Havana cardinal speaks at Harvard, exile community reacts
By Donis TracyPilot Correspondent
Typical of the reaction was an April 29 statement posted in the web site of the Asamblea de la Resistencia Cubana (Assembly of the Cuban Resistance).
"Our exile community, contrary to what the Cardinal intends to project, is proof of the capacity of reconciliation between Cubans and is an example of true solidarity with those who suffer the lack of fundamental freedoms and rights in the island," the statement said.
"The fact that Cardinal Ortega utilizes the same detrimental language which the regime of Havana uses, referring to a group of Cubans who entered the Sanctuary of God to call attention on the lack of rights in Cuba reflects that of the oppressors of the Cuban people," it continued.
According to Mario Paredes, presidential liaison for Roman Catholic Ministries for the American Bible Society, who helped coordinate Cardinal Ortega's visit to the United States, this criticism is to be expected.
"Now that the Church is expanding and gaining footing in Cuba, there is likely going to be added criticisms from those on the outside," he said in an April 27 the telephone interview with The Pilot.
"The fact that [Cardinal Ortega] doesn't criticize the regime directly is seen as his collaborating with the regime, which is untrue," Paredes said.
"The Cardinal is doing what he is supposed to do," he continued, noting that the cardinal's role is "to bring people to faith, to call on collaboration in rebuilding Cuba, to bring Cubans to reconciliation."
"It's very hard for people to understand his role," he said.
During his trip to the United States, Cardinal Ortega also spoke at Boston College, the Catholic Center at Harvard University and the Council of Foreign Relations in New York City.
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