Church in Cuba hopes for greater government cooperation, says Cardinal Ortega

.- The Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, said relations between the Church and the Communist government have improved in recent times, but the hope is that there will be more openness with regards to access to the media and education.

In an interview with the magazine Temas, Cardinal Rivera said the country is living “a very special” moment, as “a period of much reflection and debate (about life in Cuba) has begun and is very noticeable in the people, and sometimes in the electronic media, although not always.”  “This is an interesting moment and we are looking on with hope,” he said.

Cardinal Ortega said the good relations with the government “could improve with greater openness for the Church.” He specifically referred to the media and noted that while the bishops do have access to local radio stations, in the future they hope to have a program that is broadcast on a more regular basis, whether weekly or monthly.

He also expressed hope that the Church’s publications could be circulated throughout the country in accord with established law.

Regarding education, Cardinal Ortega admitted that there is less of a chance of the Church gaining greater control over the administration of Catholic schools than for the Church to have greater access to the media. 

The cardinal said that requests by the bishops today are given greater consideration than before, such as “requests for missionaries or religious to come to Cuba for pastoral work, which are obtained today with relative ease.”

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