How utterly sad and disappointing. Santeros in Cuba are upset that Pope Benedict XVI will not devote any time to them during his two-day visit to the island. Imagine that. How can this be possible? After all, in the human zoo of Castrolandia, these specimens of the noble savage are among the most popular attractions. How could the pope ignore them?
Imagine also being a journalist and spending time on something so utterly trivial rather than on the dissidents who want to meet with the pope. Imagine also seeking to “balance” this very long report by quoting ignoramuses who view Santeria–a polytheistic African religion that the Catholic Church officially considers to be demonic — as just another version of Catholicism. Of course, the ignoramuses are cited as “Church experts.” I suppose this is further proof of the fact that when it comes to “experts” quoted by the mainstream media their top guiding principle is to gloss over all important distinctions and to make anyone who points out these facts look unreasonable.
HAVANA (AP) — They cast snail shells to read their fortunes, proudly wear colorful necklaces to ward off illness, dress all in white and dance in “bata” drum ceremonies.
But although their Afro-Cuban Santeria religion owes much to Roman Catholicism, many are decidedly unenthusiastic about Pope Benedict XVI’s March 26-28 tour of Cuba, even if it is being hailed as a watershed moment for a church seeking to boost its influence on this Communist-run island.
Santero priests still remember the last time a pontiff came to town — and flatly refused to meet with them. They are expecting no better treatment this time, and some are openly disappointed.
Their religion is by far the most popular on the island, with adherents outnumbering practicing mainstream Catholics 8-1. Yet as far as the Catholic church is concerned, “we live in the basement, where nobody sees us,” said Lazaro Cuesta, a Santero high priest with a strong grip and a penetrating gaze.
“We have already seen one pope visit … and at no moment did he see fit to talk to us.”….
Santeros nevertheless took it as just another sign that on an island with a white majority, some still see it as a slave-barracks faith, an idea that goes against Cuban ideals of respect for diversity.