The executive secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Cuba, Father Jose Feliz Perez, said the recently concluded visit by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to Cuba has opened more room for the Church to carry out her mission.
The presence of Cardinal Bertone led to “a more fluid exchange with authorities, in which the concerns of the Church could be discussed with more trust and realism,” Father Perez said.
The visit by Cardinal Bertone “opens more room than already existed, as occurred with the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1998,” he continued.
Asked by reporters if there would be significant changes in relations between the local Church and the government, Father Felix underscored that “it’s only been a short time since the visit, and so anything new I think will be seen in the coming days or weeks.”
He also said the visit was important because of the message the cardinal conveyed on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, which was one of encouragement and support.
As he left Cuba on Tuesday night, Cardinal Bertone said he hoped the visit would serve as a new impulse to relations between the Church and the state, which “will always be challenging, but also full of opportunities to promote the common good of Cubans.”