.- Speaking in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he was participating in the International Eucharistic Congress, Auxiliary Bishop of Havana, Cuba, Alfredo Petit Vergel, said Catholics in Cuba who are being persecuted for their ideas are earning Heaven.
“They, and all Catholics around the world, are earning Heaven because there are different types of martyrdom: some suffer a little, some suffer a lot, like in Cuba,” said Bishop Petit.
He also lamented the limited presence of Cuban Catholics at the Congress, but he explained that it was due more to political than religious issues.
“It is not very easy for a lay Catholic in Cuba to travel out of the country to a congress or to anything. It’s not because of religious issues; it’s because of politics. A lay Catholic in Cuba cannot travel about freely, and for us to get here we were given a 15-day permit. It’s not easy to get out of the country,” Bishop Petit explained.
Likewise, he stated, “The situation with Catholicism in Cuba is the same as it’s always been. I don’t think the situation of Catholicism has changed much. 80% of the 11 million inhabitants claim to be Catholic, but that does not mean that they act like they are.”
The bishop also explained that in Cuba there are only 320 priests, 12 bishops, 3 archbishops and 1 cardinal, thus making it difficult to attend to the spiritual needs of the people.