makes this modest priest a priceless gem among worthless stones.

Below is a video of a visit by a Cuban American journalist made to the Basilica along with an interview with Father Rodriguez in Spanish. Listen to the words of Father Rodriguez, and imagine, if just for a moment, what things in Cuba would be like if Cardinal Ortega had a fraction of the courage, the conviction, and the faith possessed by this humble priest.

H/T FreedomForCuba

5 thoughts on ““I am a mouse, a coward, but God gives me the strength””

  1. What a difference! Now that’s a man worthy of being Cuba’s cardinal!!! Let’s not forget that there was, also, an archbishop in Santiago whose name escapes me that was also very assertive in his criticism of the regime. I believe that he has since retired due to illness.

    Anyway, getting back to the ignominious and dastardly Cardinal Jaime Ortega, when he came to NY/NJ several years ago, he gave a mass and as he was walking down the aisle, a woman showed him a picture of a well-known dissident and asked him to bless it and he FLAT OUT, NO QUALMS ABOUT IT, SAID “NO!”

  2. Ditto Rayarena,

    Father Rodriguez and others in Cuba are the only ones in the Cuban Church standing up to the Castro regime with strong hopes and wishes for freedom for the Cuban people that the Church hierarchy in the island (and here in South FL too) don’t have the slightest courage, dignity and principles to represent.

    We have a Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that needs replacement because they no longer represent Jesus Christ’s values. No wonder the Vatican is in such bad shape today been guided by such pitiful characters and why so many people have left the Chruch.

    As the Catholic the painful part for me regarding the Church today is witnessing that the lower class priests all over the world are the ones really following Jesus Christ’s gospel and doing the good works in his name on earth because the top hierarchy of the Church have become a sorry ass bunch of characters for the most part.

    I believe that you were referring to Father Conrado the one that gave that famous homily in Santiago de Cuba in front of both John Paul II and Raul Castro in which he mentioned that Cuba was divided by an ideology (Communism) and a political party (The Communist Party).

  3. Dittos, Alberto. While it is true that the judgment will be more severe on the false shepherds who fleece the flock and, as you point out, throw it to the wolves, it is equally true that, thankfully, God always has a those few and strong who stand with Him (often called a remnant). This is proof.

Comments are closed.