New Facebook page empowers Cubans to welcome papal visit

.- The Christian Life Movement in Cuba launched a new Facebook page called “Waiting for Benedict XVI” to promote the pontiff's upcoming visit and defend the right of all Cubans to welcome him.

“We have created the group so that those in power in Cuba or those aspiring to power who have access to the internet know that we are defending the right of our Pastor to visit us and to bring to the suffering Cuban people the message of freedom, peace and reconciliation,” Christian Life Movement spokesman Regis Iglesias Ramirez told CNA on Feb. 17.

Ramirez, a former prisoner of conscience living in Spain since 2010, said the silence surrounding the Pope’s March 25-28 visit on the part of the state-run media and even the local Church is “striking.”

“Only loud and extremist voices against the visit from inside and outside the island are being heard. This is sad and dangerous,” he said.

“Many are silencing this message even within our own Church, but since we too are the Church we raise our voices for our Church, for our brothers and sisters and for our nation.”

Ramirez noted that most Cubans do not have access to the internet, and therefore they hope the comments on the new Facebook group will be seen by all those trying to stop Pope Benedict XVI's message from reaching the Cuban people. 

“We want our message to reach all those who are intolerant, who are filled with hatred and detest the faith and detest us for defending the faith,” he said.

“By defending these principles we are defending the true sense of the Cuban Catholic and non-Catholic people, that needs and wants to listen to His Holiness, that needs and wants Benedict XVI, the pastor, to be with them,” Ramirez stated.

“We do not see this very important event as something political. For us it is a pastoral trip and we defend the right of our Pastor to visit us. We defend our right,” he added.

Ramirez said the Christian Life Movement is a political, social, yet “not a confessional movement,” that began in the parishes of Havana. “We are inspired by Christian humanism, the Social Doctrine of the Church and the liberating message of the Gospel.”.

The Facebook group “Waiting for Benedict XVI” can be found at http://www.facebook.com/groups/320339154667819/

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