.- Father Jose Conrado of the parish of St. Teresa of Jesus said this week the message pronounced by the Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, Pedro Meurice, during the Papal visit of 1998 continues to apply to the country today. Speaking to the website Encuentro en la Red, Father Conrado explained that âthe people of Cuba continue to suffer a very difficult situation.â
A few days ago during a televised address, Fidel Castro referred to the discourse by Archbishop Meurice and said his regime âheld no resentment against that archbishop,â and that it is âwilling to forgetâ the words he pronounced on January 24, 1998, before the Holy Father during his visit to the island.
Father Conrado said the archbishopâs discourse is âabsolutely validâ because what he said âwas no different from what the Pope said.â
âThe archbishop of Santiago explained the reality of the people to John Paul II. He spoke against nobody, but rather simply reflected the experience he lives each day as he receives the faithful, when he receives the people who tell him of their sorrows, sufferings and desperation,â he said.
Father Conrado said this âmade the relationship with the State more tense,â and although there were peaceful moments during the Pontiffâs visit, later a supposed document from the government was circulated which called for a âdepapalizationâ of Cuba.â
Father Conrado called this an attempt by the government to âdisplace what the visit of the Pope had meantâ for a county âwhere fear exists.â He also expressed his hope that the âdeath of the Pope, an event that has moved hearts, will also move the hearts of our government leaders.â