Havana, Cuba, Mar 21, 2012 / 11:06 am
Despite local media reports, Bishop Emilio Aranguren of Holguin, Cuba has denied that any violence was used against a group of protesters who occupied the Cathedral of St. Isidore last week.
On March 13, some 17 dissidents protested in the cathedral, while 20 others occupied the Church of St. Jerome in the city of Las Tunas, which is also in the Diocese of Holguin.
The state-run media in Cuba alleged that Bishop Aranguren used violence to force them out of the cathedral and that he even slapped one protestor as he was attempting to make a call on his cell phone.
“There were some words exchanged because the young man who was in the first pew in front of me took out his cell phone, and I told him to put it away because cell phones are not allowed in the church, either for phone calls or for taking pictures,” the bishop said.